Bruce Springsteen did it. So did Beyoncé, Prince and the Who. So why all the hubbub over the Red Hot Chili Peppers' playing to a backing track during the Super Bowl halftime show?

The fire was lit by Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid, who tweeted seconds into the band's performance (with Bruno Mars) of 1991 hit "Give It Away," "That guitar is plugged into NOTHING." He then noted: "It's a flaw in the illusion. They slipped up by not covering that for the camera."

Subscribe to billboard biz to continue reading this article and thousands more. subscribers get:
  • 24/7 coverage of every genre and sector of the business with over 150 exclusive charts
  • Bulletin: Breaking stories, chart info and analysis sent directly to your inbox every weekday
  • Billboard Magazine iPad Edition: An enhanced version of the magazine with video, photo galleries and playable charts
  • Archives: A rich history of articles and exclusive charts

Join now or Log In