The lead performer of the award-winning alt-rock band, Jane’s Addiction, Perry Farrell has made remarkable contributions to the music industry, having written and released numerous songs, as well as albums under different music groups. Beginning his career as a band member of Psi Com, Farrell moved on to create the foundation for the establishment of the popular rock band, Jane’s Addiction in 1985 with Eric Avery, Dave Navarro, and Stephen Perkins.
The group garnered a huge fan base with their sensational performances. They also released many songs and albums, including Ritual de lo, Nothing’s Shocking, Kettle Whistle, and Strays. The group’s illustrious music career clinched them the Godlike Genius Award as they made history by becoming the first-ever American band to be recognized with the award. Asides his exploits with groups, Perry Farrell has had good moments as a solo performer. He has also revolutionized the U.S. music festival industry with the founding of the annual Lollapalooza Music Festival. All these make him a living legend and he has been hailed as the face of alternative ‘90s rock culture.
His Initial Unsuccessful Attempts To Attain Breakthrough Was With Psi Com
As a young boy growing up in Queens, New York, Perry Farrell loved conventional rock music and was a big fan of artists such as Mick Jagger and David Bowie. He dreamt of becoming just like them and so, upon the completion of his basic education, he moved out to California in order to pursue his musical career in earnest. In Los Angeles, Farrell encountered other genres of music such as goth and punk which he added to his repertoire, taking his craft in the alternative rock direction.
By the year 1981, a 22-year-old Farrell had founded his first band known as Psi Com. The post-punk and gothic rock band featured three other members – Aaron Sherer (drums and percussion), Vince Duran (guitar), and Kelly Wheeler (bass). The quartet managed to drop one EP titled Psi Com 12’’. They also released a cassette known as Worktape 1. The group never achieved any mainstream success but they left an imprint on the Los Angeles underground music scene before breaking up in 1985.
Jane’s Addiction Got Its Name From A Lady With Substance-abuse Issues
Following the breakup of Psi Com, Perry Farrell moved into an overcrowded house near Melrose Avenue district where he met up with and started playing music together with the likes of Eric Avery (bassist), Dave Navarro (guitarist), and Stephen Perkins (drummer). The group eventually grew to perform at small rock clubs in L.A. and soon developed a decent following. They, therefore, sought a name to solidify their identity and settled on Jane’s Addiction. Jane was one of their housemates who had a substance addiction problem, as well as an abusive drug-dealing boyfriend.
Serving as the group’s lead vocalist, Perry Farrell, along with his bandmates, dropped three albums from 1987 to 1990. These collections were quite successful; one of them, Nothing’s Shocking, achieved platinum status while the other, Ritual de lo Habitual, was certified two times. This success was however not enough to stem the bickering in the group and so, they separated in the year 1991. They briefly came back together six years later, for The Relapse Tour, as well as an album titled Kettle Whistle, but broke up the next year.
Comebacks, Breakups, And Comebacks Again
In 2001, Perry Farrell got Jane’s Addiction together again and two years later, they released their smash album, Strays. The album featured about two tracks, including Just Because and True Nature. It sold about half a million copies in the United States and received a gold certification from the RIAA. It also made it to number four on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Charts. The lead track, Just Because, made it to number 72 on The Billboard Hot 100, marking the first time the group would achieve such a feat. The song also received a Grammy nomination but stopped short of winning it.
Jane’s Addiction separated once again in 2004 but eventually made an appearance as a musical group at the NME Awards held in the United States in 2008. The group remains together till the present day and has continued to tour various parts of North America and beyond. They have been hailed as one of the most important rock bands of the 80s. They have also been credited with leading rock out of the hair metal wilderness.
His Third Band, Porno For Pyros, Reunites For A Virtual Concert In 2020
Another band that Perry Farrell has a hand in its creation is Porno for Pyros. He founded the band during the period that Jane’s Addiction was on their first hiatus (1992-1998). The other members of the group were Stephen Perkins, who had played drums for Jane’s Addiction, as well as two newcomers, Peter DiStefano (guitar) and Martyn LeNoble (bass).
During the six years of its existence, Porno for Pyros dropped two albums, an eponymous effort, in 1993, and Good God’s Urge in 1996. Both albums were quite successful; Good God’s Urge reached No. 20 on the Billboard 200 Charts while Porno for Pyros made it to No. 3 on the same charts. It additionally spurned two top-ten singles, Cursed Female and Pets, and received a gold certification in the United States.
The band was set to last for many more years but the cancer diagnosis of one of the members, Peter DiStefano, scuttled these plans and they went into hiatus. They have remained in that status to date but there have been several talks of a possible reunion. These reunions were teased by Farrell on social media in 2011 and 2013 but nothing came out of it. Fast forward to July 2020, it was announced that the group would perform at Lolla2020, the four-day virtual music festival that would take the place of the traditional Lollapalooza music festival due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Solo Works And Collaborations With Fellow Rock Bands Such As Infected Mushrooms And The Door
Perry Farrell has also performed as a solo artist with his first effort being a compilation album titled Rev in 1999. His proper debut album followed two years later in the year 2001 and is titled Song Yet To Be Sung. The album featured about 12 tracks in all, including Happy Birthday Jubilee, Did You Forget, and Shekina.
Apart from his own solo works, Farrell has also collaborated with other artists on several occasions. He has contributed vocals to tracks such as Killing Time (by Infected Mushrooms), and Children of Night (by The Doors). He has also been featured on songs such as King Z (Mad Professor), Time of Your Life (Bunkka), Dogstar (Hybrid), and Honey if You Love Him (Andy Bell).
He Not Only Founded the Lollapalooza Music Festival But Also Helped Make Coachella What It Is Today
Perry Farrell has undoubtedly achieved a lot as a musician and one of his legacies lies in the music festival realm. This Jane’s Addiction frontman is the founder of the popular Lollapalooza Music Festival.
Back in 1991 when Jane’s Addiction decided to embark on their first hiatus, Farrell came up with the bright idea of organizing a farewell tour for them. This tour eventually morphed into an annual thing and played at different venues across North America. In this initial format, Lollapalooza wasn’t all that successful. It, however, experienced a change in fortunes after Farrell teamed up with new management in 2005, Capital Sports Entertainment.
They repackaged it into a one-destination weekend music festival in Chicago and the results have been awesome. The festival attracts 400,000 attendees each year and is now one of the most iconic and largest music carnivals in the world. It has also spurned international editions in cities such as Berlin, Buenos Aires, and Sau Paulo.
Farrell has also made an unforgettable impact on another iconic music festival – Coachella. Even though he did not found this one, he contributed to helping the show’s rise in profile. Coachella was initially created in 1999 and had a first outing so miserable that the organizers decided not to hold it the next year.
By the time they decided to try again in 2001, they encounter a dilemma as no music act was willing to headline. Farrell and Jane’s Addiction stepped in and saved the day and now, the festival is one of the most famous in the world. Farrell has since set a record as the only music artist who has performed at Coachella for twelve consecutive times.
Farrell Is An Environmental Activist And Has Also Raised Funds For Several Charitable Drives
Perry Farrell doesn’t believe that music should be all about album sales and sold-out concerts. He also thinks it should be a force for good and is determined to help out as many people as possible. The popular musician has participated in many fund-raising projects for the less privileged. He raised funds for the victims of the devastating Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. He also physically participated in the clean-up efforts in some parts of the city.
Farrell’s passion for helping others has also seen his sojourn to the North African country of Sudan in order to secure the freedom of about 2300 people enslaved by local militias there. He has also raised funds for the HIV/AIDS fight in India, as well as provide food, shelter, and clothing for people living in some parts of the United States of America.
Following his advocacy for the preservation, restoration, and improvement of the natural environment, Farrell has participated in a Green Living Campaign run by the Global Cool Foundation. The campaign attempts to reduce worldwide carbon emissions and the singer is doing his own part by ensuring that his tours are carbon-neutral. His albums are also produced with eco-friendly materials.
Farrell also donates a portion of the proceeds from Lollapalooza to city parks in Chicago. There are equally tents set up during the festival for educating attendees on climate issues. All these efforts have made him a climate warrior and he once met up with former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to discuss global warming issues.
He And His Wife, Etty Lau, Form The Defunct Music Group – Satellite Party
Perry Farrell is happily married to a woman who shares his creative interests. Her name is Etty Lau Farrell and she is a talented vocalist, dancer as well as an actress.
Originally from Hong Kong, Etty Lau was born on the 10th day of December 1974. She immigrated to America at the age of 10 and trained as a classical ballerina at institutions such as the Royal Academy of Dance, Pacific Northwest Ballet, as well as the Cornish College of The Arts. She subsequently went on to land a prestigious art scholarship at the age of 18.
Lau now works in Hollywood as a dancer, singer, and actress. She has danced for several musical artists. She has also played the role of a dancer in movies such as Lucky Number, and The Beach Boys. Additionally, Lau was a part of the E! Channel’s series, Married to the Rock. The series documented the lives of wives of famous rock stars and debunked common misguided beliefs about their lives. Other cast members include AJ Celi, Josie Stevens, and Susan Holmes McKagan.
As the story goes, Perry first met his wife during the time she worked as a dancer on a tour that Jane’s Addiction did in 1997. They subsequently started dating and tied the knot in 2002. The couple is now the proud parents of two sons named Hezron and Izzadore Farrell. Farrell also has a son named Yobel from a previous relationship with a lady named Christine Cagle
Farrell and Etty have collaborated together extensively. The couple founded a band known as Satellite Party in 2004. The theatrical band existed for about four years during which they performed at Lollapalooza and Coachella. They also dropped one album, Ultra Payloaded, in 2007. The album combined elements of alternative rock and electronica and featured collaborations with the likes of Fergie (from Black Eyed Peas). It reached the top 100 of the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. It also went on to sell about 8000 copies.
Satellite Party is now on a hiatus but that does not mean that Farrell and his wife are done collaborating professionally. In June 2019, they collaborated on his second solo album, Kind Heaven. The album featured nine tracks, including Pirate Punk Politician, Machine Girl, Snakes Have Many Hips, Where Have You Been All My Life, Spend The Body, and More Than I Could Bear. It received favorable reviews from critics, including a 3.5-star rating from AllMusic. It also made it to No. 3 on the Billboard Indie Charts.