(Photo by Mauricio Santana/Getty Images)

It’s a Perry Farrell Birthday Celebration today. Because I love Perry Farrell: the man, the music, the overall vibe.


Perry Farrell was born Peretz Bernstein on March 29, 1959. He was born in Queens, NY and spent time growing up on Long Island and in Miami Beach, FL before settling in Los Angles and making a name for himself in the punk scene there. These are general-knowledge type facts, of course. But they’re important in understanding Perry and his unique form of creativity. For instance: his mother committed suicide when he was 3 years old. He wrote a song about it.


Being born at the tale end of the 1950’s put him square in the musical sphere of influence of the Beatles, Stones, Led Zeppelin and the like as he was coming of age. And growing up on the East Coast gave him a different type of seasoning than his L.A. rock and punk scene peers. I’m a big believer in origin stories, and I believe Perry’s is what has given him such a unique creative perspective over the years.


Perry is best known, of course, as the frontman of Jane’s Addiction. When that band attempted to throw a big “we’re breaking up” party in 1991, in inadvertently invented Lollapalooza. Lolla is still going strong more than three decades later, and became the template for countless other music festivals.


A Perry Farrell Birthday Six-Pack

But there’s so much more to Perry, musically. I’m sharing a track each from his musical endeavors over the years to celebrate his birthday. And I had the pleasure of talking to him last year, too. You can listen to our conversation here. I could go on and on about his creativity, brilliance, and uniqueness, but I’ll just let the music do the talking. So Happy Perry Farrell Birthday. He’s one of the best there is in my book.

  • Jane's Addiction 'Had a Dad"

    I bought “Been Caught Stealing” on cassingle when I was in Junior High and the demo version of this one was the B-side. That was my introduction to Perry.

  • Porno For Pyros "Pets"

    “Wait, the guy from Jane’s Addiction has a new band now?” I love both of those Porno For Pyros albums with my whole heart.

  • Perry Farrell "Rev"

    Like my guy wasn’t going to drop a solo release eventually. The time came in 1999.

  • Jane's Addiction "Just Because"

    Jane’s played the WBCN River Rave in 2003 in support of their reunion album Strays and it was EVERYTHING.

  • Satellite Party "Hard Life Easy"

    With Froosh and Flea from RHCP!

  • Porno For Pyros "Kimberly Austin"

    When Perry brought Porno to MTV in ’96, he had Mike Watt on bass and it’s one of my favorite things ever.

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