Chili Peppers arrest at MTV SPRING BREAK

In March 1990, two members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers were arrested following an incident at a taping for an MTV Spring Break special.

During the show at the Texan Motel in Daytona Beach, Chili Peppers bassist, Flea went into the crowd and picked up a 20 year old female student. He slung her over his shoulder and spun her around.

She was then thrown on the sand, and drummer Chad Smith pulled down her bathing suit bottom and slapped her buttocks.  Flea then jumped on top of the woman and simulated a sexual activity before MTV personnel intervened. 

Flea, whose real name is Michael Balzary and Smith were arrested two days later following another concert by the Chili Peppers at the Daytona Beach Marriot

They were each charged with a number of offences including battery and released on bail. 

Chili Peppers

Anthony Kiedis Explains

Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis later explained that they were forced to lip sync their song “Knock Me Down” for the taping which they didn’t enjoy. 

Kiedis said:  “We started serious, but towards the end, we looked at each other, thought it was stupid, put instruments down and dove into audience. Chad and Flea picked up a couple of girls on their shoulders, thinking they would like that — let’s dance around on the beach. Someone fell over, a girl was knocked down, and there was some friendly profanity in the exchange — it was a show.”

Chili Peppers

Guilty Plea

A few months later the pair pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $5000 each to a rape crisis centre. 

Chad Smith apologized saying, “I clearly got carried away in the theatrics of the moment and now realizes how wrong and inappropriate his actions were.” 

For more stories from the 90s, check out my podcast “History of the 90s” available on ApplePodcasts, Spotify, Google Play and anywhere else you stream audio. You can also listen at

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