Jane's Addiction - June 14, 1991 - Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, Australia

Date: June 14, 1991
Location: Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, Australia
Recorded: N/A
Status: Confirmed / Canceled
Type: Concert
Lineup: N/A

Show Information:

This show was canceled so the band could rest before the kick-off of Lollapalooza. This show was rescheduled for September, 22, 1991.

Sydney Morning Herald
May 16, 1991 Thursday
Not Like Other Boys
Paul Pottinger
News And Features
Pg. 25

WHEN the word rock is mentioned in the same breath as the city of Los Angeles, the images that spring to mind are rarely appealing.

Notwithstanding a flourishing rock underground, LA's rock stereotype is Gun'n'Roses' macho stupidity or the vacuous glam metal of Poison.

Small wonder then that Eric Avery - bassist and co-founder of Jane's Addiction - is at such pains to dissociate himself and his three bandmates from that genre.

"Our backgrounds are so unlike all the bands that make up that glam rock thing," he told GAP from his home in LA. "It's just not where we come from.

"When Perry (Farrell - singer/songwriter) and I started the band we were banging on chemical drums or doing shows with me playing bass and him doing vocals and using effects. So we didn't come from a direction where we wanted to be rock stars or where we wanted to drive fast cars with hot chicks and videos."

Having for most of their six-year existence dwelt in the "left field" - as the Americans are wont to call all but the most commercial music - Jane's Addiction are in danger of joining the stadium set.

It's ironic that this success is due largely to the single Been Caught Stealing, an irresistible romp about the joys of shoplifting which has breached the usually impenetrable barrier that stands between getting airplay on Triple J and Triple M.

The rest of Jane's Addiction's critically lauded second album, Ritual de lo Habitual, embraces a bewildering array of ideas. From the pulsating rock of Stop to the 11-minute Three Days, it's an almost uniquely lyrical and musically diverse set (strings, pianos and mandolin all take their place next to the conventional drums, bass and guitar) which defies ready categorisation

"Our diversity is no way any sort of a pretence, it's simply the individuals that we are," Avery drawls.

"We never sit down and say, 'OK, let's try to make this sound different.'"

It's something that is helped by the upbringing of Avery, guitarist David Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins, who were weaned on an unconventional diet of music.

"Most all of us have really, really eclectic tastes," says Avery. "I'm looking at my CD collection and if you were to see it you'd think that this person has a terminal identity crisis. We all listen to music from 400 years ago to the present pretty indiscriminately."

He says it's "maddening" to be put in the same category as their more commercially renowned contemporaries.

"People too often make the distinction that you either do interesting guitar work and it's softer or you do bar chords and it's heavy," says Avery.

"I think that there's a happy medium where we roam and where others could as well - it doesn't have to be wimpy and bright or heavy and stupid.

"It really angers me that there's this resurgence of 1970s monster rock s---. All those bands I was so happy were buried in the where-are-they-now?file are turning up again in force - everyone from Aerosmith to Foghat.

"And it's distressing that history will look back on the '80s and the '90s as part of what was the '70s.

"That's a horribly frightening idea."

It's difficult to imagine that obsolescence overtaking Jane's Addiction. With their art-school backgrounds and a collective sense of humour that's more wry than old whisky (Perry Farrell's name is a play on "peripheral"), they are perhaps arcane, but never archaic.

Such subtleties, however, are lost on the host of righteous moral groups that seem to be endemic in the US today.

Jane's Addiction have fallen foul of the Parents' Music Resource Centre (PMRC- a collection of right-bent US senators' wives) which protested over the cover of Ritual.

It shows a painting by Farrell of himself and two women in a state of naked embrace over a background of religious iconography.

"Perry does the artwork for the covers and we support that just because it's an artistically beautiful object. We don't say, 'This'll really piss 'em off'.

"We just express ourselves directly and people take it as being rebellious. I think we're just being honest."

Yet the outrage was such that the band replaced the sleeve with another which boasted the script of the US constitution's clause on the freedom of speech.

Repression, says Avery, is in the air.

"It's difficult not to be affected by it, even if it's not a direct PMRC attack, which we have had. It's like Nietzsche said, that the greater evil brings out the greatest man and perhaps in that way the PMRC crackdown might kick a little more fuel or fire into a previously really complacent MTV scene

"That's my hope anyway. Maybe I'm being romantic."

Jane's Addiction play at the Hordern Pavilion on June 14.