By Jon Wiederhorn
The highlight of last night’s Los Angeles Lakers game was surely Kobe Bryant’s season-high 60 point career-closing performance, which led to a 101-96 comeback victory over the Utah Jazz. But Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea set the stage for the thrilling game with a vocal-free rendition of “The National Anthem.”
Wearing a complimentary Lakers yellow hat and sweatshirt, and standing next to a four-foot-tall pair of speaker cabinets and an amplifier head, Flea attacked the traditional number with thunder, sounding more than a little like guitar hero Jimi Hendrix performing at the Woodstock Festival.
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The move made sense since the bassist, a diehard Lakers fan has called Bryant a “master of his craft,” comparable to”Charlie Parker or John Coltrane or Jimmy Page or Jimi Hendrix,” the NME reported.
Saturating his bass tone with wah-wah, Flea burned through the song in just under two minutes. adding strings of additional notes between main phrases of the song.
Kanye West attended Bryant’s last game, wearing a sweatshirt that read, “I Feel Like Kobe,” modeled after his “I Feel Like Pablo” design.”