Commemorative Speech of Michael Balzary(Flea)

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Ezekiel Gonda
SP 251
I am here this evening to commemorate a talent that has inspired myself and many professionally, creatively, and even a little spiritually. Michael Balzary is a musician that has helped many young troubled people, directly and indirectly, who are deep down good souls just looking for an outlet. He has paved the way for people ranging from low to upper class in finding yourself and releasing you upon the world. It was 30 years ago that Michael Balzary, better known as Flea, got together with some other talented group of young men and began his journey on shaping the future of bass playing as we know it. As a young boy Flea was actually a jazz trumpet prodigy but moved on to play bass in his teenage years after a friend asked him to play for his band. That one act would give way to one of the funkiest and innovative bass players the world has ever known. Today, Flea is regarded as one of the most influential and greatest bass players of all time. He has been ranked #2 by Rolling Stone as reader's pick of top ten bassist of all time. His work as a bassist consists of aggressive slap bass and more melodic techniques. He draws his inspiration from mainly from funk and punk rock music. He has worked with many other top acts like Mars Volta, Alanis Morisettes and Johnny Cash to name a few. Flea began his music career at the age of 20 and his beginnings were anything but easy. He has had to work with a revolving door of band members before finally finding the solid line up that took them to the top of the charts in 1989. The constant changes in his group consisted of drug use, arguments, horrible collaborations and even death. Through all this, Flea remained driven. Over the next 2 decades flea went on to tour all over the world, holds the record for most number one singles in the U.S.(12), won 7 grammy awards, been nominated for 16 grammy awards alongside his group Red Hot Chili Peppers and is even inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame....
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