On Stage With…Jane’s Addiction
Jane’s Addiction – The Palace : July 11, 1989
The Father’s Rights Benefit Show
Part two of a five-part series I’m doing this week, featuring shots that I took while being on the stage with bands. Each day I will add a new band and a new photo.
This special show was a benefit to raise money for Norwood from Fishbone. He was in deep trouble, owing a ton of money in legal fees due to a custody battle over his child. He was dead broke and hit rock bottom. His pals from some of the hottest bands in L.A. including Thelonious Monster, Jane’s Addiction and The Red Hot Chili Peppers teamed up, and within days put together this amazing benefit show.
Jane’s Addiction had just put out their first studio album Nothing’s Shocking… the buzz was just starting, and the L.A. crowd knew that this was most likely the last time we would see Jane’s Addiction – and the Chili Peppers, who were also hitting the big time – in a club. The crowd was unbelievably fierce. Because the show was thrown together so quickly, there was no barricade for me to shoot in. I was forced to shoot from the audience, which can be almost impossible with all of the jostling, not to mention the many times I’ve tried to shoot bands while being elbowed, kicked, punched and worse.
Just before Jane’s went on, I was in the dressing room with Dave Navarro and Eric Avery. Dave’s guitar tech brought in Dave’s first custom guitar and he asked me if I could shoot a couple of photos of him holding his new guitar. Just as I finished up, we heard the roar of the crowd and the lights went dark. I started heading out to find a spot to shoot and Dave said, “Make sure you get some good shots tonight of me and my new guitar.” I explained to him that it was not going to be easy because there was no pit. Then Dave said, “Hey man, just hop on the stage with us.” That was all I needed to hear. I took the far right corner and snapped from there for the entire show.
I think losing the barricade was a blessing that night. It really helped me to capture a lot of interaction between the band and the audience that normally would not happen due to the separation between them. The band really fed off of the crowd’s energy that night and I think this photo really captures that.
Photographed with my old Canon AE-1 Program, a cheap, no name 28-80mm lens (I also used a Sunpak flash on some of the shots), using Kodak Ektachrome film.