1989–1997: Ritual de lo Habitual to Kettle Whistle

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Posted on Wed, 12/14/2016 - 4:10pm
by Ron Wallace

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1989–1991: Ritual de lo Habitual and First Breakup

Jane's Addiction was scheduled to begin recording its next album in mid-1989. Navarro later stated he had almost no recollection of working on the album due to his addiction to heroin. Ritual de lo Habitual was released in 1990. To support the album, the band embarked on a 13-month tour. Farrell recalled, "That thirteen-month tour behind Ritual was half the reason we wound up unable to stand one another. The other half is that I am an intolerable narcissist who can't get along with anyone."

Part of the tour included headlining the first Lollapalooza festival, which traveled across North America in mid-1991. The festival, created by Perry Farrell and Marc Geiger, was to become a farewell tour for Jane's Addiction, but it was also a music festival with other well-known artists performing. Nine Inch Nails, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Butthole Surfers, Living Colour, The Rollins Band, The Violent Femmes, and Ice-T's Body Count, all played sets before Jane's Addiction finally got their turn. During this time the band began to get more exposure than they had ever before. "Been Caught Stealing" and "Stop!" became smash hit singles and received solid amounts of air time on MTV. During the very first Lollapalooza show, Perry Farrell and Dave Navarro got into a fight onstage after the two had begun violently bumping each other mid-song. The band walked off stage, but came back to play an encore; however, the fight continued and Navarro eventually threw his guitar into the crowd. Regardless, the band continued the tour and played about 25 more Lollapalooza shows, frequently playing a cover of Sly and the Family Stone's "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey" as a duet with Ice-T and Body Count as part of the set.

Differences between band members on the issue of drug use on the "Ritual" tour lead to a schism in the band, with Farrell and Perkins regularly consuming drugs, while Avery and Navarro chose to abstain. According to Spin Magazine (1991 Vol. 7 Num. 3), while traveling between shows and Navarro would seek to avoid temptation by retiring to a section of the tour bus set aside for them. After shows, Avery and Navarro (and Navarro's wife at the time, Tanya) would immediately retire to their hotel. Quoted from the article: "...they have simply learned that they cannot use drugs of any kind anymore without becoming slaves to them, and that slavery is death".

In late 1991, Avery told Navarro that he planned on leaving the band. Navarro quickly agreed to do the same thing. The two told their management, who in turn tried to convince them to play in Japan, but Avery and Navarro only wanted to play as much as was contractually obligated. Jane's Addiction played its last shows in Australia and Hawaii before disbanding.

1997: First Reunion and Kettle Whistle

Dave Navarro joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1994 (he would be fired in 1998) and during a hiatus for the band, Navarro along with Chili Peppers's Flea joined Porno for Pyros to record "Hard Charger" in 1997 for Howard Stern's movie, Private Parts soundtrack. This led to a brief Jane's Addiction Relapse tour, with Flea replacing Avery who declined an invitation to rejoin the band. They produced a compilation album entitled Kettle Whistle featuring two new songs with Flea on bass. In 2010, Perkins stated that "Flea, to me, was a great match in '97. As a drummer, he was very exciting for me to work with."