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Bootlegging Jane’s Addiction (longreads.com)
69 points by artsandsci 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 29 comments

I saw them at Fairfax Park in Virginia and it was mind blowing. This nice little park and all these freaks. They overturned a water truck because all the water was sold out. It was incredibly hot. Then a big tanker truck showed up to hose down the crowd. People were underneath the water trailer trying to get some drops of water. I overheard the truck driver saying "I wounldn't drink that, I justed sucked it out of a pond up the road" It was epic.


Yep! Then I saw them again a few years ago when they played a show at a park in Baltimore. I won't lie, it was enjoyable (if only because a band I grew up loving was playing at a park in my town) but me and my group of late-30's/early-40's friends couldn't help but laugh at Perry's "stage banter".

It was either the most rehearsed and corny thing I'd ever heard or a brilliant troll. Lines like:

"Hello Baltimore! My tailor's from Baltimore...she keeps me looking good in all my nice clothes...yeah...love my tailor...but back when I was younger, I didn't buy my clothes...I just stole 'em..." (opening riff to "Been Caught Stealing")

Every few songs there was another rambling, tangential "story" that was clearly planned out as the way to introduce the next tune. They still played and sang great, but it was a far cry from the shows I listened to on dubbed tapes as a high school kid in the early 90's.

I'm an avid bootleg collector of certain bands. While I won't say that every good band necessarily sounds better live, most of them do. In exchange for an arguably muddy sound (which can be greatly improved by a good recorder or a soundboard recording), you get:

- A band that has played the same set dozens of times and knows the songs backwards and forth, as opposed to when the songs were being recorded for the album and still in flux. The performance is tighter, and the band often makes (welcome) variations to keep it interesting.

- New spins on old songs, or covers of other songs, made to fill out the setlist. Most of these never make it onto official albums.

- The benefit of multiple performances for a particular lineup or point in time. There are so many amazing bands that only had a particular singer / lineup for one or two albums. But with recorded concerts, you can get a few more performances out of that lineup. Even if the lineup itself remained through the albums, the delivery may have changed. Anyone who's a fan of Queensryche knew that Geoff Tate by the early-90's and on didn't have half the vocal sustaining power that he had in 1983. 1983-1986 Queensryche bootlegs are some of the most enjoyable in my collection.

> "Anyone who's a fan of Queensryche knew that Geoff Tate by the early-90's and on didn't have half the vocal sustaining power that he had in 1983. 1983-1986 Queensryche bootlegs are some of the most enjoyable in my collection."

Have you got any song recommendations for early 80's Queensryche? The whole Operation Mindcrime album is great, and I like the song Silent Lucidity (IIRC that was on a later album), but I haven't heard much early Queensryche.

Early Queensryche is very different from later Queensryche. They got alot of crossover success with Silent Lucidity in the 90's, and basically went in that direction for the rest of the decade and dropped the metal sound altogether--taking on a stripped down, grunge sound instead.

Operation: Mindcrime is their best album, bar none. Following that, I'd say their best effort was their original Queensryche EP:


It's not terribly progressive, more of just an Americanized Judas Priest/Iron Maiden, but Tate sounds amazing. Warning and Rage for Order aren't bad, either.

Also, to qualify my earlier comment, this is what Tate sounded like performing their title song in 1984:


And here's what he sounded like trying to do the same thing in mid-2000's:


It's incredibly sad how much his vocal range diminished, especially since the tone is still pretty good. Chalk it up to years of smoking.

Thanks for the tips. I can hear what you mean about Geoff Tate's voice, though like you say the vocal tone is still good in the later stuff, which makes it enjoyable musically.

When MTV first reported that the band was breaking up in 1991, I was just 16 and too naive to recognize how stories like theirs were shaping my own thinking about art and life.

This idea that stories shape ones early outlook on life is something I've been fascinated with for a long time. I sometimes reflect on the stories I heard growing up in a poor rural area, and consider the stories I imagined more affluent kids hearing. Where the same, how were they different? Do the stories impoverished kids hear contribute to "generational" poverty? Which leads me to think about fables and fairy tales, and where they come from and what lessons do they teach.

Does anyone else ponder these things?

Absolutely. Another great example - I used to think that Hollywood forgot how to make good movies, but now realize it's much more specific to the timing of my coming of age. There were certain movies from the mid 80s that were so powerful and memorable to me that, for me, they have never been surpassed in all the years since.

Tangential, but Fishbone is a band that should have gotten a lot more attention than they did.

They were fabulous too but its been painful seeing the band fall apart. First Chris then the rest. They were part of Lolapalooza #1 too. It was the high point of alternative rock I believe. I hated Souxsie and the Banshee's but when they played everybody was tossing their empty water bottles up in the air and there was something magical happening.

Perry really had a great idea there. A festival done right. Nothing Shocking. I saw a later Lolapolooza in Raleigh and it was more more subdued.

How could u hate Siouxsie? what kind of monster are you?

Here are some random Fishbone videos for those of you who are curious:

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrONIb9gQ-k - Party at Ground Zero, from like 1985. Ska-ish and probably their most famous song.

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy--HbGS--I - Subliminal Fascism. Punk-ish.

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZF4moOxOjI&list=RDRZF4moOxO... - Modern Industry - in all their late 80ies glory.

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV5Nkah8nP8 - Everyday Sunshine

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59_FivvLXgA - Servitude - harder edge.

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5qhfpXTF70 - Psychologically Overcast

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXonkWWua-Q - Dear God

Kind of a random assortment.

Here are some really random collaborations

Fishbone with Annette Funicelllo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRTl66N4Ujc

Fishbone with Los Fabulosos Cadillacs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eRowpUntIs

Agreed. I always thought Fishbone deserved the fame that the Red Hot Chili Peppers got.

I think RHCP was easier for the public to digest. A bunch of black guys playing music that was all over the board and not at all easy to categorize was a much tougher sell to middle America.

Fishbone had a minor push here in the UK but nothing compared to RHCP, they were pretty different IMHO so certainly in the UK and Europe there would have been room for both. They needed better management push.

Wow... haven't thought about fishbone in a long time, but I think you're right. I had a boss who was in to fishbone. Gosh, this was probably... 1989? 1990? I was possibly just a tad too young to get in to them at that time, and, to many people, he was probably just a bit too old to be in to fishbone at that point, but... he loved 'em :)

A high school friend made a documentary about them.


Lil Pump is also a band that is having a hard time with drugs.

But I think some artists can handle it. Lil Pump is just so strong of an artist, I don't think drugs can really stop him.

This is so unrelated to the article, but I would love to have some idea what you're talking about here. Are you saying Lil Pump is a very strong artist? In what sense?

I don't know, it's just a feeling. His song, "Gucci Gang", gave me a really strong reaction the first time I heard it. I kept thinking of the whole western world, and what is happening to it.

For context, I'm in my mid forties and have I've been in East Asia for 5 years. Listening to this song, I felt like what I once knew as a kid was finally gone. The last columns have crumbled, and the foundation of what I could maybe come back to some day has disappeared.

All I know is that I don't think I'll forget it, even when I'm 80. Not too many songs can do that, and this one really hit me, more than anything else. It was like a bullet.

If I had to describe what great art is, I'd say this is definitely it.

And you are being serious??

Huh? What in my post makes it sound like I'm not being serious?

Lil Pump is kind of a joke among rap fans, so it's kind of bewildering to see a serious defense of him.

The title needs "[the band]" inserting:

>"Aaron Gilbreath considers the impact a live Jane’s Addiction recording has had on him, and the effect heroin had on the band’s — and his own — creativity."

The article mentions Carla Bozulich in passing. I think that’s a great counterpoint of an artist with copious output, because she got clean at an early age. Just look at the breadth of her work and think of what Jane’s could have been.

I got to see them live with NIN I think in 2009 or 2010 (NINJA tour reunion or something like that), and despite being in a huge venue in Irvine, their stage presence was amazing. One of the best I've been. Great band.

One of my favorite bands! from their wild early days to their mature and unique later albums, Janes Addiction truly embodies the spirit of Rock & Roll in a way that most bands can only hope to achieve.

While interesting, that article is littered with typos. Kind of takes me out of the moment.

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