Iconic actor Keanu Reeves, known for his roles in blockbuster movies and his own musical endeavors, recently shared an anecdote involving a spontaneous bass guitar lesson from Flea, the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist.
The 59-year-old actor, who also plays bass in the grunge band Dogstar, disclosed this intriguing episode during an interview on Fender’s YouTube channel.
A Musical Encounter on a Movie Set
The unexpected music lesson took place when Keanu Reeves and Flea crossed paths on the set of a movie. Reeves recalled the moment, saying, “I remember one time I was doing a film, and Flea was in it, or I was in a film with Flea. And I remember there was a house, and there [were] amps, instruments, and stuff like that.”
As Keanu expressed his interest in learning, he asked Flea for a bass guitar lesson. To his delight, the renowned bassist was more than willing to share his expertise. Keanu reminisced, “And I was like, ‘Hey, Flea, can you give me a lesson?’ And he was like, ‘Sure, man!’ And he [did a complex bass solo]. And I was like, ‘Alright, so?’ And he was like, ‘Just feel it, man. Just play.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’”
Keanu Reeves and Flea both appeared in the 1991 movie ‘My Own Private Idaho,’ directed by Gus Van Sant. Their musical encounter on set added an interesting layer to their cinematic collaboration.
Unconventional Beginnings as a Bassist
During the interview, Keanu also shared insights into his journey as a bassist. Reflecting on his unconventional path, he said, “I think I’m a wild animal playing with a piece of wood. I didn’t learn a lot of songs. I didn’t listen to a song and try and figure it out. Kids: I regret that. If you’re picking up an instrument, it’s cool to figure out what people have done before, but I wasn’t doing that. So, I would just play. So I had no theory.”
A Bass Guitar Acquisition Story
Reeves even delved into the beginnings of his musical journey, recalling the acquisition of his first bass guitar. “I was asked what was my first bass. I’ve been trying to remember, but I think it was in 1986. I went to the Hollywood Guitar Center with the daydream of getting a bass guitar. I ended up… I don’t recall, but there was a guy there who was selling a bass. He was with a friend. Not at the store. It was like a parking lot sale. I had, like, a bass drug deal.”
Keanu Reeves’ journey as a bassist, coupled with his memorable encounter with Flea, highlights the multifaceted nature of his artistic endeavors, both on and off the screen.