How Jane’s Addiction Frontman Perry Farrell Is Getting Philanthropic This Holiday Season

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Jane's AddictionPhoto Credit: Jane’s Addiction

Jane’s Addiction frontman and Lollapalooza co-founder Perry Farrell wants to make the holidays a little merrier for those living with cancer. On Friday, December 8th, the legendary rock band will headline the Rhonda’s Kiss Los Angeles Concert Event at the Palladium in Los Angeles, which will benefit the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and further the mission of Rhonda’s Kiss, supporting programs to assist cancer patients in need, and helping those who receive a cancer diagnosis make ends meet during treatment.

The non-profit pays homage to Rhonda Stefanski, who was diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer. While Rhonda lost her battle in November 2014, one of the gifts she left is the organization, which realizes that most cancer patients are not as fortunate as Rhonda to obtain the necessary treatments, see the finest doctors, and be treated in the best facilities. During the last two years, Rhonda’s Kiss committed nearly $1 million to cancer patients in need through our relationships with hospitals around the country.

“It’s the holidays, the perfect time to be looking around for gifts,” Farrell tells us, before adding, “Maybe it’s the time to stretch yourself. One of the best gifts you can give is to come to the show at the Palladium, which is a really great place, a hot bed for musicians. The size of the venue makes us a little crazier. The feeling inside of the Palladium is very free, and it’s probably going to be a great show from us.” Here the rocker shares why he’s affiliated with the charity and what surprises are in store as he gets ready, once again, to rock.


 

Why did Jane’s Addiction decide to support Rhonda’s Kiss?
The family that does Rhonda’s Kiss have been friends of ours for a long time, but it was Christine and Gabe Kushner [of Velvet Revolver] that approached us to do it. I liked their charitable angle, to be honest with you. Cancer touches everyone’s lives. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been touched adversely by the disease of cancer at some point in their life. There are people trying to cure it—scientists and doctors—but there’s another aspect to the disease. When people get cancer and get treatment how do they pay their bills, their food, their mortgages…What’s great about Rhonda’s Kiss is that when a person gets sick, they’ve been kind enough to consider, how will that person keep their home going when they’re going through treatment. Their angle is how to pay for a person’s life, how to keep their life going as they go through treatment. They don’t pay for the treatment, but they do pay for the other things that you don’t really think about, and those things can be overwhelming. What do you do? You’re going through chemotherapy but you’re so worried because you can’t pay your bills. I thought this was a unique way to look at helping people. It stood out to me.

Do you have a personal experience with a friend or family member that went through cancer treatment? 
I’ve had very close friends. The fella that started Lollapalooza with me died last year of cancer—Peter Grosslight; he was the president of William Morris. It happened so fast, maybe over a half a year. The next thing you know, you rush to take them out to dinner because the kind of cancer that he had wipes people out, it’s so aggressive. You have to rush to say goodbye. Around the holiday season, we get sentimental and you start to think that you’ve had a good life, and then you start to think about all the good things you can do for your family, and for others. It’s lovely to be able to help people. That’s why we’re doing the concert.

What can fans expect from your performance? Are you going to dedicate something to Peter?
I hadn’t really thought about that specifically. I wasn’t doing it specifically because of Peter: there have been other people who have had cancer that we know. Peter had the income, so just imagine if you couldn’t pay your bills. Imagine coming home and you’re nauseous and sick from chemotherapy, and you’re worried about paying your bills, or if you’re a child going through that, and your family has to pay for all these bills.To me, going onstage is just another day in my life. I go onstage every day. But this day will be for a reason. I’ve lived in a lot of places. I was born in New York, in Queens, and I consider New York to be home. I’ve lived in Miami Beach, and I consider Miami to be home. But I’ve lived the longest here in Los Angeles, and I do consider myself a Los Angeleno. It’s pretty cool during the holiday season to get active and be musical, to get the music community together. There’s going to be other members of groups—including the Hellcat Saints and Jerry Cantrell. The music community in Los Angeles, we’re pretty tight. We’ve met up with each other on the road. We’ve toured with each other, we’ve performed with each other a lot and we kind of get together around the holidays and do good things for our city. It’s a good feeling.

What to you is the greatest luxury in life and why?
A nap. A book with a nightlight and a sleeping mask. Having the luxury to read something and pass out.

What artists you’re listening to and loving at the moment?
Run the Jewels. They’re pretty great, they’re hip-hop but super tight and great beats, a super groovy delivery. It’s an interracial group, you might say, working together. I like that.

Are you heading back to Coachella in 2018?
I did Coachella for many years and then I started to feel bad because there are only so many slots. There are 100 groups every year coming up, and I just didn’t feel like I wanted to take a slot every year. I felt kind of greedy, like I should give it up to the young guys, because I have my own festival. I get to play whenever I want. It’s a right of passage for musicians to get to play festivals, and Coachella is the premiere Los Angeles festival. I wanted to give some room to the music market. I want to let other people have their day and get the hell out of the way. I may come back though. I have a new project, a really fierce project. I have a new body of music with [producer] Tony Visconti. It’s an amazing and immersive theater musical. It might be my finest hour on Earth.

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