Keanu Reeves recalls the time he received an impromptu bass lesson from Flea
While nowadays he’s best known for racking up a ridiculous body count as John Wick, Keanu Reeves is, in his spare time, a keen bass guitar aficionado. And in a new video posted to Fender’s YouTube channel, he dives deep on his love for the instrument.
Reeves is the first to admit that his approach to the bass is less theoretical and more about feeling it and having fun, an ethos solidified by a chance bass lesson with none other than Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
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“I think I’m a wild animal playing with a piece of wood,” he says. “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.
He continues: “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 and instruments and stuff like that.
“And I was like, ‘Hey, Flea, can you give me a lesson?’ And he was like, ‘Sure, man!’ And he was like [gestures complex bass solo]. And I was like, ‘Alright, so?’ And he was like, ‘Just feel it, man. Just play.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’”
Elsewhere in the video, Reeves recalls purchasing his first bass in the parking lot of a Guitar Center store.
“I was asked what was my first bass,” he says. “I’ve been trying to remember, but I think it was like 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.”
What obviously comes to mind is the fact that he was literally right outside a store housing racks and racks of bass guitars, but he says the bass being sold by the man outside Guitar Center “spoke” to him more.
Reeves says he even went inside the store to take a look at some other basses, but continues: “It spoke to me. I played it, it felt good in the hand, and I was just like, ‘Okay!’”
Watch the full video below:
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