Perry Farrell is one of rock's most flamboyant, theatrical performers.
On Feb. 22, his band Jane's Addiction is embarking on the "Theater of the Escapists" tour, the band's first venture in support of an album ("The Great Escape Artist," released in October) since 2003. Described by Farrell as "immersive theater," he says the show will encompass the entire theater at each tour stop.
"It's a little different from going to your average rock concert. The audience is going to be within the show from time to time," he said. "We're using the entire building, rather than just the stage. We're using the foyer and the backstage."
So where did Farrell get his flair for the dramatic?
"My role model is Joe Namath," said Farrell, who was born in Queens and grew up on Long Island as a Jets fan. "When I was a kid, I used to laugh at the gall Joe Namath had. He was running around with a raccoon-skin coat. He had the Bachelors III nightclub. He's like a ladies' man, you know? He took women into account."
That might sound surprising coming from a counterculture rock star, the man who started the Lollapalooza tour. But to Farrell, it all makes sense.
"I loved him, man. The athletes then were sexy guys. They had big sideburns and longer hair," he said. "When he went up against Johnny Unitas with the flat top, you know ... I thought it was epic."
Now, having lived in California for many years, he's a massive Lakers fan, although for his NFL team, he's adopted his hometown Giants, who he says surpassed the Jets many years ago. Jane's Addiction is playing Rolling Stone's party on Super Bowl Sunday, which Farrell said is no coincidence.
"Why do you think I took the gig?" he said. "I wanted to go to the Super Bowl. I'll bring my kids. I'm gonna try to get onto the field, man. I'd love to be down onto the field and bring my boys [Hezron, 9, and Izzadore, 7]."