Flea regrets smashing his bass amid AP Dhillon Coachella guitar smash controversy

Smashing your instrument is a Western rock n’ roll tradition since the 1960s. Other places maybe not so much. Indo-Canadian rapper AP Dhillon smashed a gold ESP LTD Kirk Hammett V guitar during his Sunday Coachella set in the Sahara tent, and when he posted a clip on social media, response from people in India in particular was not positive.

“The guitar that has provided you with life, love, peace, success, and respect – you end up breaking it! Not cool at all,” was one reply, and another was “It always hurts to see the poor instrument face the wrath of these wannabes. In India, we pray to the instrument…This is pathetic. Do better AP.”

Dhillon then doubled down in another post, where he shared more pictures of the smash along with vintage video of Kurt Cobain smashing one of his guitars, writing “The media is controlled and I’m out of control.” One of the responses there was, “You’re justifying wrong things brother. Are you even remembering your culture of how we treat musical instruments? That guitar was the one you held it for your show and it produced the vibration you wanted. After that destroying it was the coolest thing? This is an act of a fool. A true musician loves his instruments more than music. Show some respect, accept it and apologise to yourself, not to us. All we can see is your graph going down. If music gave you the fame, at least learn to respect it.”

At Coachella, Dhillon performed in front of a screen that read “Justice For Sidhu Moosewala,” referring to the Punjabi rapper who was killed by unknown attackers in 2022. Another reply was, “But Sidhu Moosewala would have also respected the musical instruments, being an artist, if he was here to see this. So before making loose statements like ‘media is controlled’, you better learn some good manners and values, buddy. God bless.”

Now, Dhillon has dropped off of Coachella Weekend 2, citing “scheduling conflicts.” UPDATE: We are told Dhillon dropped off Weekend 2 before his set on Sunday.

As for the old guard, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea wrote on X/Twitter on Sunday, the same day as AP Dhillon’s set, that “I feel like such an idiot for smashing my bass to pieces on stage back in the day, pathetic.” Whether this was in reference to anything in particular is unknown.