Jane’s Addiction is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1985. The band’s original line-up featured lead singer Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, bassist Eric Avery and percussionist Stephen Perkins. After breaking up in 1991, Jane’s Addiction briefly reunited in 1997 and again in 2001, both times with Avery declining to participate. In 2008, the band’s “classic” line-up, featuring Avery, reunited and embarked on a world tour. Avery subsequently left the band in early 2010 as the group began work on new material.
Jane’s Addiction was one of the first bands to emerge from the early 1990s alternative rock movement, and gain both mainstream media attention and commercial success in the United States. Their initial farewell tour launched the first Lollapalooza which has since become a perennial alternative rock festival. As a result, Jane’s Addiction became icons of what Farrell dubbed the “Alternative Nation.” The band was ranked 35th on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” list.
Jane’s Addiction formed out of the remains of frontman Perry Farrell’s previous band, Psi Com. In mid-1985, Farrell was searching for a new bass player for the faltering Psi-com when he was introduced to Eric Avery. Farrell and Avery bonded over a mutual appreciation for Joy Division and The Velvet Underground and began to practice together, even though Avery never did become a full-fledged member of Farrell’s disintegrating group. The new band was dubbed “Jane’s Addiction” in honor of Farrell’s housemate, Jane Bainter, who was the muse and inspiration for the band. In its early incarnation, Jane’s Addiction went through four guitarists and featured Matt Chaikin, formerly of Kommunity FK, on drums.
After Chaikin failed to show up for several rehearsals, Farrell began seeking a new drummer. Avery’s younger sister Rebecca suggested her boyfriend Stephen Perkins. Avery was uncertain because of their differing tastes in music, but eventually relented. After Perkins was hired, the drummer and Rebecca Avery promised to get their friend Dave Navarro into the group. Based on Perkins’ recommendation, the band auditioned Navarro and subsequently hired him.
Jane’s Addiction became a sensation on the Los Angeles club scene, primarily headlining at Scream. The band soon gained interest from a variety of record labels. While the group had decided to sign with Warner Bros. Records, Jane’s Addiction insisted on releasing its debut on independent record label Triple X Records first. The band’s manager negotiated the largest advance up to that point, with Warner Bros. signing the band for between $250,000 to $300,000. In January 1987, the band recorded its debut recordJane’s Addiction during a live performance at the Roxy Theatre at a cost of $4,000. Before the album was released, Jane’s Addiction supported British band Love and Rocketson a two-month tour in late 1987. Also in late 1987, the band opened for former Bauhaus vocalist Peter Murphy at the now demolished Fender’s Ballroom in Long Beach.