Jane's Addiction - November 03, 1990 - Price Center Ballroom, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA

Date: November 03, 1990
Location: Price Center Ballroom, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Recorded: Audio
Status: Confirmed
Type: Concert
Lineup: Perry Farrell
Dave Navarro
Stephen Perkins
Eric Avery


Up The Beach
Had A Dad
No One's Leaving
Ain't No Right
Ted, Just Admit It...
Pigs In Zen
Standing In The Shower... Thinking
Three Days
Trip Away
Summertime Rolls
Mountain Song
Jane Says

Show Information:

24-7 Spyz opened.

Paper: San Diego Union-Tribune, The (CA)
Title: Jane's Addiction stocks shock
Date: November 2, 1990

"Nothing's Shocking," Jane's Addiction insisted in the title of its 1988 album. Then, the self-defined "alternative rock band" from Los Angeles discovered otherwise.

Musically mixing thrash and passion with lyrics that touch on the joys of sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll, Jane's Addiction has created a minor sensation. But it's the art work on the group's album covers -- and especially that of the "Shocking" follow-up, the current "Ritual de lo Habitual" -- that has caused something approaching a major scandal.

With their full-frontal assault of nudity, the covers have caused consternation among record distributors. And many music outlets have refused to display "Ritual de lo Habitual," which features a work of fetish art created by (and depicting) Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell and his girlfriend, Casey Niccoli, that was inspired by the Santaria religion.

The albums appear designed to provoke, yet Farrell contends they were conceived with the best intentions.

"It wasn't a matter of intentionally trying to create controversy, but it was definitely intentional to try to make something that people would be excited to see or like to see, or it would move them somehow. I don't think there's a point in putting out something that wouldn't move a person," said Farrell, Jane's Addiction's composer and unquestioned leader. (On the new album, he is credited as "Of Course.")

"To me the whole purpose of a cover is to catch a person's eye and draw them in. I think that was all I was trying to do.

"As far as the people that don't like it, that just comes with the territory. I wasn't making the record for people that didn't like it; I was making the cover for people that would like it."

Still, enough people were made uncomfortable by the "Ritual" graphics that Farrell was persuaded by his generally hands-off record label, Warner Bros., to come up with an alternate cover -- an artless design that reprints the First Amendment.

Farrell didn't much mind the second cover, he said, except "that it took me extra time to come up with the concept of doing it, after I had spent four months working on the original. It's kind of ironic, though, because the cover they thought would be censored and would not sell is selling four-to-one over the First Amendment. And I could have predicted that."

Probably neither Farrell nor Warner Bros. could have predicted the runaway success of "Ritual de lo Habitual," although the record company clearly has had expectations for Jane's Addiction -- singer Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, bassist Eric Avery and drummer Stephen Perkins -- since it won an intense bidding war for the group and the rights to put out "Shocking" and "Ritual."

(The new record, the band's third, owes its Spanish language to Farrell's interest in Hispanic culture -- and notably the cultish, art-conscious Santaria religion -- and his belief that "it didn't sound that good in English.")

In its first five weeks of release, the new album had already sold, to use Farrell's ratio, 400,000 copies with the original cover and 100,000 with the substitute. And as the band opens a two-month North American tour here, it can rest assured knowing that its first concert at UCSD sold out in 15 minutes, and tickets to a hastily added second date disappeared just as quickly.

Jane's Addiction's local experience attests not only to its popularity, but also to the fact that the band's audience is not easy to quantify.

"Well, I don't know who my audience is. There is a big mixture," agreed Farrell, whose family name is Bernstein and who pronounces his current surname Fuh-rell.

Thanks to the heightened level of media exposure, "You're going to get a wider base of fans for popular music. It's just the way it is," said Farrell. And, he added, there's "also the fact that I think that we're not playing music for one particular division. In other words, we're not a metal band. If anything, we're an 'alternative rock band,' and that by definition is just so broad that there really is no definition. ...

"So I think what happens with us is that we get people that like the hard elements -- maybe refugees from the metal side of things -- and then people that just like eclectic music are there as well. Also, I think we've got a reputation as a good live band, from what I hear."

Certainly, Jane's Addiction has definitely gained notoriety as a wild band in concerts. While the musicians sometimes seem to be thrashing about in search of an idea, Farrell -- who sometimes goes on stage in a girdle or bloomers or even a clown suit -- hogs center stage with his predictably unpredictable presence.

"I think that we look for things that are interesting to do," he said. The band is noted for offbeat shows such as the one last weekend in the Benedict Canyon area, where Jane's Addiction played at someone's house and "a couple thousand people" showed up. "If you're going to put out boring things," Farrell noted, "you're going to get a boring reputation."

Jane's Addiction's anything-but-boring reputation is not lost on its fans, who go to the band's concerts for a bout of uninhibited fun.

"If anything," Farrell said of the group's shows, "it should be like going out and being really lit up, that feeling that you're really lit, you're really up for something. And much more than that I can't say, because not every show is the same. If I was that premeditated -- you know, I don't have my dance moves all set up and waiting to go -- then I could tell you more about what I want them to get out of it.

"But every night is different. On some nights people are flying all over the place, and it's just beautiful. You know that no one's going to hurt each other on purpose.

"And then there's other nights where I just want to get off the stage," Farrell said, because "even though they seemingly love you, they're not listening, and they're beating up on each other."

The variety of the band's performances, as well as a bit of the chaos, is reflected in the radically different moods created by the two halves of "Ritual." The album opens with a sustained rush of energy, then closes, much more leisurely, with an extended selection of meditative, even pretty music.

"When I was working with the song order, I didn't like the fact that I started just getting going and then all of a sudden I got stopped by something that was more heavy," Farrell said.

"Then it became apparent to me that the songs should be set in the order where if you wanted to be really inspired and get your day going, you wouldn't have to break the train of thought. That's side one. And when you came home and you wanted to be, let's say with the one you love, that would be the other side.

"And it's funny, too, because that's the way like when my friends and I are in the car: At the beginning of the night, when we're taking off to go out, side one. When we're coming home, we put on side two."

Toombs is a free-lance writer.

Date book What: Jane's Addiction, with 24-7 Spyz When: 8 p.m. today and tomorrow Where: Price Center Ballroom, UCSD Tickets: Sold out Information: 534-4559 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)