As the hotly tipped event date draws closer, “ABOVE GROUND” has revealed additional names of guests that will be joining Dave Navarro and Billy Morrison for this one-night-only event taking place Monday, April 16 at The Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles (see the artist list below).
The immersive evening of art and music–presented by Navarro (Jane’s Addiction) and Morrison (Billy Idol) in partnership with Revolver Gallery–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™. The musicians will perform two seminal albums in their entirety–first Kings Of The Wild Frontier by Adam and The Ants with a special guest appearance by Marco Pirroni of Adam and The Ants and then The Velvet Underground & Nico by Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground–with completely different stage sets and production for each album’s performance.
Set to join guitarists Navarro and Morrison throughout the evening are the following musicians and guests (in alphabetical order), with more to be revealed. Newly added names are noted with an asterisk.
Billy Duffy (The Cult)*
Billy Howerdel (A Perfect Circle)*
Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction)
Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour)
Courtney Love (Hole)
Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver)*
Erik Eldenius (Billy Idol)
Jenny Vee (Eagles of Death Metal)*
Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads, The Modern Lovers)*
Jesse Hughes (Eagles of Death Metal)
JoshFreese (The Vandals, Devo, A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails)
Marco Pirroni (Adam and The Ants)*
Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray)*
Paul Trudeau (Billy Idol)*
Steve Isaacs (The Panic Channel)*
Steve Stevens (Billy Idol)*
When Navarro and Morrison sat down over coffee recently and started to talk about music, art, the lost love of the vinyl record, and at the same time their own mental health and their different battles in the same arena, it became apparent immediately that they both wanted to do the same thing–to celebrate life, to pay homage to records that truly shaped them both as musicians, and at the same time to raise awareness, funds and hope for people suffering from depression. This is how ABOVE GROUND was born.
“One of the things we’re trying to do [with ABOVE GROUND] is help take the stigma away from mental health,” Navarro recently told Steve Baltin at Forbes.com. “We’re proponents of mental health for everybody. I think everybody can do with self care and mental health. Obviously this is a celebration, but it is a huge responsibility and I think that some of these organizations, like MusiCares, and certainly my friends and coworkers have helped me out in terrible times and been available for me when I didn’t know which way to turn. And certainly hearing of losing a loved one is a knife through your heart. It’s almost a knife going through a wound that already exists in your heart because you know how they felt. So there’s a strange dynamic that goes along with that kind of grieving. But more importantly, on a more public level, let people know that it is there and there is no shame in asking for help. The shameful thing is to shy away from the help. The thing to be proud of is reaching out and doing something to take care of your own life.”
When asked if an event like this reminds them of the medicinal power of music, Morrison noted to Forbes, “It’s one of the things that happened when Dave and I started to go through the albums and experience the joy that we first felt when these albums were released and they came into our life. Both the Velvet Underground And Nico and Kings Of the Wild Frontier inspired me and Dave.” He added, “This is purely for the love of music and trying to find a place to use that love of music to raise awareness for something that’s really devastating.”
During the intermission between performances at ABOVE GROUND, there will be speeches from people in the mental health field, including Bob Forrest and Dr. Drew, and a small memorabilia auction to raise funds, along with art displays and information booths. Revolver Gallery will showcase works by Andy Warhol. Representatives from MusiCares (currently focusing on the mental health arena and all the challenges that are faced in that field)will also be present at the event.
Tickets for ABOVE GROUND are priced at $100 each and available via ticketmaster.com and livenation.com. View a trailer for the event here and read an interview with Navarro and Morrison here.