Flea obviously owns a lot of bass guitars; this article covers the main ones and doesn’t try to include everything e.g. some of his bass guitars are just used for back up on tour. We’ve tried to make this as accurate as we can; if you have any more information please let us know! Special thanks to Paul McGhee who provided most of the information on the actual bass guitars for this article.
Flea talking about his basses
Some of Flea’s Bass Guitars:
A flame maple topped mahogany body with ebony fingerboard (One Hot Minute)
Blue Flake Modulus Fleabass (Californication tour)
Customized with a sticker which reads, “A flea still drinks the blood of those who wouldn’t harm a flea”.
The ‘Punk Bass’
Flea’s most recognisable and probably iconic, bass guitar’ it is a custom model Modulus Flea Bass which was nick-named the ‘Punk Bass’ due to its decoration; it was painted red, white and blue and covered in graphics featuring Flea’s favourite punk bands.
1961 Shell Pink Fender Jazz
An incredibly rare bass guitar; originally pink it now looks slightly yellow due to the varnish aging and discolouring on the bass. Flea horrified bass guitar collectors by firstly ‘defacing’ this guitar with a sticker showing D. Boon, lead vocalist of the Minutemen, and then adding a second sticker lower down.
A close up of the D Boon style sticker (the one of Flea’s bass is red not blue)
Sunburst Modulus Flea Bass
Used for theStadium Arcadium tour; sunburst design with a black pickguard.
Basses and the Albums/when they were used:
Pre- Red Hot Chili Peppers (album): Prior to their first album, Flea mostly played a cheap Squire bass guitar.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: For this album Flea played a Music Man Stringray (or Cutlass) which was covered in pink and green tape, painted and then plastered with stickers.
Freaky Styley: Flea played using Music Man Stingray & Fender Precision
Uplift Mofo Party Plan: A Spector LV was used for this record.
Mother’s Milk: Flea played a Spector NS-2
BloodSugarSexMagik: Flea played most of the tracks for BSSM using a blue Wal Mach II; the exceptions were the tracks ‘Funky Monks’ and ‘The Righteous And The Wicked’ for which Flea used a Music Man Stingray 5 (also seen in the video for Under the Bridge).
One Hot Minute: Flea played an Alembic Epic for all tracks except two; he used a Music Man Stingray for ‘Aeroplane’ (which can be seen in the video) and a Sigma Accoustic on ‘Pea’. A Music Man Sterling was used by Flea on the ‘My Friends’ video.
Californication: Flea played an original Modulus Flea Bass* for most tracks using a Fender Jazz on ‘Easily’ & a Taylor acoustic bass guitar on ‘Road Trippin’. The Californication tour saw Flea mostly using a blue flake finished Modulus Flea Bass.
By The Way: Again Flea mostly played a Modulus Flea Bass* for this album, using his 1961 Shell Pink Fender Jazz for a couple of songs (this bass can be seen in the ‘Can’t Stop’ video). The ‘Punk Bass’ was used for most of the By The Way tour.
Stadium Arcadium: Flea played his 1961 Shell Pink Fender Jazz for whole album. For the Stadium Arcadium tour he used a new Modulus Sunburst Flea Bass.*
*Note: the Modulus Fleabass is now called the Funk Unlimited to avoid confusion with the new line of Fleabass guitars (see below).
Flea destroying a bass…
Flea’s Range of Fleabass Guitars
Flea was concerned that music students could not afford a decent bass guitar so he decided to launch his own range which provided the budding musician an opportunity to play a good bass guitar at an affordable price. The company was launched in 2009 and Flea made several personal appearances to support the product. The initial four designs (sunny bass-orange, water bass- blue, the wild one- black & white- and punk bass-green & orange- have recently been extended to include four new Street Bass designs (black & white, silver & black, blue & white and white and black).