Midway through 1991 — the momentously screwed-up year that gave us the first Gulf War, Rodney King’s videotaped beating, Magic Johnson’s HIV announcement and Nirvana’s Nevermind — Jane’s Addiction embarked on a farewell summer tour. The L.A. alt-rockers had scored a Top 20 hit with its would-be swansong, Ritual de lo Habitual, and wanted to recreate for American audiences the spirit of England’s Reading Festival.
Lead singer Perry Farrell flipped through a dictionary and found the word “lollapalooza” (“one that is extraordinarily impressive” as per Merriam-Webster) and with the name in place, the group went about building an eclectic lineup of friends and favorite artists.
The inaugural Lollapalooza hit 20 cities in roughly six weeks, paving the way for five cross-country sequels and today’s namesake “destination festival” in Chicago. The tour also inspired scores of ‘90s imitators — Warped, Lilith, H.O.R.D.E., etc. — and defined outdoor summer rock for a generation of sullen early Internet adopters. As Lollapalooza celebrates its 20th anniversary, Hive looks back at the tour’s original slate of artists to see what they’re doing now.
Voted most likely to: Die in a freaky sex accident
Where are they now: After Jane’s split up 1991, Farrell and drummer Stephen Perkins formed Porno for Pyros, while guitarist Dave Navarro joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers, with whom he played for five years. Farrell also oversaw Lollapalooza throughout the ‘90s, and in 1997, the Jane’s gang reunited for a brief run of shows. Additional touring followed in the early ‘00s, as did the album Strays, which featured new and old material. The foursome broke up again in 2004, only to re-reunite four years later. Earlier this year, Jane’s announced that TV on the Radio multi-instrumentalist Dave Sitek had joined on bass and signed on to produce the forthcoming comeback disc The Great Escape Artist, due out in September.
Voted most likely to: Melt in midday sun
Where is she now: Kicking it in France, presumably. Siouxsie split with the Banshees in 1996, and in 2007, five years after a brief reunion tour, she released her solo debut, MantaRay. She toured behind that acclaimed album for two years and has been quiet ever since. Even if she never makes another record, her place in history is secure. Relative newcomers the Gossip, Scissor Sisters, and Santigold have cited her as an influence, joining a list of admirers that also includes Radiohead, the Cure, and Morrissey.
Votes most likely to: Overdose … on bad vibes
Where is he now: Despite predictions he’d succumb to dark forces, Reznor is now a buff, sober, happily married alt-rock elder statesman well on his way to an EGOT, thanks to his 2010 Oscar win for the Social Network score. Although NIN is on indefinite hiatus, at least as a touring entity, Reznor continues churning out music. He composed the score for David Fincher’s forthcoming film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — check out the version of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” he cut with Karen O — and he plans to release a full-length album with How to Destroy Angels, his collaboration with wife Mariqueen Maandig. Reznor made headlines earlier this month when he took to Twitter and urged fans not to buy the recently reissued edition of his 1989 debut, Pretty Hate Machine, calling it “a record label bullshit move repackaging the old version.”
Voted most likely to: Produce a line of neon bike shorts
Where are they now: Regarded as funk-metal pioneers, the members of Living Colour continue to tour, sometimes together, often with side projects. The band has released two studio albums since reforming in 2000, and earlier this year, the quartet joined Steve Vai, Robert Randolph and the North Mississippi All Stars, among others, on the Experience Hendrix tour. A new generation of fans has likely discovered the band via Grand Theft Auto and Guitar Hero, versions of which feature Living Colour’s classic 1988 single “Cult of Personality.”
Voted most likely to: Give Tipper Gore an ulcer
Where are they now: King of the ironic career choice, Ice-T, Mr. “Cop Killer” himself, has spent the last decade killing it as a cop on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Earlier this year, he debuted a second TV show, Ice Loves Coco, an E! reality series chronicling his life with wife Coco Austin, the buxom model he married in 2005. No strangers to irony themselves, the unfortunately named Body Count has suffered the loss of three members: drummer Beatmaster V (leukemia), bassist Mooseman (drive-by shooting), and guitarist D-Roc (lymphoma). In a 2010 interview with Exploremusic.com, surviving guitarist Ernie C announced plans to revive the band and release new music in 2011.
Voted most likely to: Do something highly unlikely
Where are they now: The Surfers haven’t released an album of new material since 2001’s Weird Revolution, but as the New York Times pointed out last year, as the band’s classic lineup — reunited since 2008 — was set to play Brooklyn, the “songs are practically incidental to the spectacle.” Indeed, on the first Lollapalooza, frontman Gibby Haynes would sometimes aim a shotgun into the crowd and fire rounds of powder. Next month, a presumably unarmed Haynes reconvenes the band for a 12-date West Coast tour. One place fans won’t catch the Buttholes again: All Tomorrow’s Parties. In 2008, their notoriously bad behavior got them banned for life from those festivals.
Voted most likely to: Become America’s first shirtless congressman
Where is he now: Everywhere. The most intense man in rock hasn’t fronted his eponymous group since 2006, but he’s been keeping busy with books, films, a KCRW radio program, TV work (everything from a talk show to National Geographic’s Animal Underground), commencement addresses and spoken-word albums and tours.
Voted most likely to: Apologize for subsequent ska revivals
Where are they now: Still skankin’. Last year, directors Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler premiered Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, a documentary about the legendary funk-punk-metal-ska outfit’s 30-year run. Next month, Fishbone tours Japan and Europe before heading home to perform alongside Cee-Lo Green, Janelle Monáe, Toro y Moi and others at Brooklyn’s Afro-Punk Festival. In addition to such classics as “Party at Ground Zero” and “Lyin’ Ass Bitch,” fans might hear some new tunes, as Fishbone reportedly plans to release new music later this year. Either way, it’s best not to stand too close to the stage. High-flying frontman Angelo Moore was sued last year for fracturing a woman’s skull while leaping into the crowd in Philadelphia.