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Rock Report: Red Hot Chili Peppers Play Flea’s Yard For Charity

Red Hot Chili Peppers
(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed in bass player Flea’s backyard on Tuesday (October 16th), both to celebrate his 50th birthday and to raise money for the Silver Lake Conservatory, the music school he founded 11 years ago in Los Angeles. Flea told Rolling Stone before the event started, “For this to happen on my 50th birthday tonight is the best gift I could ever hope to receive.”

Flea told us a while back about the school’s mission: “It’s a non-profit school, we have about 600 students, and it’s a real happy feeling for me just to try to encourage people and give them the opportunity to express themselves, ’cause for me, everybody has a song inside of them and for it not to be sung is, you know, the great tragedy of life. I love to encourage people to be good at what they could be good at.”

The Chili Peppers’ nine-song set at the end of the night included intimate arrangements of tunes like “Can’t Stop,” “Monarchy Of Roses,” “Snow (Hey Oh),” “Soul To Squeeze,” “Give It Away” and “By The Way.”

The opening act at the event was veteran punk band Rancid, whose frontman Tim Armstrong actually took lessons at the school a few years back. Flea said, “They played for us before, paid for everything, gave us all the merch, everything. Those guys are so generous — they’re, like, walking the walk, dude.”

The evening’s festivities also featured a surprise set from Ben Harper, a sitdown dinner and a giant birthday cake featuring a stand-up bass.

Celebrities at the event, which also featured an art auction, included actors Owen Wilson and Edward Norton as well as producer Rick Rubin.

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