Published on September 19th, 2022

Like too many of my favorite bands, I got into Jane’s Addiction after they had broken up. I was fascinated by their music video for “Been Caught Stealing” when it played on MTV but I never dug any deeper.

A few years after their 1991 “break-up,” my friends and I skipped high school and took a couple of buses to South Beach. One of us carried a boombox blasting the “Been Caught Stealing” album, 1990’s “Ritual de lo Habitual.” From the opening Spanish words of “Stop!” that then devolved into Dave Navarro’s shredding guitars and singer Perry Farrell’s hedonistic wails, I was intrigued. But the album didn’t stop: It was one attention-grabbing, fast-paced adventure after another before chilling out into beautiful, heartfelt ballads.

That afternoon I got a blank cassette. I honestly can’t remember if I paid for it but I’d like to think in honor of “Been Caught Stealing” I shoplifted it, which in those delinquent days was a possibility. And on the bus ride home my friend copied it for me on his boombox. Until I stopped having a car with a cassette player, that tape was a constant presence in my life.

I’ve often wondered why that record never gets old to me. Was it relatable because Farrell also spent formative teen years in South Florida? Was it their classic rock influences, which had them covering the Grateful Dead, Velvet Underground and the Rolling Stones, that gave their music a timeless foundation that a lot of their ’80’s and early ’90 peers lack? Or was it that their first incarnation burned out so quickly — after two blazing albums in “Ritual” and 1988’s equally equally fantastic “Nothing’s Shocking” — that they never had time to release any duds?

Whatever the reason, any time Jane’s Addiction reunites I try my damnedest to attend, as their musical energy always takes me back to that skipping high school spirit of youth and rebellion and fun.

The “Spirits on Fire” tour with Smashing Pumpkins and Jane’s Addiction is 6:30pm Saturday, Oct. 8 at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood. janesaddiction.com ~ David Rolland