For all his contribution to music and the betterment of people in general, Perry Farrell will go down in history as a real authority on the alternative music landscape. The singer and songwriter has had an outstanding music career with over fifteen albums in total, counting group and solo efforts. He is the lead singer and figurehead of the ultra-popular alternative rock band group, Jane’s Addiction. Apparently, one music group was not enough for him. He has at different times been the frontman for other alternative rock bands like Satellite Party and Porno for Pyros.
Perry’s music has seen him tour much of the world. He is the brainchild of the touring festival Lollapalooza. It was launched as a farewell for Janes Addiction’s curtain call in 1991, but since then has grown into something with undisputable cultural and musical significance. He also holds the record for the highest Coachella Music Festival performances. No other artist has performed on the festival’s stages as much as Perry Farrell.
Perry Farrell’s early days and musical career
The alternative rock maestro was born in Queens, New York City as Peretz Bernstein, on May 29, 1959. Perry, who was born and raised Jewish stayed in Woodmere, Long Island for his grade-school years. He then moved with his family to Miami, Florida as a teenager. Perry knew tragedy as early as three years old when his artist mother took her own life. He sang about those years later in a few songs from Jane’s Addiction.
Post high-school, in the early 80s, Perry moved to California to live every surfer’s dream life. During this time, he worked odd jobs and lived in his car.
According to Perry, his foray into music was inspired by his personal heroes: Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, James Brown, Iggy Pop, etc. He and a group of other musicians formed the group Psi Com in 1981. They did some touring, often together with other local acts like Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Fishbone. The group disbanded in 1985 before Perry met Eric Avery with whom he would later form Jane’s Addiction.
Jane’s Addiction became something of a popularity in local circles in Los Angeles where they had their first stint from 1985 to 1991. The group released three albums that did very well: Jane’s Addiction, Nothing’s Shocking, and Ritual de lo Habitual. They eventually had a falling out and disbanded. The core problem for this fallout was Farrell’s addiction to heroin.
In the years between their breakup and reunion, Farrell and fellow member of Jane’s Addiction, Stephen Perkins came together with two other musicians to form Porno for Pyros. They released two albums called Porno for Pyros and Good God’s Urge. After the first reunion of Jane’s Addiction in 1997, Porno for Pyros broke up the following year.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival which started in 1999 had a disastrous first year and as a result, could not be organized the following year. The plan to reignite the festival in 2001 nearly fell through the cracks had it not been for the intervention of Perry Farrell. He found out months before the festival was to take place that they still did not have a headlining act. Perry reached out to the organizers of the festival and decided to bring Jane’s Addiction back together for the 2001 edition of the festival. That was the first time the event recorded a profit due to the large crowds that Perry and his bandmates drew.
In 2003, the group released an album Strays and held a tour for it. The album was certified gold in the US, and silver in the UK. The band did some extensive touring, performing at major music festivals in Australia and New Zealand before disbanding again in 2004.
During this time, Farrell formed The Satellite Part, a music group cum theatrical entity. The group debuted at The Key Club in Los Angeles in July 2005. They also performed at Perry’s Lollapalooza in the same month. They release their first album under Columbia Records on May 29, 2007. The project titled Ultra Payloaded featured contributions from Flea, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Fergie, John Frusciante, etc. After more touring which included a performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2007, the group wound down in 2008.
Jane’s Addiction’s performance at the NME Awards on April 23, 2008, marked the group’s first real reunion as that was the first time the four original members of the band performed together since their breakup in 1991. The band released another album The Great Escape Artist in 2011. They did this, however, after replacing Eric Avery who left the band for the second time in late 2009.
As a solo artist, Perry released Rev, a compilation album in 1999, and his debut solo album Song Yet To Be Sung in 2001. The alternative rock artist has also released several songs online. One of them aptly titled Go All The Way (into the twilight) was used as a soundtrack on the popular vampire movie Twilight.
Lollapalooza, the annual music festival created by Perry Farrell was initially meant as just a last hurray for Jane’s Addiction when they broke up in 1991. However, it has since then grown into something much bigger and important than what was originally intended. In 2005, the festival in collaboration with William Morris Agency and C3 Presents decided to restructure it to a weekend getaway music experience. This helped it to resurge from its declining numbers. The festival has since inspired some interesting additions and spin-offs. The most memorable of these was the launch of Kidzapalooza, the kid and family-friendly stage addition to the festival. Also, in 2006, Purimpalooza was held in San Francisco. It was in celebration of the Jewish holiday of Purim.
Perhaps, Perry Farrell will be most remembered for this intervention in the politically-troubled and war-torn country of Sudan in December of 2001. He collaborated with Christian Solidarity International to free thousands of slaves in the country. To be able to achieve this, Jane’s Addiction donated the entire earnings from one of their concerts towards the freeing of 2300 slaves.
He also joined Tom Morello on his Axis of Justice tour to bring relief to the people of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and to raise money for the homeless in Los Angeles. The tour also donated money to Road Recovery, a non-profit that catered to young people battling drug addiction and other vices.
Who is Perry Farrell’s wife and does he have children? Is he gay?
Nothing much is known about Perry’s dating history before he got married. However, he did work together with an ex-girlfriend, Casey Nicoli in 1993 to produce their film Gift. It was released by Warner Brothers.
Farrell has been married to Etty Lau Farrell since June 2002. The two met when Etty was on Jane Addiction’s The Relapse Tour in 1997. She was one of the dancers for the tour. Lau was born and raised in Hong Kong before she moved to Washington with her family when she was just ten years old. Etty Lau is a classical ballerina dancer who trained at the Royal Academy of Arts, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Cornish College of the Arts. By the time she turned 18, she earned a scholarship to attend the Edge Performing Art Center located in Los Angeles.
She was also a member of Perry’s The Sattelite Party as a vocalist, along with bassist, Carlo Restivo. Etty is responsible for recording all of her Farrell’s digital release songs. She is also one of the starts on E! channel’s television series Married To Rock. The couple’s marriage has produced sons, Hezron Farrell, and Izzadore Farrell.
The rock star’s marriage hasn’t endured any infidelity or affairs. At least not any that is public knowledge. However, contrary to some fleeting rumors, the singer-songwriter is not gay.