Jane's AddictionJane’s Addiction honored by Sunset Strip Music Festival
By Naughty Mickie
Photos by Dean Lee 

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 Jett.

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.

Jane's AddictionTony 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 Festival headphones.

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.”


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