DISCLAIMER: Hear Ye, Hear ye! Aforementioned newsletter will try to stay impartial regarding songs, albums favorite members of the band and their post-Jane's projects. Letters to the Editor Wannabe are always welcomed- send to Phil. Also, the more you folks contribute, the better this newsletter is going to be. Thanks.Well, here I am again. It looks as if I got some sort of response (partially good) about this thing, so unless the FBI or Perry comes knocking on my door, I'll continue writing this thing. Ok, onwards!
EDITOR'S APOLOGY: Unfortunately last issue I kind of jumped the gun and advertised that we'd have that Eric Avery interview column started up in this issue. I'm sorry, but I wasn't able to get in touch with Eric to get his approval on this. It does exist, I kid you not. I'm just going to need a little more time to get his answer. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Perry update: There was a picture of Perry in a recent Rolling Stone (the one with Green Day on the cover). He was looking happy and healthy, with short hair and no dreads- he was even smiling. Perry was with two other famous people (whose names I cannot remember) and thusly was caught by the paparazzi.
Jane's Addiction emerged from the shattered post-punk urban club scene in Los Angeles in the mid eighties. At that time, a young singer by the name of Perry Farrell (word play on Peripheral) was ranting and raving for a member group of the urban scene, Psi-Com. After the guitarist and drummer left the band to become Hindus, Eric Avery (whose stepfather is Brian Avery of The Graduate fame) auditioned for Psi-Com, playing one bass line continuously while Perry improvised vocals. Avery, who had met Perry through their mutual friend jane *, joined the band, but Psi-Com would never perform in public again.It was at this time that a local speed metal band named Disaster was playing the clubs in LA with some success. David Navarro and Stephen Perkins at that time were just barely over eighteen and had already jump-started their musical careers. The double duo were able to hook up because David and Eric had attended elementary school together, and David had even briefly dated Eric's sister, Rebecca.Creative juices mixed and flowed, and the dynamo we all know and love as Jane's Addiction was born. The name of the band comes from Perry and Eric's friend Jane, a then drug addicted Los Angeles prostitute. Farrell described her "addiction(s)" as anything from "bright strobes and violent colors" to "walking around wrapped in towels". At last count, Jane now clean, works as a secretary in Hollywood. her idealized portrait is in the booklet accompanying Ritual, and her picture is in the Nothing's Shocking liner notes.
And that, as they say, is that.
Some of you folks who are newer to Jane's, here's the low down on their official "musical library".
NOTE: I don't know of any singles off of Nothing's Shocking (at least I haven't run across any), but if they are in existence and YOU know about them, please email me the info and I will publish a correction in the next issue. Also, all songs listed on the Ritual singles are album version unless otherwise noted.
- Jane's Addiction, Early 1988, Triple X Records.
- Trip Away, Whores, Pigs In Zen, 1%, I Would For You,, My Time, Jane Says, Rock 'N' Roll, Sympathy (For The Devil), Chip Away.
- Nothing's Shocking, Late 1988 Warner Brothers Records.
- Up The Beach, Ocean Size, Had A Dad, Ted, Just Admit it. . ., Standing In The Shower . . .Thinking, Summertime Rolls, Mountain Song, Idiots Rule, Jane Says, Thank You Boys, Pig's In Zen.
- Ritual De Lo Habitual, 1990, Warner Brothers Records.
- ( I lost my copy so excuse any omission of song titles or disorder) Stop, No One's Leaving, Ain't No Right, Been Caught Stealin', Obvious, Three Days, Then She Did, Of Course, Classic Girl.
- Stop! (Single), Ritual De Lo Habitual, Warner Brothers.
- Stop, Three Days, I Would For You (Demo).
- Classic Girl (Single) Ritual, Warner Brothers.
- Then She Did, Ain't No Right (Live), No One's Leaving (Live), L.A. Medley (Live), Classic Girl.
- Been Caught Stealin' (Single) Ritual, Warner Brothers.
- Been Caught Stealin (Remix), Been Caught Stealin, Had A Dad (Demo).
- Soul Kiss (Video), Warner Brothers, 1988
- Includes an unedited Mt. Song Video, (first Jane's vid) and off-the wall band footage.
- Gift (Video), Warner Brothers, 1990
- This video, produced, written & directed by Perry Farrell contains live footage of the band, but mainly centers around a story involving Perry and his girlfriend, Casey Niccoli.
Ok, ok. I know by now I've probably alienated half the newsletter's readership from the title of this opinion piece alone. But as the header suggests, this is MY OPINION, and gosh darn it, I'm allowed to have it. Here's WHY I think WHAT I think. Perry is creative guy- they all are. IMHO, the lead singer of every band gets way too much attention. Why? Various reasons, really. Some are good looking (George Michael/Wham! [ after all, who remembers the OTHER GUY'S name?]) others are extremely creative (Jim Morrison) and some are just downright stupid and have no musical ability whatsoever (New Kids On The Block). (Not to name names or anything....)Anyhow, Perry's always been a self-proclaimed artist. He would "take the school newspaper and alter it so the principal had horns, or was giving someone a blow job" (Rolling Stone, Feb 9 '89). It was this kind of miscellaneous art that Perry gained fame in. The sculpture of the Siamese Casey Niccoli, heads ablaze, only provided fuel for the artistic fire that was burning inside of Perry. The media really took hold of this and went hog-wild, too. Perry was acclaimed for being one of rocks "true multimedia artists". So he can sculpt, direct videos and write lyrics. Big deal.How many of you folks heard the Porno For Pyros record? That was supposed to be Perry's big break, away from Jane's. . .HIS thing, right? IMHO, there was no substance to the album- there was NOTHING to it, actually. It was kind of boring, to tell the truth. The magic that had blessed Janes in the music and lyrics was not present in Porno For Pyros. Why? BECAUSE THEY (Jane's) WEREN'T TOGETHER ANYMORE.It really, really ticks me off whenever anyone mentions Jane's Addiction at a party (let's say) and some moronic uninformed individual says "Oh yeah, that was Perry's old band." Wrong. It was viewed by the MEDIA as Perry's band because that's who was the most outspoken on stage, out in public, and in interviews. Perkins, Avery and Navarro were (and are) all excellent at what they do, but unfortunately their activities aren't quite as media-friendly as Farrell's. (Yes, I'm frothing at the mouth now, but only slightly).In conclusion, YES- Perry Farrell is a talented guy, but he's no more talented than any of the other (former) members. Jane's wouldn't not be the Jane's we all know and love today if ANYTHING were any different.
As always, dissenting (or consenting) opinions are welcomed at email@example.com. The shorter, more concise and understandable, and the more interesting they are to read, the more of chance there'll be that it'll get published.
Bootleg CornerNAME/ TITLE: Jane's Addiction Live and Profane!
DISTRIBUTOR/ RECORD LABEL: Once again, the infamous (and invisible) Totonka Records is responsible for this bit 'o music history, with the help of Executive Producer Carl Punjonian.
DESCRIPTION: This is a double-disc "Collector's Set", supposedly for "Promotional Use Only". According to the jewel box, it has a limited edition of 3000. To quote the box: "These two shows, previously released on single discs, have been repackaged as a special numbered collector edition of 3000. It contains a 12 page book, 3 rare mini-posters & a color photograph." Unfortunately, neither the mini posters nor the color photograph were around when I was able to review this boot.
DISC ONE: SET @ THE SCREAM L.A., CALIFORNIA (LIVE) 02/14/87
- HAD A DAD: Sparse version, thundering bass line, good vocals, guitar at just the right level, almost obscured by Steve's prodigious percussion playing.
- IDIOTS RULE: Starts w/ interesting welcome by Perry. (After all, it's Valentine's Day!) Overall, very good, but no marguerita horns.
- AIN'T NO RIGHT: Another interesting philosophical opener by Perry. Sparse version- animalistic- heavy on bass, drums- excellent vocals. Guitar tops off the song.
- ONE PERCENT (1%): Great percussion, mediocre vocals. Excellent Guitar and Bass. Conversation between Perry & Dave leads into next song.
- STANDING IN THE SHOWER: Perry's personal intro into this song- excellent version! Everything comes together beautifully! Dave plays around w/ his guitar and foot boxes after the end of the song- wow!
- THREE DAYS: Didn't change much from Ritual Version. Excellent version, but at one point right before Perry sings "True leaders..." it sounds as if either Dave or Eric get lost and aren't sure whether or not to break into the next part of the song.
- WHORES: Dave starts it out with a little bluesy intro, then Eric takes it away with the same bass line that they played in their later concerts- (continuous, not broken up like in their first album). Everyone keeps up, and pulls off a great song.
- TRIPAWAY: Little Perry intro, kudos to Steve for the opener, just like being there. It's that good.
- OCEANSIZE: Typical live version of Oceansize. Oh well.
- STOP: Dave starts playing around with his guitar and boxes while waiting for Perry to shut the hell up. Opens up the song with the riff (and a WOW pedal) god- it sounded like the beginning to a porno. . .good version of the song, though. Pretty loud and rambunctious- didn't have it's highs and delicate lows like on Ritual.
- MOUNTAIN SONG: AMAZING! Quite possibly THE BEST TRACK on this disc. It's starts out as the last song of their set, and a really awesome feedback reminiscent of Hendrix, all the while Eric and that tell-tale bass line emerge from the noise. . . it makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck and curse yourself for not being there that night.
SET LIST: DISC TWO: *LOCATION UNKNOWN DALLAS, TEXAS (LIVE) FALL 1987
LINER NOTES: Unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to view the 3 rare mini posters, nor the color photograph as advertised on the jewel box. The actual booklet itself is interesting, mainly showing photos from Ritual publicity shoots, as well as one early live band photo. The notes themselves are a quick summary of Jane's Addiction for the uninitiated.
- MY TIME: Compared to the album, this is a haggard version, with an acoustic guitar, Perry on harmonica, Eric on Bass and Steve on tambourine. In and of itself it is brilliant- Perry does a good job vocally & harmonically (no pun intended) and everyone else keeps up with him.
- WHORES: Vocals are heavy on the reverb, surprisingly enough, so is the bass. The band grinds out this one, and I mean grinds. Everything comes together like a well-thought out jigsaw puzzle.
- PIGS IN ZEN: Perry's vocals leave something to be lacking, but Dave and the rest of the guys make up for it.
- AIN'T NO RIGHT: Very similar to Disc One's version.
- WOULD FOR YOU: Perry and Eric go head-to-head on this one. Vocals are excellent with lots of reverb, as is the bass (no reverb). Dave and Steve are nowhere to be heard, and unlike the first album's version of I WOULD, there are no keyboards. This version is lyrically different as well, no talk of the "tax man", etc. Great!
- IDIOTS: Very similar to Disc One's version.
- TRIPAWAY: Again, very similar to Disc One's version.
- MOUNTAIN SONG: Very similar to the version on Disc One (including the feedback) but still not as good as the previous version IMHO.
- NO ONE'S LEAVING: Really sparse version. Guitar can hardly be heard- Perry, bass and perc. dominate the song, it's almost tribal. Perhaps that's the way it should be.
- THEN SHE DID: Again, kind of a sparse version with this really annoying low-key hiss/buzz that persists throughout the first half of the song. Musically every bit as good as the version on Ritual. Percussion deserves kudos (and then some).
- TED, JUST ADMIT IT: As you suspected, no samples on this one. Dave and Steve provide for a great intro, almost as good as Disc One's mountain song. Bass is especially prominent in this song. Musically, the band shines.
- OCEANSIZE: Once again (for the final time) very similar to Disc One's version.
OVERALL SOUND QUALITY - DISC ONE: For this disc sound quality is great. Scream is/was a small club, so you can hear the people talking, shouting, calling Perry's name, but not to the point of obstructing the music. You can tell this was a small club. The sound is clear and crisp, with only a small amount of analog hiss. Both these CD's have the markings of AAD.
OVERALL SOUND QUALITY- DISC TWO: This disc's sound quality is different from #1. First, it sounds kid of distant- it's hard to explain- perhaps this was an outdoor show, but you can barely hear the crowd on ANY of the songs. Also, the overall disc sounds kind of gritty, almost grainy, in comparison to #1.
OVERALL MUSICIANSHIP: Excellent. These folks were at their artistic peak. . .not that they declined, but for being together so short a time, the songs were well fleshed out.
OVERALL RATING: I'd have to give it. . . . J J J J ! Great...a must have for any serious collector's collection. If you can get your grubby little hand on one or both of the discs, you'll enjoy them/it immensely.
*************************************** | Phil Hayes is firstname.lastname@example.org | *************************************** | "Never pay back,always pay forward" | | -W.W "Woody" Hayes | | "How much wood could a woodchuck | | chuck if a woodchuck had a Black | | and Decker gas powered chainsaw?" | | "Exhibits of a totally new scale | | and scope." | | -R. Shafer | ***************************************