Perry Farrell performs intermittently in Las Vegas, and frequently outside. He celebrated his 50th birthday here, even, at Bare Pool at the Mirage in April 2009.
The night was one of the great small-venue rock shows in recent years, featuring performances by Billy Idol, Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave) Debbie Harry (Blondie), Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray), and Matt Sorum and Billy Morrison (both of the Cult).
Says the vocalist who founded Jane’s Addiction in the mid-1980s and is the mastermind of the Lollapalooza music festival: “Oh yeah, I remember that night. It’s like, ‘I remember those days,’ but it wasn’t that long ago. We’re playing outdoors in Vegas again, too.”
Tonight at Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan, specifically. Show time for Farrell and Jane’s Addiction is 9 p.m. A quick back-and-forth with the 53-year-old rock star:
Johnny Kats: “I’ve been reading about you here and the term, ‘Notoriously wild front man’ came up as means to describe you. Is that a fair term?”
Perry Farrell: “I’ll take it (laughs). I am a front man. I’m wild, and I guess I’m notorious in a lot of ways. But I’m a lot of other things. I’m a father, a husband, a moron (laughs) and a pretty good businessman.”
J.K.: “Have you ever come close to putting together a show for an extended run in Vegas?"
P.F. “Yeah, I have. I’ve thought about doing a Lollapalooza show in Vegas. I was actually working on something, a project a couple of years ago, that was actually a satellite party. It had to do with the Doors. I even got to produce a song, a previous unproduced and unrecorded song, by the Doors, and I wanted to do this beautiful play called “The Satellite Party” in Vegas. It didn’t work out, but I do think about having an installation in Las Vegas.”
J.K.: “Anything specific in mind?”
P.F.: “The next project that I do is going to be yet another Jane’s project, but it’s going to break the barriers of how we experience music. We did Lollapalooza and we changed the way people experience music in the festival model here in America. I want to do something different, and it’s not going to be something in the club scenario. I won’t tell you what it’ll be, but it would be an installation, so I can definitely see it fitting into Las Vegas, and I will talk about it when the time comes. You’ve had Cher, Elton, Prince doing residencies there. You can build really interesting things in Las Vegas. Maybe we’ll do that next year.”
J.K.: “I was thinking about that when I was at a Celine Dion show recently, all of the elegant staging around her and how it makes the show really unique.”
P.F.: “I have seen that show, believe it or not.”
J.K.: “What did you think of it?”
P.F.: “I thought it was pretty damn great. I mean, listen, she can really sing, and she’s got this incredible setup … She gives you a lot of value for your money, and I don’t own any Celine Dion music. I went with my wife and friends who were dancers, and it was very entertaining.”
J.K.: “You have any particularly memorable stories about visiting Vegas?”
P.F.: “Maybe it would be — I went to the Hard Rock (Hotel) and walked through the lobby, and I saw an outfit of mine that really wasn’t mine. It was 10 sizes too big. It would have never fit me, but it said it was Perry Farrell’s. I thought that was kind of bizarre (laughs). I actually gave those guys a really good nudie suit. They never used it. They used a replica of a suit that I had once worn, but I knew it wasn’t mine the moment I saw it. I’m sorry if I’m giving something away, but …
“Another thing I’ve noticed is what people wear to Vegas. They wear shorts and tank tops, thongs, and I was checking into the Hard Rock and these guys were carrying a cooler of beer into the hotel. I thought that was weird.”
J.K.: "That happens a lot here."
P.F.: "I don’t know. It’s weird. But Vegas has always been fun and it’s always been wild, festive and all those descriptive adjectives I love."
J.K.: “You’re friends with Pasquale Rotella, who puts on Electric Daisy Carnival here. What do you think of EDC being held in Vegas?
P.F.: “Pasquale has been doing great things there. Actually, he had me doing their very first seminar (at the June EDMBiz Conference at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas). I was set to do it, but the evening I was supposed to go out there, believe it or not, somebody stole my car. So I was caught in Los Angeles having to chase after my car — and we eventually found it — and I didn’t make it out there. But I promised them I would do it next year.”
J.K.: “Somebody stole your car?”
P.F.: “Yeah, somebody stole it the night before I was supposed to go out there (laughs), right out of my driveway. I actually watched them do it, these young punks.”
J.K.: “What kind of a car is it?”
P.F.: “An Infinity QX56 SUV. We call it, in my family, the SurfMobile. Somebody stole the SurfMobile right out of my driveway. You just can’t predict what’s going to happen sometimes.”