These rock stars to perform Lou Reed and Sex Pistols albums at concert to benefit mental health – Daily News

Since 2018, Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and Billy Idol guitarist Billy Morrison have joined forces to host an annual celebrity concert that raises funds for the nonprofit MusiCares to benefit mental health treatment.

The show, dubbed Above Ground, did not take place in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but will resume for its third edition on Monday, December 20 at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles. It will feature a host of special guest musicians, including Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath, Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction, singer Etty Lau Farrell, Idol rocker and guitarist Steve Stevens and more.

“I missed it last year, because Billy and I fell in love with the cause, with the mission statement; we fell in love with the job and all the things that are needed to make this show happen, ”Navarro said in an interview with Zoom.

“It’s actually quite a different experience from our day jobs,” Morrison added on the same video call. “This kind of show is so different in terms of production, and when Dave said we fell in love with the job, it’s because he doesn’t show up and play ‘Jane Says’ or ‘Rebel Yell’ . We can do it with our eyes closed, but we really have to work on this show. “

  • Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro (left), Ministry’s guitarist Al Jourgensen and Billy Idol Billy Morrison perform at the Above Ground benefit party for MusiCares at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles in 2019 (Photo by Jim Donnelly)

  • Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro (left) performs with singer Juliette Lewis during the Above Ground benefit concert for MusiCares at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles in 2019 (Photo by Jim Donnelly)

  • Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro (left) performs with Tenacious D frontman and actor Jack Black to benefit Above Ground for MusiCares at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles in 2019 (Photo by Jim Donnelly)

  • Each year, Jane’s Addiciton guitarist Dave Navarro (left) and Billy Idol guitarist Billy Morrison host Above Ground, a star-studded benefit concert that raises awareness and raises funds for mental health for MusiCares. This year’s event will take place on Monday, December 20 at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles.

Faithful to the tradition of choosing influential two-act musical releases – an American act and a British one – for the evening, the performers will cover all the songs in order from Lou Reed’s 1972 album “Transformer” and the Release of the Sex Pistols in 1977. “Don’t forget the bullshit, here are the Sex Pistols. “

In 2018, artists from the “Above Ground” lineup performed 1980s “Kings of the Wild Frontier” by Adam and the Ants and the eponymous 1967 album by The Velvet Underground and Nico. In 2019, they took on David Bowie’s 1972 “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” and the 1969 Stooge’s self-titled debut album.

“Every year we have to dive deep into these records and find parts that we maybe a little overlooked or missed when we just listened to them and we really dissect them and kind of go into the songs and doing that process is rewarding. , frustrating, distressing, ”said Navarro.

“And scary,” Morrison added, laughing. “Right before this interview, we go through the songs on the show and ask ourselves, ‘Are we doing something right? Is everything alright ?’ “

“It’s a little scary because we choose the albums that mean the most to us,” Navarro continued. “We want to render the greatest possible service to these albums. Therefore, there is no harsher criticism of our sound than Billy and I. Lots of bands do covers, and Billy and I are in a cover band called Royal Machines, but for Above Ground we tried our best not to just do our version of the songs, we try to get as close as possible. the sound of the album and it’s difficult.

Navarro said he chose Reed’s “Transformer” to play because “it was one of the most interesting and provocative albums I’ve ever heard.”

“If you listen to the lyrical content and the message Lou is talking about on this record and think about the climate today – but then you think about the climate when he wrote these things – that was light years ahead. on his time, “he said. noted. “He was basically saying these are people living their lives and doing well and just as complete and whole as you or me or anyone else.”

Morrison agrees.

“Hearing ‘Transform’ and someone singing about different sexualities, drugs and all that stuff affected me a lot,” Morrison added. “The other thing we’re trying to do with this show is play albums that you can’t go and listen to. We’re not going to play a Coldplay album. We love Coldplay, but they still exist. So we play albums that you can’t listen to live.

“The greatest album of all time for me – being British and being a teenager when it was released – is ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’,” Morrison continued. “It changed my life and I was very loud about it.”

The recipient of the evening, MusiCares, is an organization that provides funds and resources to workers in the music industry, and with so many of those people out of work and unable to tour or create over the past 18 In recent months, fundraising and efforts to encourage open talk about mental health is imperative, Navarro and Morrison agree.

“When we started this concept, it was before COVID and it was very necessary,” Morrison said. “Dave and I felt that we both suffered from trauma and mental health issues, but our philosophy is really very simple and it’s okay to ask for help. So if he and I can be really public about, listen, we’ve been there, we’ve been asking for help, and we’ve been very lucky to get some help, and we’re now living a loving life and fulfilling, so do you. It’s pre-COVID. Imagine the world now as we are? This message must be spread more than ever.

There’s also an on-site auction with artwork donated to raise more money by artists such as Morrison and Navarro, contemporary street artist Shepard Fairey, and Los Angeles-based graffiti artist Risk.

“I don’t know how we do this,” Navarro said with a laugh. “It’s not just us. It’s everyone who comes to perform and is part of it. Getting back to sanity, which is the most important aspect, at the end of the day here you are looking at two ex-junkies. It is therefore clear that we can overcome what causes suffering. “

Above ground 3

With: Billy Idol, Taylor Hawkins, Perry and Etty Farrell, Corey Taylor, Mark McGrath, Steve Stevens and more

When: 7 p.m. Monday, December 20

Or: Fonda Theater, Los Angeles

Tickets: $ 59.50 to AXS.com


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