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Jay Mohr Talks to Perry Farrell on Episode 180

Let me preface this review with a little bit about my history with Jay Mohr’s latest guest. I was obsessed with Jane’s Addiction when I was kid. My mom dropped me off at a show they did with 24-7 Spyz at Center Stage in Atlanta in 1989, and  I never looked back. For two solid years I was transfixed by these dudes. Their music spoke directly to the angst-ridden, sometimes repetitive, bass line that is adolescent taste.

In my eyes, Perry Farrell could do no wrong. A day didn’t go by that I didn’t listen to Nothing’s Shocking. I remember debates about his name, its pronunciation, its origins. Only recently, did I discover Peretz Bernstein’s pseudonym was a simple play on the word peripheral. Mind … blown. Suffice it to say, I was a fan.

perry farrell jay mohr

Then the hippies discovered them. All it took was one impromptu rendition  of “Jane Says” at a keg party involving an acoustic guitar and a drum circle for me to give up on Farrell and company. (There may have also been a Hacky Sack present.)

That’s not to say I don’t have a special place in my heart for those three seminal albums. (I’m including the live one.) I still love them. And I’m still intrigued by the front man responsible for that mystique and incomparable sound. In many ways it defined my teens. Not so intrigued by Dave Navarro, however. Thankfully, he was nowhere to be found on this episiode.

Jay Mohr Interviews Perry Farrell

I’ve heard Mohr talk about his love for Jane’s. He mentioned seeing Farrell running shoeless in Santa Monica or Malibu on one episode. But I never expected to hear the guy on the show. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Farrell’s ever been a guest on any of the big ones. I can’t see too many podcasters giving him the attention he deserves. Jay Mohr, on the other hand, was rapt.

They start the show off with a look back at Farrell’s first concert (an abbreviated Led Zeppelin set in Tampa) and almost immediately get into what makes this rock start tick. He denounces the playboy lifestyle, sings the praises of fatherhood and true love, and breaks down the recipe for a happy marriage. It got very corny, very quickly. And I loved it.

As I get older, I’m equally disenchanted and comforted when I get a glimpse at the humanity behind a former idol. This guy who once defined cool for me sounded very much like a content, retired surfer. That’s not to say he sounds like a 54 year old — far from it. His voice has aged about as much as he has physically, little to none. He’s congenial and relaxed, but discerning in his choice of words; except when he’s talking about former Jane’s Addiction bassist Eric Avery, who he refers to as Sisyphus for reasons you’ll have to figure out on your own.

The Verdict

Mohr is an adept interviewer; his guests never come off as uncomfortable or overly guarded. He keeps things chill by not ambushing them or calling them out. But being the fan  I am, I wanted to hear more about Farrell’s past and his darker endeavors. But that wasn’t what this episode was about. It was breezy, and it was brief.

They talked Lollapalooza; they talked kids; they talked bands. Then they wrapped it up. Good pod, just not as in depth as I was hoping it would be.

Listen here.

The Adam Carolla Show with Jay Mohr

Carolla and company started off this Monday episode with a July Fourth rant; there’s always a meta issue Adam couches in one of his “society” diatribes. This one was about kids and driver’s licenses; more specifically the assumption that 16 year olds just aren’t that interested in procuring them these days. Sure, it was just a talking point to play with while the show revved up, but it got me thinking:

Particularly about traditional rights of passage for Americans. A license used to mean freedom, real and imagined. It meant you could get into a car and drive wherever you wanted, free from the constraints of your nosy parents. Effectively, the internet and social media, have provided youngsters with what the license once promised: freedom. Its implications are pretty huge.

Adam Carolla and Jay Mohr

Gone are the days of literally escaping your parents’ rules. You don’t have to physically leave to leave anymore.  You can just grab an iPad and rebel away. One could even argue that podcasts offer similar avenues of escape only recently afforded to us. So maybe that stone was best left unturned. But  thank you for that tidbit of anthropological reflection, Mr. Carolla. It stuck with me.

After 15 minutes of driver’s license discussion and a story involving Carolla’s nephew Caspar, Jay Mohr showed up, and the blitz began. Mohr is the consummate comedian; he rarely drops the ball. Like David Allen Grier, Mohr is one of Carolla’s more consistently funny guests. His ability to channel Colin Quinn is uncanny. And his Eddie Vedder is priceless.

He does have a tendency to bulldog his way through a segment though. See if you can pick up on Bryan’s frustration as Mohr crushes every sentence of his “Baldywood” segment. It’s funny, but one gets a glimpse of the Mohr once reviled by the entertainment community.