Questions have swirled about whether Red Hot Chili Peppers' guitars were even plugged in for the Super Bowl halftime show with Bruno Mars, but you can buy the one instrument that didn't need to be plugged in — and help kids with life-threating illnesses, while you're at it. The NFL is auctioning off the drum kit Chad Smith used to play "Give It Away" during the big game. All net proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
You might've noticed the set was decorated with logos from all the professional football teams. Well, the football league has broken up Smith's kit by conference, with the AFC and NFC halves selling separately. At the time of this post, the leading bid for the AFC kit was $12,575, while the NFC kit was close behind at $9,575. Both auctions close February 7 at 10 p.m. EST.
FOX announced yesterday that the 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-viewed ever, according to Nielsen data, which puts Smith's drum kit right up there for the most widely heard drum kit ever in a single live performance. That is, assuming the the drum track we heard wasn't pre-recorded. Yesterday, RCHP bassist Flea implied acknowledgement that his bass guitarist wasn't plugged in, tweeting: "No trickery. No choice, but no trickery." The "no trickery" statement aligns the Chili Peppers with fake-not-fake performances like Nirvana's infamous 1991 Top of the Pops appearance, when the band mocked the show's mimed-performance policy by leaving their instruments unplugged while Kurt Cobain imitated Morrissey.
Anyway, watch Smith talk about the drum kit below. "Whoever buys this thing, I love you," he says. "You're very smart and you have excellent taste in music and drumming."
In other Super Bowl-related charitable giving, U2's "Invisible" was downloaded more than 3 million times, raising more than $3 million from Bank of America to support the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.