Corey Taylor, Perry Farrell + More Join ‘Above Ground’ Benefit Salute to Lou Reed + Sex Pistols
Dave Navarro and Billy Morrison are back, saluting two more classic albums all in the name of a good cause for their annual "Above Ground" benefit. And they've brought in a number of famous pals to help them revisit full albums from Lou Reed and the Sex Pistols. Corey Taylor, Perry Farrell and plenty more will join the festivities on Dec. 20 at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, California.
This marks the third edition of the "Above Ground" benefit, with Navarro and Morrison leading an all-star collective in recreating Lou Reed's 1972 classic Transformer as well as the Sex Pistols' 1977 punk masterpiece, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. Joining them onstage for this special concert will be Corey Taylor, Perry Farrell, Etty Lau Farrell, Billy Idol, Taylor Hawkins, Mark McGrath, Steve Stevens, Franky Perez and other guests still to be announced. And profits from the show will benefit the MusiCares organization, helping to raise awareness for mental health issues.
Past years have seen the Above Ground all-stars recreate Adam and the Ants' Kings of the Wild Frontier and Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground's The Velvet Underground & Nico in 2018 and David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars as well as the Stooges self-titled album in 2019.
Speaking about the decision to take on Lou Reed's Transformer, which introduced many to transgendered people through the hit song "Walk on the Wild Side," Navarro and Morrison stated, "It’s exactly that for us – the realization and education of gender and fluidity, and all the imagery that went along with that in the 70’s. It’s an unnecessarily tough subject now, so imagine Lou Reed in the 70’s addressing sexuality and gender? A total groundbreaking album that tore some barriers down. Which is what we are trying to do with the subject of mental health and Above Ground."
Of the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks, the pair add, "This album is it for both of us–the one that changed everything. When we heard this for the first time as kids, something shifted forever inside us. The sound of Steve Jones’ guitars and the intelligent anger from [Johnny] Rotten about things that actually resonated with us, even at that early age. The band released only one official album and were together initially for about 23 months. And 40+ years later, it still shakes the foundations when you play it. That says it all."
And once again pairing with MusiCares as their charitable designation, Navarro and Morrison add, "MusiCares has literally saved more than a few of our friends from dying. Their role cannot be overstated, and we have precious few organizations that actively step in to help people on the brink. On the frontline, finding and paying for beds in treatment, arranging therapy and counseling, and actually speaking up on a public level about the importance of mental health are all reasons why we continue to do what we can to draw attention to this subject."
“We are so grateful for Dave and Billy’s support of MusiCares with this incredible benefit concert, and for their continued support of our mission over the years,” said Laura Segura, Executive Director of MusiCares. “The proceeds from this event will help music professionals who need various kinds of support, from physical and mental health, addiction recovery, preventative clinics, and more.” To learn more about MusiCares' efforts, head here.
Tickets for "Above Ground 3," taking place Dec. 20 at Hollywood's Fonda Theatre, go on sale this Friday (Oct. 22) at this location.