Jane Bainter Is The Namesake Of Jane’s Addiction Band Name & “Jane Says” Song

Jane’s Addiction claimed their name from Perry Farrell’s roommate Jane Bainter in the summer of 1985.  Basically, when things went wrong at the house, the mayhem was often blamed on “Jane’s addiction,” so when Farrell needed a name for his band, the phrase was already in his mind.   Bainter recalls,

“They jumped into my room one day and said, ‘We’re going to name it Jane’s Addiction!  I thought it was sort of a lackluster name. I didn’t take it as a tribute at all.”

According to Farrell, Jane’s life was actually the lyrics for the song “Jane Says“.  She had an actual heroin habit and an abusive boyfriend named Sergio, who lived with Farrell and nearly a dozen others in a house on Wilton Avenue near Hancock Park in Los Angeles.  She also talked endlessly about saving up for a trip to Europe: “ Jane says, ‘I’m going away to Spain, when I get my money saved,” and she took an occasional swipe at a housemate, but she never seemed to connect: “She gets mad and starts to cry, takes a swing but she can’t hit.”

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Farrell (Blender magazine, December 2006):

“Around 1984, I rented a big house on Wilton, near Hancock Park, right in the heart of everything good in Hollywood, but the whole neighborhood seemed deteriorated. I deceived the landlord into thinking I was a gay interior decorator rather than a Punk rocker, and one of my housemates was Jane, this strangely beautiful, well-to-do girl who got caught up in the drug scene and fell in love with a dealer named Sergio. Jane was an intellectual and knew how to act aristocratic, even with a needle and a spoon on the table. I’m not sure if the song mythologized the neighborhood – St. Andrew’s Place is nothing special to look at – but I do think it glamorized her life in a way. That was a great time, though. When the landlord found out I wasn’t a gay interior decorator, he came after me with a gun.”

The band even used her handwriting as their logo…

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Click the link below to read a July 2003, Q&A with Jane herself. It spills the beans on how she never made a penny from the band using her image, her name and using her handwriting as their logo.

JANE BAINTER Q&A


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