From Addicted to Noise...

Perry Farrell Goes Acoustic

Porno For Pyros had a rather challenging trip back east last weekend, when they played the Acoustic Christmas shows in Washington DC and Chicago. The first mishap occurred as they were getting ready to leave for Chicago, when guitarist Pete DiStefano's girlfriend Loreen's--who was nine months pregnant, and due on Christmas day--water broke. There was nothing DiStefano could do, there was no one who he could get to fill in at this late date, so he put Loreen in a taxi, called her sister who lives in the area, and regretfully left for Chicago. He should have known that it wasn't going to be an easy trip, for although the band arrived intact, Porno For Pyros equipment did not because of the blizzard that had swept though the Windy City. The band knew that this was an Acoustic Christmas show, in fact the band had been rehearsing acoustic versions of their new songs from their upcoming album Good Gods-Urge for two weeks prior to the four shows, but they didn't know they'd have to play them this stripped down. Luckily Mike Watt (who looks like he's in Porno to stay, and not just as a temp) brought his bass on the plane with him, and DiStefano hand-carried his guitar, but Perry Farrell's vocal rack didn't arrive, nor did Steve Perkins' drum kit. According to their manager, Paul V., they did more of an "island" version of Porno, with the four of them in a circle, with Perkins playing bongos. Luckily Tom Johnson, Porno's producer and tour "sampler," managed to keep his Santa Claus suit near and dear. The 350 pound producer went on stage wearing a red fur trimmed jacket, and black lace-up boots, but no pants--to kick start the proceedings. But the proceeding didn't need the shove since moments before the band went on, DiStefano found out that Loreen had delivered a baby girl which she immediately named Doran.

As for the audience, they didn't seem to mind that they didn't know the words to most of the songs, since most of the songs were from the new album. A gutsy move for a band who hasn't performed in quite a while. But the real surprise is that they did three Jane's Addiction songs (Farrell says enough time has passed since the break-up of Jane's Addiction): "Mountain Song," "My Time," and "Pete's Dad"--a song that Farrell wrote for DiStefano's dad some time ago, after he went into remission from a cancer that was plaguing him two days before Christmas. The elder DiStefano, who was a guitar player himself, and a crooner in his native Sicily, means a lot to Farrell, who spends all the holidays with the DiStefano family in Palm Springs, given that his own family is back in New York. For this spate of Christmas shows Farrell had "Pete's Dad" remastered and remixed, and then made-up 4000 promo cassettes to give out to fans, backed with a medley of six of the ten songs from the new album. He used a picture of Pete's Dad as a young man as the sleeve art and included this inscription "A gift from the Good Gods, A message from the winged ones, you are hereby granted one miracle, love and flutter-- Perry." Perkins and DiStefano signed the cassette, which is destined to become a collector's item. Did we mention that the shows are stylized to look like an Indian wedding? In fact for the first time in his entire career, Mike Watt was out of the flannel. Perry convinced him to don a long Indian shirt and baggy pajama pants and beads. Hard to believe, but Watt said, "I love this band so much, that I'm down for the cause." Paul V. also wanted to clear something up: he told us that Eddie Vedder did not show up at one of the band's rehearsals, despite what Spin-Online said. Look for Good Gods-Urge in April. The band wanted to add an extra track, so they're going back into the studio after Christmas, and that's pushed the release date back a little.

back to show list