from G. Murphy...
04/04/92 Los Angeles, CA, Hollywood Palladium (AIDS benefit)
I had moved from Chicago to lovely Stockton, California(not!)in 1991 after
sticking around Chicago/Detroit for the Lollapalooza Jane's shows. I was
working at a radio station when I heard about the Magic Johnson AIDS benefit
at the Palladium. Since arriving in California I had yet to venture towards
Los Angeles so being the diehard Jane's fan I HAD to see the first Porno For
Pyros show. I also used the show as an excuse to finally meet the guy Randy
whom I had been trading Jane's tapes with since 1989. It was a tough ticket
to get so I had to use the radio station to get tickets through interscope
records promotion man.
The show was OK.
Obviously within Los Angeles- Magic coming out about his HIV infection was
tough news to take and this benefit was a chance for the art community to
show solidarity with Magic. So in short the event had a higher purpose than
PFP playing for the first time.I arrived at LAX, Randy picked me up and took
me to Interscope where I got the tickets, some promo CD's and a short tour.
Then Randy suprised me with a quick visit to none other than "Liquid
Jesus's" recording space to watch them rehearse.
Arriving at the Palladium was cool, I had images of the famous Ballroom from the
tapes Randy had made me from all 3 nights of the JA shows from December 1990
and I thought for a first trip to LA I was doing OK having only arrived a
few hours ealier.
Randy brought the same D6 portable he used for the JA shows to tape Porno,
and with the usual stealth techniques we got the deck and the microphones
in. In the lobby there were various AIDS related tables handing out
information about HIV, what resources were available (AIDS project LA,
needle exchange, ect.. ect..)
I was unsure if PFP would be first so I went up to the sound desk and they
confirmed that PFP would be first. Not too long after that I heard that
familiar loud Australian voice booming about 10 feet away...Ted Gardner. Ted
was holding court with a few roadies complete with a "just made" black hats
with huge embroidered letters.." P...F..P" the roadies had them on as well.
Ted handed out a couple of Porno For Pyros stickers as well. I got up close
to the stage , a bunch of technicians were bitching because the Beastie Boys
had yet to even show up at the venue and the crew were pissed as they were
to go on third and the whole line up had to be shuffled.
After a while the lights dimmed ..the band came on first and started Orgasm
for a good minute before Perry walked out. Whoah! Perry looked different
white(bleached) hair sort of greased back. Perry seemed very diffent, sort
of hesitant. This was not a sure thing. Perry set the music world on its ear
by walking away from Jane's Addiction just as they were to take the throne
as the worlds #1 rock/alternative band. This was evident in Perry's body
stance- hey fuck it! Perry looked nervous!
Then OH SHIT!
No vocals, the microphone is dead. About a verse in the vocals kick in and
the crowd responds loudly and Perry smiles. The stage set up was tiny,
regardless of Perry's "power" PFP had to set up way infront just like any
other opening band. Orgasm ends and the crowd gives a warm response. No
typical Perry Farrell speeches tonight infact he was dead quiet between
songs. The set picked up with ( I am going on memory here) Bad Shit, Packin
25, Blood Rag and Cursed Female. The first 2 had a small pit going, and all
received a decent response from the crowd. You could tell that this was huge
case of the LA music scene taking in this new Farrell venture with a raised
eyebrow indeed. When Blood Rag was played I was like shit! Randy I both
looked at each other and said this is just the rant section from Pigs in Zen
turned into a song??? weird??
I was left with mixed feelings, I thought well thank god it is not a HUGE
departure musically. The band looked cool, the music did have a unique
sound. As a Jane's live tape collector I was going into this show
understanding that the music I heard tonight (sans Of Course,BCS) was really
the first new Farrell material I would hear since 1989!
I suppose the collector in me was psyched that I was there to see the first
performance of Perry's new band, that was great. I have always had mixed
feelings about Porno, the musician magazine review of PFP's first LP sort of
summed up PFP for me all it said was: "Jane's Placebo"
For a first show however, Perry showed that he would not fail with his new
venture and you could see/hear a few musicians after PFP played in the crowd
looking a little pissed that Perry did not fail. With the success of "Pet's" Perry
proved that he could survive without Jane's. In my opinion check out the Porno
For Pyros performance tape from St. Andrews Hall Detroit 1996- in both
musicianship and energy that show I feel caught PFP at the nexus of their
power. In a way I thought that like Jane's, Perry pulled the plug on Porno's
just as they were starting to fire on all cylinders..
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