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Perry Farrell

Perry Farrell is quite simply, one of the most important and original musical figures of the '90s. Born Perry Bernstein in New York City on March 29, 1959, Perry moved with his family to Miami, FL as a youngster, and eventually wound up in Los Angeles, CA, where he discovered the liberating punk rock movement. By the early '80s, goth rock was sweeping across L.A. -- as a result, Perry changed his name to Perry Farrell ("peripheral") and formed the goth-alternative band, Psi Com. While the group was an important musical stepping stone for Perry (his trademark heavily effected vocal style, ethereal music, etc.), the band eventually fell apart before they could sign to a major label. Years later, in 1994, Triple X Records would issue a self-titled, five-track Psi Com compilation. Undeterred, Farrell put together what would become one of the greatest rock bands of all time, Jane's Addiction. He hooked up with a pair of young metalheads, drummer Stephen Perkins and guitarist Dave Navarro, plus alternative fan Eric Avery on bass. The quartet was harder rocking than Farrell's previous outfit, and injected their rock with unpredictability -- unafraid to touch upon other non-rock musical styles and making great use of dynamics. The band was also different in that it was against the testosterone-heavy image of other rockers at the time, the bandmembers would often kiss each other on-stage and Farrell would sometimes dress in drag. All of the hoopla paid off for the band as they became an instant favorite on the L.A. club scene, issuing their self-titled debut on Triple X in 1987. Like its music, the band's audience was varied -- metalheads, punkers, and goths all worshiped them. A huge bidding war ensued, with Warner Bros. eventually signing the up-and-coming band. Although Jane's Addiction would only be together for two more albums, 1988's Nothing's Shocking and 1990's Ritual de lo Habitual (both platinum-certified), they were a major reason for alternative rock's eventual mainstream acceptance and success. Both albums are widely considered classics, proving to be incredibly influential on the '90s alt rock scene. Eventually, drug-fueled bickering helped break up the group, but not before they would headline the inaugural Lollapalooza tour in 1991 (Farrell was the founder of the eventual annual tour). Perry also tried his hand at filmmaking around this time, with the hard-to-decipher Gift. Perry went straight into his next project, Porno for Pyros, which included ex-Jane's drummer Perkins, as well as guitarist Peter DiStefano and bassist Martyn LeNoble. While the new outfit contained some of the same musical trademarks as J.A., it proved to be not as musically adventurous or abstract. A pair of underrated albums were issued, 1993's self-titled debut, and 1996's Good God's Urge, and while the band was a popular concert attraction, Farrell split the band up in 1997, shortly after an appearance on the Private Parts soundtrack and a performance at the movie's premier. Later in 1997, Farrell did a brief reunion tour with Jane's Addiction (Eric Avery, who refused the invitation, was replaced by Red Hot Chili Pepper Flea on bass), releasing a spotty live/outtakes collection, Kettle Whistle, the same year. A year later, Farrell became a father and swore off drugs and drink for good -- focusing on a new project, dubbed Gobalee. Before the new project could get off the ground, Farrell abruptly abandoned it, concentrating on recording his first solo album, which featured contributions by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante. In November of 1999, the retrospective Rev was issued, containing hits and rarities from both Jane's Addiction and Porno for Pyros, as well as a pair of solo tracks. In 2001, Farrell's solo album Song Yet to Be Sung arrived, marking his first new material in five years, as well as a more global, spiritual approach to his music. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Comments

I A Way Wanna Sing. W U. BRA...
I sang these song like ... "Coming Down the Mountain!!!" During Desert Storm 90-91
kmdaurizio
I love JA and followed the Grateful Dead on tour when I was younger and was surprised to see Perry on a special about Jerry talking about how influential the Dead had been to him.
Jane's addiction is one of the best
Been listening to Perry ever since he started. Even porno for piros. I grew up with Chris Chaney in Mill valley California.
Janes changed my perception of music after seeing them live and hearing the hauntingly great melodies and unique style
1178175243
Perry is an Aries, of course!
Cant imagine life without Janes...you guys have been loved by us all since the first time we'd heard the music and thats how itll always be. Thank you guys. Te Amo.
myurchak96
Can't wait to see you guys...in a smoke filled van, down by the river...Clev e l a n d , Ohio August 6, 2012...JANES ADDICTION :)
and actually jane was perrys roomate thats why he named the band after her in tribute while witnessing what she went through when they lived together
summertime roles is one of JA's best i think but wondering why this is labeled under perry's name instead of janes addiction. clearly its the band. will always love this man and he is an icon. i mean he is one of the ones who made lalapalloosa what it was in its hayday before he left the project cause it when arye. and hate to correct you but nothing shocking was not their first album it was XXX
I just saw them a month ago in Rochester, NY. Great show, just as they were 21 years prior in Rochester, the first time I saw them! They've got it, and always will
panthervikin g
@chicklatter a l . . . . . J a n e was a prostitute, her addiction's were many. She was a friend of the band.....
creepy picture...
klaytonowens
janes was sooo good at the ninja concert, i love nin inch nail but janes blew them off the stage
The compartison to The Beatles is not out of place here because the follow up Album Ritual de lo was a bit like Janes Addiction's Abbey Road. When it came out it was so exciting as it delivered on the Hype and is an even better Album. Even Nirvana couldnt do that an In Eutero does disapoints. Its a pity the band blew up, and that the new ALbum sounds like it wont bring back the old sound stroing enough, but from 88-92 JA was the most exciting thing in Rock, no doubt..Sure beats GNR
Jeffrey Durbin - mate I cant agree, I dont know where you where in the late 80's but Nothings Shocking, the JA debut Album was out 4 years before Nirvana Nevermind which is widely hailed as the greatest rock album of the Modern Era. I love Nevermind , but I implore you to listen to the two Albums back to back, taking into context that NS was 4 years before and you simply have to say that NS was as revolutionar y as SGT Peppers was for the Beatles when it came out in '67.
jeffreydurbi n
Calling Farrell one of the most important and original musical figures of the '90s or calling Jane's Addiction one of the greatest rock bands of all time is simply ridiculous! Farrell is quite talented and Jane's Addiction was a very good band but neither was as critical to the alternative rock movement as Prato claims.
yee haaaaaaa!!!! new Jane's!
Such great memories and nostalgia when listening to any Perry or Jane's music... Like a shot of adrenaline, I get goosebumps every time. Makes me feel very alive!
i lived in lake lure for a year 1/2...the best view was chimney rock and perry in the background.. . . . . . . . . . . . . p i g s in zen
johnramirezd e s i g n
Perry is a rock legend! Janes Addiction is the best!
bdalida3
first time i ever stage dived was to the song ocean size at 1st ave in minneapolis (home to prince's movie purple rain) what an amazing show! and 20 years ago at that.
ocbeachgirl3 1 6
Great band...love Ocean Size.
one of the only " rocks that ive ever met who was oblivious to the fanatical fiasco! very cool guy...
How can only 9 people like this artist???
One of the best bands ever in my opinion. There will never be another band like them. One of the best live shows I have ever seen. (and I have seen many)I hope they come out with a new disc soon as the music today sucks sucks sucks!!
danamm27
Love Jane says.
What Perry does with a song is amazing and unique, blending offbeat rythym, peculiar vocal/instru m e n t phrasings and most of all dynamics in a way no one else does - nobody works in space better than this guy and still keep the groove. Along with soul brothers Navarro, Avery and Perkins, Jane's Addictio
"Jane says"....I luv em! But who was jane + what was her addiction? anyone....?4 100 points!
how come they dont have the happy birthday jubilee record on here. or do they idk? i tried looking. it be awesome if you guys did.
people should right on here more often, keep up the playing, thanx for all the great music dude...
jane says ... stairway to heaven ....hey jude.....pic k one , or all three ...i never made it without biting ...
don1983
By the time the first Lollapalooza , I refused to go, thousands? of people, too much! I'm glad for the success they had, but at the same time, seeing them in a small venue, being able to approach them and tell them what their music meant to me still is very cool. That is just my opinion. Also, Dave Navarro is an extremely friendly and great guy (really short too) haha!
don1983
I agree McGarr, good points the younger (20 somethings) would not understand,
at that time there was no internet to spread the word about any new music
"underground " or otherwise. I also agree they broke up at the right time. To see them now would just be depressing. I had the chance to see them in Milwaukee in a crowd of maybe 200, and after that it just was not the same
And: I do think that without him/them, your radio would sound different. The reasons many think that Nirvana and Pearl Jam were more influential are: Both bands are easier to sound like(hence all the garbage that followed)and both bands had way more videos and sold way more records. NEITHER were as adventurous musically or as talented musically. These are just my opinions, but I think J.A. laid the ground work for the mainstream success of many bands.
I think it was perfect that Jane's Addiction had a short career. I don't necessarily think they would have bettered the "Ritual" album. It was so dense and diverse (and still rocked). Quite an achievement. If anything, I feel they would have experienced some sort of "cool culture" backlash. Let's face it, they wouldn't have gotten LESS popular mainstream-w i s e . At that time, people seemed to weigh those types of things and wanted to keep their favorite bands a secret from the rest of the world
Without this man, your radio would sound different. Period. The John Lennon of alternative rock.

I think that's an overstatemen t . Nirvana and Pearl Jam and the post-grunge that followed probably did that, but yes Jane's Addiction paved new inroads (and copycats also followed, unfortunatel y ) . They are awesome! one of my fave bands. just too bad they had a pretty short career
Without this man, your radio would sound different. Period. The John Lennon of alternative rock.
this man is a creative made man
While I have no idea about Will Farell, Perry Farrel is definitely an influence for many a musician getting their start in the '90's who wanted to do something more than boring hormone songs singing the praises of some girl's booty... Jane's Addiction was dancey, weird, brash and Farell's vocals metallic and odd enough to stand out amongst a bunch of "alternative " bands that were all just trying to sound like Nirvana.
As Will Farrell is to comedy....a central and groudbreakin g figure....so to is Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction to alternative music...perh a p s even music in general.

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