Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction) / Casey Niccoli

of 2 /2
BY MATT MUNOZ Californian staff writer [email protected] T iming has always been on the side of Jane’s Addiction. Beginning with their arrival in the mid-’80s against the back- drop of Hollywood’s glam metal scene, they bridged the gap as an alternative for those seeking inten- sified chaos as punk rock began to loosen its grip. In both their sound and image, the group embodied the state of the city’s burgeoning alt-rock movement with a combination of psychedelic flash and gothic artistry reflective of the dark urban underbelly of downtown Los Angeles. Singer Perry Farrell, gui- tarist Dave Navarro, drummer Stephen Perkins and bassist Eric Avery were able to bring the inten- sity of their live show to the studio, producing a trio of the era’s most iconic recordings before abruptly calling quits in 1991. After a few years apart to pursue other endeavors (Farrell and Perkins formed Pornos for Pyros while Avery and Navarro formed Deconstruction), the group has remained close for a series of extended reunions, new record- ings and tours, including their lat- est, which comes to the Fox on Tuesday. Drummer Stephen Perkins, 45, said the group’s guiding principles today are the same as always, which is why the bandmates have remained close through the years. “You don’t do it for the money,” he said during a phone interview from his home in Southern Cali- fornia. “You know, Jane’s Addic- tion breaks up, people offer us a lot to stay together. We can’t. If we’re gonna fake it, it’s not real.” Jane’s Addiction came of age at a time when commercial radio rel- egated anything “cutting edge” to late night, and videos too hot for MTV were censored, as was the case with many of the band’s short-form videos, including “Mountain Song.” There’s also the issue of sustaining a music career in the digital age, something Perkins said he’s adapted to. “Nowadays the business is just so different. I mean, people are just giving music away. It’s almost insulting to charge people to buy it. There’s almost no reason for people to buy it, so what do you do? You put on a great show, and there’s no way to replace that. Of course, everyone films your show with a phone and puts it on YouTube, two hours after you get on stage. We’ve always had per- formances, but the work is that you can still do it and still be rele- vant.” Jane’s Addiction sprang from the ashes of Farrell’s original band, Psi Com, an experimental quartet that saw brief success in the underground. The band was named in honor of Farrell’s house- Eye Street Editor Jennifer Self | Phone 395-7434 | email [email protected] Addicted to their art LA alt-rock icons come down mountain to Fox 20 The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, October 18, 2012 S he’s known as the “Classic Girl,” written about in the Jane’s Addic- tion song of the same name and seen in countless images from the band’s early years. But what many fans don’t know is that Casey Niccoli also happens to be from Bakersfield. Niccoli dated Perry Farrell from 1982 to ’93, and through those years witnessed first-hand the evolution of Jane’s Addic- tion as both girlfriend and creative muse. Currently living a quiet existence in Los Angeles, the reclusive Niccoli is reticent about looking back on her years around the band. “I’m actually trying to be more open to it,” said Niccoli, who attended Highland High, during a recent phone interview. “You know, I’m a little older now, a lot of time has passed. I’m secure. I always wanted the band to play my hometown, and here we are 20-something years later and I have nothing to do with it.” Niccoli’s current lifestyle as a working mother is a far cry from the wild rock life she led alongside Farrell, whom she met in Hollywood a few years after following her then-boyfriend from Bakersfield to the big city. “I was 18, and I really wanted to move,” she recalled. “L.A. was so exciting to me. I had $250 to my name, packed up my car and moved to L.A. I felt like I belonged here. I got into the punk scene, and three Jane’s muse wasn’t Jane; it was Casey Bakersfield native reflects on her long romance with Perry Farrell Index Scary for Charity ...................................... 22 21st annual Fall Home Show .................... 23 Arts Alive .................................................. 24 K.C. Museum Halloween events .............. 25 The Lowdown with Matt Munoz.............. 26 Scott Cox .................................................. 27 Spook Out Cancer.................................... 28 Calendar .............................................. 31-33 Please see BAND / 29 Please see NICCOLI / 30 PHOTO COURTESY OF JANE’S ADDICTION Jane’s Addiction appears Tuesday at the Fox Theater. Pictured above from left: Stephen Perkins, Perry Farrell and Dave Navarro. Jane’s Addiction When: 8:30 p.m. Tuesday Where: Fox Theater, 2001 H St. Admission: $37 to $57 Information: 324-1369 or val- litix.com PHOTO COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. Casey Niccoli of Bakersfield and singer Perry Farrell are shown in a scene from the Jane’s Addiction video “Classic Girl.”

Embed Size (px)

description

Re-posted to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Jane's Addiction's "Ritual de lo Habitual" (released Aug. 20, 1990). Interview with Jane's drummer Stephen Perkins, plus a rare chat with Bakersfield "Classic Girl", Casey Niccoli. *Originally printed in 2012. Personal favorite.

Transcript of Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction) / Casey Niccoli

  • BY MATT MUNOZCalifornian staff writer

    [email protected]

    Timing has always been onthe side of Janes Addiction.Beginning with their arrivalin the mid-80s against the back-drop of Hollywoods glam metalscene, they bridged the gap as analternative for those seeking inten-sified chaos as punk rock began toloosen its grip.

    In both their sound and image,the group embodied the state ofthe citys burgeoning alt-rockmovement with a combination ofpsychedelic flash and gothicartistry reflective of the dark urbanunderbelly of downtown LosAngeles. Singer Perry Farrell, gui-tarist Dave Navarro, drummerStephen Perkins and bassist EricAvery were able to bring the inten-sity of their live show to the studio,producing a trio of the eras mosticonic recordings before abruptlycalling quits in 1991.

    After a few years apart to pursueother endeavors (Farrell andPerkins formed Pornos for Pyroswhile Avery and Navarro formedDeconstruction), the group hasremained close for a series ofextended reunions, new record-ings and tours, including their lat-est, which comes to the Fox onTuesday.

    Drummer Stephen Perkins, 45,said the groups guiding principlestoday are the same as always,which is why the bandmates haveremained close through the years.

    You dont do it for the money,he said during a phone interview

    from his home in Southern Cali-fornia. You know, Janes Addic-tion breaks up, people offer us alot to stay together. We cant. Ifwere gonna fake it, its not real.

    Janes Addiction came of age ata time when commercial radio rel-egated anything cutting edge tolate night, and videos too hot forMTV were censored, as was thecase with many of the bandsshort-form videos, includingMountain Song. Theres also theissue of sustaining a music careerin the digital age, somethingPerkins said hes adapted to.

    Nowadays the business is justso different. I mean, people arejust giving music away. Its almostinsulting to charge people to buyit. Theres almost no reason forpeople to buy it, so what do youdo? You put on a great show, andtheres no way to replace that. Ofcourse, everyone films your showwith a phone and puts it onYouTube, two hours after you geton stage. Weve always had per-formances, but the work is thatyou can still do it and still be rele-vant.

    Janes Addiction sprang fromthe ashes of Farrells original band,Psi Com, an experimental quartetthat saw brief success in theunderground. The band wasnamed in honor of Farrells house-

    Eye StreetEditor Jennifer Self | Phone 395-7434 | email [email protected]

    Addicted to their art LA alt-rock icons comedown mountain to Fox

    20 The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, October 18, 2012

    Shes known as the Classic Girl,written about in the Janes Addic-tion song of the same name andseen in countless images from the bandsearly years. But what many fans dontknow is that Casey Niccoli also happensto be from Bakersfield.

    Niccoli dated Perry Farrell from 1982 to93, and through those years witnessed

    first-hand the evolution of Janes Addic-tion as both girlfriend and creative muse.Currently living a quiet existence in LosAngeles, the reclusive Niccoli is reticentabout looking back on her years aroundthe band.

    Im actually trying to be more open toit, said Niccoli, who attended HighlandHigh, during a recent phone interview.You know, Im a little older now, a lot oftime has passed. Im secure. I alwayswanted the band to play my hometown,and here we are 20-something years later

    and I have nothing to do with it.Niccolis current lifestyle as a working

    mother is a far cry from the wild rock lifeshe led alongside Farrell, whom she metin Hollywood a few years after followingher then-boyfriend from Bakersfield tothe big city.

    I was 18, and I really wanted to move,she recalled. L.A. was so exciting to me. Ihad $250 to my name, packed up my carand moved to L.A. I felt like I belongedhere. I got into the punk scene, and three

    Janes muse wasnt Jane; it was CaseyBakersfield native reflects on herlong romance with Perry Farrell

    IndexScary for Charity ...................................... 2221st annual Fall Home Show .................... 23Arts Alive.................................................. 24K.C. Museum Halloween events.............. 25The Lowdown with Matt Munoz.............. 26Scott Cox .................................................. 27Spook Out Cancer.................................... 28Calendar .............................................. 31-33

    Please see BAND / 29

    Please see NICCOLI / 30

    PHOTO COURTESY OF JANES ADDICTION

    Janes Addiction appears Tuesday at the Fox Theater. Pictured above from left: Stephen Perkins,Perry Farrell and Dave Navarro.

    Janes AddictionWhen: 8:30 p.m. TuesdayWhere: Fox Theater, 2001 HSt.

    Admission: $37 to $57Information: 324-1369 or val-litix.com

    PHOTO COURTESY OF WARNER BROS.

    Casey Niccoli of Bakersfield and singer PerryFarrell are shown in a scene from the JanesAddiction video Classic Girl.

  • 30 The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, October 18, 2012

    Eye Street

    Please present coupon before ordering. Valid at Juicy Burger Bakersfield. Offer not valid with any other offer. Offer valid on single patty burger only. Limit of one coupon per guest

    per visit. No cash value. May not be combined with any other offer or any combo deal. Taxes extra. Coupon expires

    Sunday, Oct. 31, 2012. Instore only. Not available with online order. Offer valid at downtown location only

    JuicyBurger.com (661) 325-8429

    1201 24th Street

    Lunch Lunch

    New New Restaurant Restaurant

    Valid Monday - Thursday Anytime!

    Burger Burger Burger Burger

    COME SEE RADIO CONTROLLED,

    TURBINE JETS FLY! Featuring the Best Pilots In The World including, Ali Machinchy from the UK and David Shui Shulman from the U.S.

    The Best In The West Jet Rally is an AMA Sanctions Event. Net proceeds benefit The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles.

    Pilot & Manufacturers Demos

    6 Flight Lines Food on Site

    Vendors Spectators Choice Line-up

    Spectator Seating (limited seating)

    Camping on site (no hookups) 3,260 x 50 foot paved runway

    No Fly Restrictions

    Raffle Prizes and 50/50 Tickets Show Announced by

    World Famous Sam Wright

    ELK HILLS - BUTTONWILLOW AIRPORT - 8 Miles West of I-5

    $5 Per Person $3 Seniors Kids under 12 Free

    $ 1.00 $ 1.00 OFF OFF

    ADMISSION with this ad

    Nails by Michelle Moreno

    20 years experience with spa pe

    dicure and manicuring

    Centrally Located 661-323-2221

    www.facebook.com/Crazynails

    www.RandDLeatherFurniture.com

    Our New Address: 6801-B1 White Lane 661-833-8166

    Bedroom Sets Dining Room Sets Mattresses

    BIG SALE!

    or four years later I met Perry. Myboyfriends band played a benefitshow with Psi Com (Farrells formerband). I just showed up, and I wasimmediately just mesmerized, fell inlove, I wanted to have his babies, andI just couldnt stop talking about him.I was obsessed at that point.

    Niccoli and Farrell began dating ayear later.

    His style was a lot more extremethan when he was in Janes Addiction.Very artistic, spiritual, a different vibethat kind of reflected what he wasinto at the time.

    Niccoli described Farrells creativemindset at the time prior to the for-mation of Janes as that of an ambi-tious visionary running on all cylin-ders.

    Perry was and still is, Im sure, justa very inspired, very driven person.He really put his ideas into motion.He was fearless in the way heapproached his art. He didnt reallythink about what people were gonnathink or how people were going toaccept it. It was kind of somethingthat happened. Im very shy, private.He used to tell me, You make a terri-ble celebrity, because I didnt kind offit the bill.

    Niccolis relationship with Farrellwould heavily influence the bandsvisual aesthetic: She was the modelfor the conjoined twins on the iconiccover of the album Nothings Shock-ing, and she was featured in thevideo for Mountain Song and thecontroversial short film Gift, amongothers.

    But perhaps Niccolis biggest claimto fame was as the object of Farrellsaffection in the music video for thesong Classic Girl, from the groupsalbum Ritual de lo Habitual.

    We just had a magical connection.

    I just believed in him so much. Hewas so talented and so unique. Hewas a graphic artist when I met him.We both had day jobs. I would haveloved him just as much had he notbeen in a band. We just clicked.

    Niccoli, who is considering writinga book on her lifes adventures,hasnt spoken with Farrell since theirbreakup but shared a few friendlywords with guitarist Dave Navarroduring a book signing in Los Angeles.

    Its always going to be a part of mylife. I get tagged with videos on Face-

    book. I take it with a sense of humor.Im not looking to score off it. Its niceto be liked; it feels good.

    Though she visits Bakersfield regu-larly to see family and friends, Niccolihas no plans to attend Tuesdaysshow.

    Perrys got a new life and a rela-tionship where he really honors hiswife. I respect that, dont try to con-tact him and leave him alone. I wish Icould just be a face in the crowd andbe like everyone else. Maybe oneday.

    NICCOLI: CONTINUED FROM 20

    PHOTO COURTESY OF CASEY NICCOLI

    Casey Niccoli, the muse of Perry Farrell in the early days of Janes Addic-tion, is a working mom who lives in Los Angeles, but she frequently visitsfamily and friends in Bakersfield.

    JanesAddiction10_18_12_1JanesAddiction10_18_12_2