Scheduled to take place at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood on Monday, September 16th, guitarists Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction) and Billy Morrison (Billy Idol) have put together a must-attend event: the second annual Above Ground benefit concert. As with last year’s successful event, this immersive evening of art and music will celebrate the vinyl album as an art form, and at the same time raise awareness and funds for the treatment of mental health, with the profits being donated to MusiCares, a charity of the Recording Academy.
Navarro, Morrison and an array of special guests will tip their hats to two of rock’s greatest albums of all time: David Bowie’s The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars and the Stooges’ self-titled debut album, on which the world was introduced to Iggy Pop. There will be unique stage sets and production for each album’s performance. During the intermission between performances, there will be speeches from people in the mental health field along with art items for auction, live graffiti from prominent street artists and information booths.
Those “special guests,” you ask? They include Jack Black, actor Tom Arnold, Billy Idol, Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction), Etty Lau Farrell (Kind Heaven Orchestra), Gavin Rossdale (Bush), Steve Stevens, Juliette Lewis, Steve Vai, Billy Duffy (The Cult), Wayne Kramer (MC5), Mike Garson (David Bowie), Ministry’s Al Jourgensen, Brad Wilk (Prophets Of Rage), Carmine Rojas (David Bowie), Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction), Franky Perez (Deadland Ritual), Twiggy (A Perfect Circle), Mixi Demner (Stitched Up Heart), Jason Christopher, and Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver).
I had the pleasure of speaking with both Dave Navarro and Billy Morrison by phone on September 11, 2019 about Above Ground, mental health, upcoming projects and more. Additional information on both the September 16th event and Navarro and Morrison’s wonderful organization can be found at www.facebook.com/AboveGroundOrg and www.instagram.com/abovegroundorg.