Jane’s Addiction honored by Sunset Strip Music
By Naughty Mickie
Post punk alterative rockers Jane’s
Addiction were honored by the Sunset Strip Music Festival
with the Elmer Valentine Award during a private event at
the House of Blues in West Hollywood Sept. 19. The
festival created the award in 2008 to honor Lou Adler,
Mario Maglieri and Elmer Valentine, founders of the
Whisky-A-Go-Go, The Roxy and Rainbow Bar & Grill, iconic
venues that served as the foundation of the Strip and its
musical heritage. Other recipients of the tribute have
been Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, Motley Crue, The Doors and Joan
Jane’s Addiction was born out of
the ashes of an ebbing punk scene, which was giving way to
new sounds from bands like Nine Inch Nails, Red Hot Chili
Peppers, Alice in Chains and Rage Against the Machine.
They first performed live at The Roxy in 1985 and this
year marks the 25th anniversary of their first studio
album, “Nothing’s Shocking.” When the effort’s first
single and video, “Mountain Song,” was released, MTV
refused to air it due to a scene featuring full frontal
nudity. There were other hardships, as the album had very
little airplay and thus sold poorly when first released.
But Jane’s Addiction toured in support of “Nothing’s
Shocking” with Iggy Pop and The Ramones and, by the end of
the road, was headlining shows with its recording now
receiving critical praise. The band’s current lineup is
vocalist Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, bassist
Chris Chaney and drummer Stephen Perkins.
The award evening began with a red
carpet along the outside of the entrance to the House of
Blues. Press lined up for photographs of celebrities, like
skateboarder Tony Hawk and musicians, such as Toni Monroe,
PPL MVR, Dirty Machine, Strangers You Know and Fenech
Solar, as they took their strolls into the party.
Inside HOB, guests were treated to
an array of food and beverages as they waited for the
festivities to begin. KROQ’s Ted Stryker served as emcee,
introducing West Hollywood mayor pro tempore John Heilman
and several council members, who welcomed the audience.
KROQ’s Rodney Bingenheimer then spent a few moments
sharing the history of Jane’s Addiction, along with their
list of achievements, including garnering a star on
Hollywood’s Walk of Fame last year.
Tony Hawk stepped up to
congratulate Jane’s Addiction, adding that “Nothing’s
Shocking” was the one tape that he and his fellow
skateboarders all agreed to listen to on road trips.
Mario Maglieri, owner of
Whisky-A-Go-Go and Rainbow Bar & Grill, gave his thoughts
on Jane’s Addiction and what they had done to help bring
about a new, thriving music scene on the Strip. His
glowing talk was interrupted by Perry Farrell, who took
the microphone to return some praise and then, called his
band mates on stage. Once assembled, Jane’s Addiction
asked if they could play a song and the crowd cheered.
After a few equipment adjustments
(the setup belonged to Dead Sara), the quartet launched
into “Mountain Song.” Even on unfamiliar instruments, the
tune was tight and pleased the audience, who begged for
another song, which they received.
Heilman and the council members
returned to the stage, as it was award time. Jane’s
Addiction was first presented with a large painting
depicting its “Nothing’s Shocking” album cover. Navarro
and Farrell held it up and looked it over.
“What should we do with this?”
Farrell asked. He listed a few ideas and said, “We should
hang it up in the House of Blues.”
Jane’s Addiction was also given a
plaque and four official silver Sunset Strip Music
The evening ended with a series of
bands playing one or two songs each in honor of Jane’s
Addiction. Dead Sara offered “Jane Says,” while Queen
Caveat did “Coming Down the Mountain.” Will Love played a
slowed down version of “I Would For You,” but not before
speaking his heart.
“I always wanted to be a musician,”
Love said. “But after hearing Perry Farrell I wanted to be
an artist and make beautiful records.”