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Whores
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Jane's Addiction's 1988 breakthrough album, Nothing's Shocking, had a seismic impact. With a bracing combination of metal, punk, and psychedelia, coupled with lead singer Perry Farrell's banshee-ina- wind-tunnel vocals, Jane's Addiction helped put alternative music on the map. The band helped pave the way for the mainstream success of bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Nirvana. Along the way, Jane's Addiction released another classic album, Ritual de lo Habitual (with the hit "Been Caught Stealing"), founded the Lollapalooza festival, and openly celebrated a bacchanalian lifestyle that blurred all lines of gender and sexuality. Drawn from original interviews with the band, their friends, and their musical colleagues, Whores takes readers through Farrell's early sonic experiments with Psi-Com and the formative days of Jane's Addiction to their drug-addled break-up and controversial reunion with 2003's Strays. Along the way it provides a candid, often disturbing glimpse into the dynamic alternative rock scene of Los Angeles in the '80s and '90s.
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About the Author

Brendan Mullen is the co-author of We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of LA Punk and Lexicon Devil, a biography of the Germs' Darby Crash. He lives in Los Angeles.

Reviews

In this highly entertaining oral history, West Coast punk historian Mullen (Lexicon Devil: The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash) assembles an unflinching portrait of the band that brought metallic punk rock to the mainstream, opened the door for grunge and helped spawn the traveling rock freak show, Lollapalooza. First commissioned as an article for Spin, the book is based on a variety of sources and interviews with key players, from band members to friends and managers and other L.A. bands, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Guns N' Roses. It covers the addiction part thoroughly. Throughout the band's heyday, every member (except for drummer Stephen Perkins) and much of its entourage was savagely addicted to heroin so much so that no one in the band really recalls enjoying the band's success. Under the influence, band members Dave Navarro and Eric Avery fought, often physically, with the eccentric Farrell; tours were a blur; money was made and lost; and recording sessions and film shoots often became Dantean nightmares. Once again, the oral history format works perfectly for Mullen, who succeeds in positioning Jane's Addiction as a seminal band in rock history as well as offering compelling portraits of both Farrell, the band's ambitious, egomaniacal visionary and front man, and the vibrant L.A. punk scene from which Jane's was born. Agent, Jud Laghi at ICM. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"At each other's throats before they'd written a single song, Jane's Addiction's history was a drug-sick, sex-fuelled soap opera fleshed out by artist, gangsters, hucksters and prostitutes. Mullen draws jaw-dropping tales from all in their messy orbit while keeping their inspirational music front and centre. Horrifying, but utterly compelling". Q Magazine - 4 star review "Whores is different. Yes, there's overdoses, orgies, Hell's Angels, transsexual sex, heroin and on-stage punchups here, but all the chaos and bacchanalia is balanced with a little reflection. NME"

Bridging the gap between 1980s hair-metal bands and the 1990s grunge revolution, Jane's Addiction (JA) helped inspire the term alternative rock. Mullen (Lexicon Devil: The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash and the Germs) provides an unflinching look at frontman Perry Farrell and his pre- and post-JA bands Psi Com and Porno for Pyros, guitarist Dave Navarro's stint with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, JA's 1997 and 2003 reunions, and Farrell's brainchild, the Lollapalooza festival. This story is not for the faint of heart: tales of drug addiction, sordid sexual escapades, and generally despicable personal behavior abound in graphic detail. The oral biography format works well-the book is filled with quotes from all the principal band members, plus their closest friends and associates-but Farrell and the others' colorful youth cry out for more detail. Long overshadowed by Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, JA should earn a more prominent place in pop music history with this book. Recommended for larger collections.-Lloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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