Monday, August 11, 2008

Lolla, Part 2: Perry, Perry Good

[Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of The Verbal Calorie’s slightly impaired, still unnamed Lollapalooza diary. See the last blog, “Lolla, Part I: You’re Not as Bad as You Think,” for a complete intro.]

I assume, as an ardent theist, that my deceased ancestors are either in heaven or hell. Hopefully heaven, but it takes temerity to posit where a given man or woman is situated. Since it’s been a very long time since various religions’ sages claimed to have temporally passed into the next world, maintaining faith in the heaven/hell construct can be a bit trying. Is the concept of a binary destiny merely an appeasement, a chimera shaped by terrified theologians and opportunistic feudal lords? Are heaven and hell the netherwordly parallel to the tooth fairy and tax rebates? Is the image of DJ Bloggers past enjoying a cup of ethereal tea simply too pleasing to be true?

Thank goodness I went to Lollapalooza.

No less an authority than Lollapalooza founder and Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell sermonized on our post-dead destiny. Performing on the Kids’ Stage on the festival’s third and final day—and accompanied by Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash—Farrell echoed my long-held suspicions about the afterlife.

“Well, kids,” he said, walking the length of the stage, “some of you might have a grandfather or grandmother who died. That means they’re in heaven right now.” There were some kids, even some borderline toddlers, in attendance. Farrell’s own 4-year-old son, wearing a pair of oversized red earphones, stood to stage right.

“And so that’s what this next song is about. It’s called ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.’”

And with that, the band launched into a semi-spirited rendition of the Dylan standard, its basic chord structure easing my cosmic doubt. With Farrell’s philosophy restoring my forebears to their rightful resting place, there was time to enjoy his music (see below for video of the almost rockin' "Knockin'").

The set closed with a less-than-inspired rendition of “Jane Says,” the original version of which remains history’s most jaunty song about heroin addiction. In that moment, however, after Farrell had spoken so definitively about Eternity, the song sounded ominous: where do heroin addicts go when they die? Farrell, a dabbling Kabbalist, could surely opine on the question, but that was not to be at this Lollapalooza.

Instead, the 49-year-old’s focus was more immediate.

“There are a lot of cute girls here,” Farrell told the kids. “You’ll understand that when you’re older.”

Stay Spiritual, Perry
DJ Dylan

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