Flea’s Tattoos

Flea was the first member of the band to get a tattoo:

Visible on Flea’s bare shoulder is his fresh tattoo, the first of many that the members of the band would get….His very first tattoo was a small grin on his right shoulder resembling his gap-toothed grin. It’s unclear when that piece was done, but it’s visible in photos taken at the Anti Club in April and was probably done in late 1982 or early 1983, maybe around the time he joined FEAR.
Out in L.A. by Hamish Duncan page 170
Flea and Chad are the two most heavily tattooed band members:


“Flea, like Anthony, is a veritable walking gallery of tattoo designs. On his left arm he bears a striking picture of Jimi Hendrix and the name of his daughter, next to a string of coloured elephants that encircle his bicep. Inside his left arm is an abstract design, while on each of his knuckles he has the word ‘love’. On his chest Flea has an old Celtic design, symbolising birth, death and eternity, while opposite – like a little logo- he carries the name of his ex-wife Loesha. Birds decorate the inside of Flea’s right arm, but more visible is a famous concoction in which a snake was added to a pair of dolphins and a celtic dragon. On his back Flea has another tribal design stretching from shoulder blade to shoulder blade.”
Martin Roach, ‘Inside the Veins of the Velvet Glove’

(Please note: More tattoos have been added since this description and I’ve tried to include as many as I can but I can’t identify a couple and would appreciate any information people have. Thanks!)

Flea’s Tattoos

Left Upper Arm (three tattoos):

1.Jimi Hendrix (in reference to his idol; by Bob Roberts, Spotlight Tattoo on Melrose Avenue- info from Out in L.A. by Hamish Duncan page 170).

2. ‘Clara’ (name of Flea’s oldest daughter)

3.Elephant band:

“Well, they’re just elephants. I really got them when my daughter was born because I thought she would really like them and she loves them.”

Quote from a recently released clip from the Deep Kick documentary (about 2.58)

Lower left arm: Inner arm a tribal design with a ‘X’ at the centre (in reference to the group X?*)
Update: New tattoo added to Flea’s lower left arm May 2020. Tattoo of a purple skull by Dr. Woo

Upper right arm: 1.a large serpent/dragon 2. a pair of dolphins (original tattoo on that arm; grin was added later) 3. Flea’s signature grin doodle (added to the centre of the dolphins) and an S shaped Celtic dragon (in reference to Hillel Slovak?*)

Lower right inner arm: Several tattoos including 1. Indian/native thunderbird (“Hanky Panky”/ Henk Schiffmacher tattoo) 2. some writing, one word of which says ‘Sunny’ (name of Flea’s second daughter)

Rear right lower arm: Sunny Bebop design tattoo:

“All the best tattoos are drawn by five year olds!”

Source: Flea’s Twitter

Added October 2011; based on a  drawing by Flea’s daughter Sunny Behop (“Hanky Panky”/ Henk Schiffmacher tattoo)

Chest (2 tattoos): 1. ‘Loesha’ on left (she was Flea’s first wife-later divorced- and mother to Clara) 2. Celtic/tribal circle on right :

Celtic “Triskell” design used in Bretagne (France) and Ireland, located on right pectoral muscle. This ancient Celtic Design is taken from the Celtic Burial Mound at New Grange in Co. Meath. This design pre-dates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland by some 3,000 years.  It is thought to be the oldest Celtic symbol and is supposed to represent the 3 stages of man: Birth, Death, Eternity
Source: Vanishing Tattoo

Back: Tribal tattoo (with reference to Flea’s gap toothed grin?*)

Head: The word ‘Flea’ (only visible on shaven head)

Hands/knuckles: The word ‘LOVE’ is tattooed across each knuckle

* Source Kerrang! Legends Article on RHCP band member tattoos

(Where possible we have tried to use photos which we own the copyright to; if you own copyright to the other photos used, please contact us and we will credit you/remove as required).

6 thoughts on “Flea’s Tattoos

  1. In my humble opinion, Flea’s back tattoo inspired from a folklore creature of Balinese in Indonesia who lives in Bali island. We call it “Léak”. Léak is some kind of evil who “eat humans”…
    The structure of the face (the most notable are two sharp teeth like ivory) is so similiar to Léak. You can google it with keywords: Balinese Léak, or Léak Bali, or Kecak Dance. Thanks!

  2. The s tattoo is actually a native American design. He also had the grin before the dolphins, and he also has go Lakers, and a circle on his left hand.

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