It’s never a pretty sight when visionary artists lose their inspiration. I’ve long been curious why some musicians (Tom Waits, Nick Cave, etc.) can keep plugging along with at least something approximating their original oomph, while so many others become creatively befuddled or at worst, sad caricatures of their former selves. A clear example of the latter is Perry Farrell — once a scag-fueled cross between David Bowie and Mad Max, now just another L.A. yoga clown.
I know I just wrote about the Jane’s Addiction reunion, and I’m not particularly interested in beating that horse’s rotting, fetid carcass. But I recently stumbled across an insightful post at MamaPop that totally nailed my feelings about the weary bozo Perry has become.
There was a time when Perry Farrell was cool personified. He was a channel through which the God Of Cool shone forth with brilliant luminosity. But the God Of Cool is a fickle God and usually flees his inhabitant long before the former inhabitant is ready to let him go. The former inhabitant of the God Of Cool frequently continues to gyrate and offer up inauthentic versions of liberated frenzy to perplexed onlookers. Some are lucky enough to OD. Others, well, see for yourself. . .
. . .Don’t get me wrong. This is not mere snarky mockery. Perry Farrell breaks my heart. He still looks so eager and earnest. He continues to say bizarre things with the hope to dazzle. You can almost hear him thinking: I still got it. I’m where the party’s at. Ooooga Boooga!
The sad thing is, even tuned down a half-step, his band can still rock the fuck out. It’s just not, I dunno, dangerous anymore. Pitchfork posted some higher-quality vids from last Monday’s Echoplex performance (plus a review), which should prove my point. But I’m still gonna go see them, dammit.