“Ritual De Lo Habitual: Alive at 25”: Jane’s Addiction revisit their 1990 alt-rock classic

By on September 13, 2017

On September 23, 2016, Jane’s Addiction revisited their classic alt-rock second album for Warner Bros, 1990’s Ritual de lo Habitual, in a live concert setting before 15,000 devoted fans at the now-demolished Irvine Meadows Ampitheatre, birthplace of the first Lollapolooza.

In August of 2017, this live concert performance was released as Ritual de lo Habitual: Alive at 25 and you can watch it streaming in its entirety over on Night Flight Plus!


The explosive full concert — directed by Mark Ritchie (Kanye West, Madonna) — was lensed during their last stop on their twenty-city worldwide “Sterling Spoon Anniversary Tour.”

On this particular evening, Jane’s Addiction were also joined by a couple of swimsuit-clad go-go dancers, who at various times during the evening were also suspended by wires high above the stage.


Their gyrations gave the audience something to focus on other than singer Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, drummer Stephen Perkins and Chris Chaney, who takes the place of original Jane’s Addiction bassist Eric Avery.

Read more below about Jane’s Addiction and Ritual De Lo Habitual.


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Twenty-five years on, the band’s fans were once again able to revisit Ritual De Lo Habitual, which ended up peaking at #19 on the Billboard album charts.

The album ultimately sold more than three-million copies, with help from MTV, who continuously played the music video for “Been Caught Stealing,” directed by Casey Niccoli, Farrell’s girlfriend at the time.


Ritual De Lo Habitual — recorded during the last year of the 1980s, when “Night Flight” was sadly already off-the-air, and released on August 21, 1990 — provided a true alternative to the late ’80s Sunset Strip cock-rock and hair-metal bands.

The first side of the album (or the first half of the CD, if you prefer) had featured the more rockin’ alt-rock songs, a weirdo west-coast amalgam of metal and Hollywood, CA art-rock (with a little Eastern influence as well, displayed by a prominent violin).

The second side was the more experimental prog-rock tracks, including a four-song suite dedicated by Perry Farrell to an East Coast-based visual artist and ex-lover named Xiola Blue, who had died from a heroin overdose in 1987 at age nineteen.


The album had opened with a woman speaking in Spanish (Farrell calls her “Cindianna”), who says:

“Señores y señoras, nosotros tenemos más influencia con sus hijos que tu tiene pero los queremos. Creado y regado de Los Angeles… Juana’s Adicción!”

That translates into English as: “Ladies and Gentlemen, we have more influence over your children than you do, but we love them. Born and raised in Los Angeles… Jane’s Addiction!”


The iconic album cover art — created by Perry Farrell — featured three clay figures in a kind of naked ménage a trois (two showing their naughty bits), clearly inspired by Mexican folk art.

It was pointed out at the time that the artwork was a dramatization of some of the lyrics to “Three Days”: “Erotic Jesus lays with his Marys/Loves his Marys/Bits of the puzzle/Fitting each other.”

The song was said to depict the relationship Farrell had with Xiola Blue and Casey Niccoli.


There was also a “clean” cover for the good ol’ American chain stores that felt they needed to censor the artwork from their customer’s virginal eyeballs. It included text from First Amendment of the Constitution.

The back cover featured a message from Perry Farrell:

Hitler’s syphilis-ridden dreams almost came true. How could it happen? By taking control of the media. An entire country was led by a lunatic… We must protect our First Amendment, before sick dreams become law. Nobody made fun of Hitler??!”


Shortly after its release, Perry Farrell announced that his band had decided to break up, although they were going out on a high note with mammoth farewell headlining tour.

The 1991 Lollapalooza Festival — a rock ‘n’ roll roadshow with chanting Shaolin monks and the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow — proved to be hugely successful, creating an “Alternative Nation” of rock fans who were subsequently introduced to other bands who thrived on the margins of mainstream rock, including Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nine Inch Nails, the Butthole Surfers and others.


Lollapalooza helped define the sound of ’90s rock with a different lineup of bands each summer until 1997.

After a five-year hiatus, Lollapalooza returned in 2003, headlined by a reunited Jane’s Addiction, who were promoting a new album, Strays.

This 90-minute concert film was mixed in 5.1 surround sound and shot with twenty UltraHD 4K cameras, providing every angle imaginable.

You’ll hear “Stop!,” “No One’s Leaving,” “Been Caught Stealing,” “Classic Girl” and “Three Days” — featuring Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins — along with additional fan faves like “Ted, Just Admit It…” and “Jane Says.”


Perry Farrell, Eric Avery, Stephen Perkins and Dave Navarro in the living room of their Larchmont Village house on N. Wilton Place

By the way, the name Jane’s Addiction and the song “Jane Says” were both inspired by Farrell’s former roommate, Jane Bainter, in the summer of 1985.

Jane lived with Farrell and a dozen others in an authentic 1914 Craftsman home located at 369 N. Wilton Place, in the Larchmont Village neighborhood of L.A.

The moniker was Farrell’s typical way to blame whatever crappy thing that had happened in the house on Jane’s addiction to heroin.

Her photo appears on the lyric insert sleeve inside of their self-titled debut album (Triple X), and her electrified handwriting also provided the band with their logo.

Watch Ritual de lo Habitual: Alive at 25 on Night Flight Plus!


About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.