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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 295
Sun, Nov 4, 2012

“Then She Did”
Jane’s Addiction

1990

“♫ Now they’re
probably saying
to you / if you
keep it up you’ll
be born/ but
you won’t ever
listen /I’ll bet…/
Burnt out, grass
scorched by the
sun/ The buildings
remain
♫”

One of the most sinister songs from 1990’s Ritual De Lo Habitual by Jane’s Addiction, “Then She Did” is a cut that guitarist Dave Navarro called “a very dark song about death.” It’s that dark Navarro guitar licks matched as singer Perry Farrell sprinkled sparks of wisdom with existential lyrics that made Jane’s Addiction the thinking man’s L.A. band for fans who enjoy more mental floss with their metal than just cliché cock rock riffs that were a Hollywood mainstay in the late eighties and early nineteen-nineties.

Dave once discussed how dark music influences the Jane’s sound when he was quoted in Brendan Mullen’s book, Whores: An Oral Biography of Perry Farrell and Jane’s Addiction, “When I listen to music that’s really dark, I get this overwhelming sensation that I’m not alone, that I’m not crazy. It’s a little comforting. We’re from here, I was born in L.A. Eric [Avery] & Stephen [Perkins] were born here. We make music based on our environments.”

Navarro once attempted to describe “Then She Did,” from Dear Dave, Jane’s Zine, when he said, “To try to tell you why would be like trying to tell you everything that has ever happened to me. Let’s just say that for me, it captures most of the feelings I feel on a daily basis, both musically and emotionally. Also, that was a very special song for Perry and I… we used to look at each other when we were about to play it, and say, “Let’s do this one for our Mama’s.”

Like Lennon and McCartney both Navarro and Farrell both lost their mothers during their youths. If you’re wondering why Jane’s has such a dark sound, Navarro’s Mother was murdered by her boyfriend when Dave was a teenager and Perry’s Mom committed suicide when he was only three years young as Farrell explained in a 1994 interview with Raygun when he said, “[My Mother] she died of a broken heart, that’s what drove her to suicide… and we kids are all heartbroken. We missed out on a mother…. Nothing came of it, so I came to the conclusion: Why throw your life away? Why throw your life into the flame? Your life is the one thing you have to fight with, why give it up? I have never found anything big enough to give up my life to, especially if it was something that I hated or bothered me. The last thing I would give is my life. If I don’t life something, I don’t give it my time. I won’t give it my life.”

Both Perry and Dave honored their Mother’s proud in the eloquent epic that is Ritual De Lo Habitual’s “Then She Did.” Navarro described how altered his guitar techniques and why there’s no guitar solo on “Then She Did” as he explained, “On the breakdown of “Then She Did…” I improvised with my echo set on infinite repeats. You get this eerie feeling, but you can’t really hear it. It’s very quiet—I wanted you to feel uncomfortable and not know why. Unfortunately, there are times when I’m stuck into that thing of wanting to throw in a really quick riff. “Then She Did…,” which doesn’t need a guitar solo, so there’s no guitar solo on it. The rest of the guys wanted me to do one and I said no. Lyrically, the song is beautiful and emotional, and it’s got a very airy, open, moody tune. [That’s why] “Then She Did…” is my favorite track on the latest album. What Perry’s singing about is beautiful and I didn’t want to step on anything.”

Did you know that “Then She Did” wasn’t the original title of the seventh song from Ritual de lo Habitual? Drummer Stephen Perkins claims that Perry Farrell removed one letter from the original title to add some mystery and keep some personal significance to this moving Jane’s song. Can you figure out the original title of “Then She Did?”

Not their most popular song, “The She Did” is one of the most memorable pearls hidden inside the dynamic darkness that is Jane’s Addiction’s Ritual de lo Habitual. A tribute to their deceased Mothers, “Then She Did” is one of the most personal songs and one that showed that Jane’s Addiction were more than just another Hollywood band. With Perry’s existential lyrics and Dave’s wicked guitar licks, Jane’s were outlaw rockers out of step with the shallow cock rock L.A. bands. “Then She Did” shows that Addiction were in it for immortality; can you name another Hollywood band from 1990’s who could’ve created a stirring homage to their deceased mothers sung with such an furious honesty as Perry Farrell? What are you waiting for? Honor one of the best L.A. bands of the nineties; lose yourself within the limitless sound of Jane’s Addiction again.

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