Focused on highlighting mental health awareness, Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction) and Billy Morrison (Billy Idol) once again presented ABOVE GROUND, a star-studded benefit concert held Monday December 20th, 2021 at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, CA.
Centered around full album representation of two classic and influential albums—Lou Reed’s Transformer and the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bullocks, the evening benefited MusiCares, the incredible charity that works within the music community to provide assistance for music industry professionals in times of need.
Celebrating vinyl in its purest form, this third installment of ABOVE GROUND (last year was skipped due to COVID) brought an all-star lineup including Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Perry & Etty Farrell (Jane’s Addiction), Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), Courtney Taylor-Taylor (The Dandy Warhols), Jason Butler (FEVER 333), Mickey Avalon and a few A-List surprises throughout the night. Bass help was supplied by Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction) during the first set and Piggy D. (Rob Zombie) on the second half while Josh Freese (Offspring, Nine Inch Nails) sat in on drums.
Navarro and Morrison took turns introducing vocalists for each of the songs throughout the evening. Corey Taylor led the evening off as he covered Lou Reed’s “Vicious”. The next highlight and first surprise of the night came during “Walk On The Wild Side” as Navarro welcomed Anthony Kiedis, the Red Hot Chili Pepper frontman and former bandmate. After giving Navarro a big hug, he brought life to the classic song that was easily the biggest hit off this iconic album. Perry Farrell and his wife Etty later joined the party on “Satellite Of Love”
During the evening, “It’s OK to ask for help” was mentioned by more than a few musicians. This key phrase was shared to make certain that those in attendance understand the importance of mental health. Both Navarro and Morrison have battled addictions and lost industry friends to this disease.
During an intermission, Mark McGrath helped auction off 4 paintings and radio personality Dr. Drew Pinsky discussed the importance of proper mental health, especially during COVID.
A confetti blast kicked off the second half of the show with Corey Taylor again on-stage, this time representing the Sex Pistols 1977 release, Never Mind The Bullocks. The punk rock vibe was alive and well as Mark McGrath, James Butler, Billy Morrison and Franky Perez all took turns covering songs from the album.
Later Perry Farrell again jumped on stage once again and supplied his talents to “Anarchy In The UK”, easily the most recognizable song from the Sex Pistols. Before the night wrapped up there was one more surprise up Navarro’s sleeve as he welcomed out Dexter Holland (The Offspring) to cover both “God Save The Queen” and “Pretty Vacant”. The stage then was populated by a majority of the night’s performers for the wild finale “EMI”.
Together Navarro and Morrison have created a solid platform and great annual tradition. Partnering with MusiCares, this benefit show has quickly proven itself and continues to improve with each iteration.
To learn more about MusiCares click here.
To make a donation to MusiCares click here.