"Me and Anthony and Flea showed up wearing dildos": The night Jane's Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers played a freaky private Halloween party for a high roller called 'The Colonel'

Jane's Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers
(Image credit: Jane's Addiction - Paul Natkin/Getty Images | Red Hot Chili Peppers - Paul Natkin/WireImage)

'Steven Sanford & The Colonel and their very good friends Jane's Addiction invite you to a unique celebration of Halloween with Mexican Voodoo, Pagan Witchcraft, Giant Python Snakes, Salsa Dancing... at a fantasy setting deep within the Mexican tribal jungle rain forests at The Colonel's private estate.'

As invitations go, the classy flyers for Jane's Addiction's Saturday, October 27, 1990 show at a private residence on Benedict Canyon Drive in Beverly Hills could hardly have been more enticing. Particularly if you were one of the hedonistic LA underground rock scene insiders who knew exactly how parties hosted by 'The Colonel' could unfold.

"Our friend the Colonel was a ragin' freak on fire with a saggin' butt mid-life crisis," The Nymphs vocalist Inger Lorre recalled to writer Brendan Mullen for his Jane's Addiction biography Whores. "The Colonel was just livin' it large, just pissin' that cash away like water. He had the best coke, the best drugs, the best looking people at his parties. He'd say, 'What do you want?' You'd tell him, 'This much heroin, this much coke and this many hits of Ecstasy.' And he would just get it. No problem."

"He had all the money, the big mansion, the cocaine, the champagne... and now he's King Of Cool Hill with Jane's Addiction playing his birthday party."

Jane's themselves were in the mood to celebrate. In mid-September, their third album, Ritual de lo Habitual, had crashed into the top 20 of the Billboard 200 album chart, and was sailing towards 500,000 sales in the US alone. Perry Farrell's band were set to kick off their US tour in support of Ritual... on Halloween night at the Henry Ford Theatre in their hometown, so the show at The Colonel's estate would serve to iron out any last minute kinks in their set. Other sorts of kinks, of course, were positively encouraged, as everyone who'd ever seen a Jane's show in Hollywood knew only too well. 

""Me and Anthony and Flea showed up wearing dildos," Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante told Brendan Mullen.

Although the members of the Chili Peppers were at the party only as invited guests, Jane's asked their friends if they would like to get onstage to play a song after their show, and so the quartet ended up playing a cover of The Stooges' Search and Destroy for the "couple of thousand" guests at the soiree.

The exact details of the Jane's Addiction show have been lost to history, though there  is apparently a bootleg VHS documenting the evening somewhere out there. Given prior happenings at parties hosted by The Colonel, perhaps it's best kept away from sensitive souls.

"I think that we look for things that are interesting to do," Perry Farrell told a writer from the San Diego Union Tribune after the show. "If you're going to put out boring things, you're going to get a boring reputation."

With Jane's Addiction, that was never, ever going to be the case.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.