In images from Desolation Center, the new documentary about LA’s mid-’80s punk scene, one figure stands out from the crowd in his sleeveless red shirt and chiselled cheekbones.
Perry Farrell, then fronting post-punk outfit Psi Com, already looked like a star. Soon he would become one, teaming up with Eric Avery, Dave Navarro and Stephen Perkins to form Jane’s Addiction – a band whose vivid amalgam of punk, funk, art-rock and glam metal would set the agenda for the “alternative nation” that followed.
As much ringleader as frontman, Farrell was in his element when marshalling the travelling festival Lollapalooza, initially conceived as Jane’s Addiction’s 1991 farewell tour. Lollapalooza continues to this day, with Lolla2020 becoming a virtual event featuring performances from Jane’s as well as Farrell’s subsequent band, Porno For Pyros.
On November 6, Last Man Music will release a career-spanning box set called The Glitz; The Glamour focusing on Farrell’s work outside Jane’s Addiction and Porno For Pyros. Including his two solo albums as well as work with Psi Com and Satellite Party – plus a new track based on an unearthed Jim Morrison recording! – it underlines Farrell’s knack for turning his esoteric preoccupations into anthemic songs that draw on everything from African chants to drum’n’bass rhythms.
Now Farrell has consented to undergo a friendly interrogation from you, the Uncut readers. So what do you want to ask this indefatigable icon of alternative? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday August 19, and Perry will answer the best ones in a future issue of Uncut.