Known for breaking the rules when it comes to bass playing, Red Hot Chili Peppers bass player Flea has taken it one step further and may well have had the first interspecies jam session—with a gorilla.
The Chili’s bassist made the trip to visit one of the most famous gorillas in the world, Koko, at the Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, California last Friday.
In a wonderfully bizarre scene, Flea handed over his bass to the curious primate who, just like a natural, promptly began strumming and slapping away on the instrument, it even sounded like she played a riff or two.
Flea’s face was a picture. “She’s got the fingers and everything, she gets it!” he said as Koko’s fingers showed genuine technique. Egging her on Flea said: “That’s good, Koko.”
“This is just the greatest thing that could ever happen. This is the day that I will never forget in my life,” said Flea.
Koko, who is now 45 and lives with her longtime handler Francine Patterson, we’re told, is a big music fan.
The foundation wrote on its website that: ‘Koko was thrilled by the mellow sounds and a jamming session followed with Koko strumming on Flea’s bass!’ The gorilla foundation also promised future collaborations.
Obviously blown away by his experience, Flea said the gorilla could havejested his bass—but not the amp he was using. “Sorry, that doesn’t belong to me,” he jested.
Koko famously knows approximately 2,000 English words as well as a specific sign language.
She has also made headlines throughout the world for her love and devotion to various pet cats, and was reported to have been somber and mournful when she learned that her friend Robin Williams had passed away.