Perry Farrell / I Would for You

Essay by Luke Foster

“I love being able to escape my past, even though my past was great.” Perry Farrell

Perry Farrell born Peretz Bernstein in 1959 is an American songwriter and musician and best known of lead singer of alternative rock band Janes Addiction.

My favourite album by Janes Addiction is Ritual Lo Habitual and especially the song I would for you one of the few songs that I have ever memorised all the lyrics while in first year in art school in 1991.

The album came out during my final year of high school.

Perry went onto reform the band as Porno for Pyros. I bought that self-titled album on CD and listened to it a lot until I gave it to my friend who lived above a pub in the Newtown suburb of Sydney, and she worked as a bartender in the pub below and I gave it to her as a present for allowing me to sleep over. She was studying to be a art teacher at my art school and was a great painter. I got to see Perry and his band Porno for Pyros perform at the Big Day Out in Sydney which I think was in 1995. They performed the Janes Addiction song the Mountain Song which was amazing. I also got to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at that festival which was amazing too.

“I’m looking to evolve the concept of the new renaissance artist, taking the world by storm through the art of public display and demonstration, with technical savvy, using cell phones and computers.” Perry Farrell

I found that Perry has never aged both literally looking super buff and fit, with a full head of hair and his face is young too and most of all he is young at heart.

“Oh baby
I’m so tired
The man… from the government
The man from the tax board
The man from the public school
The man owns the golden rule, yeah
I’m everybody’s slave
I made you my slave
You said
This I do for you
If I would help
To give the world back
What it gave
Then I would
I would
I would
I would
I would for you”

I would for you lyrics by Perry Farrell

Perry is also famous for starting the national travelling music show in America called Lollapalooza in 1991with lots of alternative bands.

Photo of Perry Farrell

While I was at art school, I had a poster of The Ritual Lo Habitual album cover up on my wall in my rental apartment at north Avalon on Sydney’s northern beaches and I had his art video called the Gift on VHS tape that I lent to a friend and never got it back. It featured the Mountain Song in concert which came off the early album Nothing’s Shocking as well as other eclectic footage of Farrell and his girlfriend.

“Sometimes to realize you were well, someone must come along and hurt you.” Perry Farrell

What I like most about Farrell is that he was an original and the whole look sound and lyrics of Janes Addiction were original and dangerous and awe inspiring.

I would love to buy the album of Ritual Lo Habitual where the whole album was recorded live in concert in 2017 and its out on a double vinyl album however its $68 and I am saving up to do a studio residency in Brooklyn New York early next year.

“You have to take risks.” Perry Farrell

When I was young at art school, I tried to emulate my heroes like Nick Cave and Perry Farrell and visual artists like Joseph Beuys, Anish Kapoor and Bruce Nauman with the way I approached my art, but it’s taken me thirty years to realise that I looked up to them as they didn’t emulate anyone and were completely themselves. Hence, I need to just be myself to and pursue my art and writing with originality and gusto.

Ritual De Lo Habitual album cover that I have tried to draw freehand several times.