Dave Navarro is best known as one of the founding members of the rock band, Jane’s Addiction. Born in Santa Monica, California, he initially joined the group in the mid 80’s as the lead guitarist after being recommended by their drummer, Stephen Perkins, who happened to be his childhood friend. As it happened, the band was looking for someone on percussions when frontman Perry Farrell’s younger sister suggested Perkins; the latter then went on to recruit Navarro. Named in honour of Jane Bainter, Farrell’s housemate who served as their inspiration and muse, they quickly began performing together, becoming a sensation in the local LA club scene. Before long, Jane’s Addiction had captured the interest of numerous record labels. While ultimately, they decided to sign with Warner Bros. Records; their debut album ended up being released under an independent label. Their initial effort entitled, Nothing’s Shockingーwhich featured Navarro on guitarsーeventually hit the stores on August 23, 1988. An overwhelming success, it has since gone Platinum in the United States.
Continuing to play for the group, Navarro and the rest of his bandmates eventually dropped their second studio album, Ritual de lo habitual in 1990. Even more successful than their debut, it became their first endeavour to reach the top ten on the Billboard Top 200 Chart; to date, it remains to be their best-selling album, having sold over two million copies in the United States. Following a prolonged hiatus, Jane’s Addiction released their third full length album, Strays in 2003ーit was also the first to feature Navarro on both guitar and piano. Since then, they’ve gone on to released a fourth album entitled, The Great Escape Artist in 2011. Altogether, they’ve come out with four studio albums, two live albums, twenty seven music videos, and over a dozen singles. Some of their most popular hits include Stop!, Been Caught Stealing, Just Because, Irresistible Force, and So What!.
On top of his work with Jane’s Addiction, Navarro has also worked with the popular funk rock band, Red Hot Chili Peppers. After joining the group in the fall of 1993, he played with them on one album, One Hot Minute, which came out in 1995, prior to leaving the band shortly afterward. A year after the new millennium, the musician also embarked on a brief solo music career. After signing with Capitol Records, Navarro released his debut solo album entitled, Trust No One in the summer of 2001. Although reactions from critics and fans were positive, it ultimately did not become a smash hit.
So what has the guitarist of Jane’s Addiction fame been up to these days? Is he still actively playing the guitar? What about singing? What new projects have he taken on lately? What happened to Dave Navarro? Where is he now in 2017?
Dave Navarro’s Early Life and the Formation of Jane’s Addiction
Born on June 7, 1967 in Santa Monica, California, Dave Navarro is the son of Constance Coleen Hopkins and James Raul Navarro; he is of Mexican descent. Growing up as a teen, he went to Notre Dame High School where he was a member of the marching band; it was during that time that became acquainted with his future bandmate, Stephen Perkins.
When he was sixteen years old, Navarro suffered a tragedy in the familyーhis mother had been murdered by a former boyfriend. In a later episode of America’s Most Wanted, Navarro admitted that while he was originally supposed to stay with his mother that night, he later changed his mind at the last minute and had gone to stay with his father. A documentary about her murder called Mourning Son was released in 2015.
In 1985, an aspiring musician named Perry Farrell formed a new rock band with a few members of his previous group, Psi Com. Named Jane’s Addiction, after Jane Bainter, Farrell’s housemate who also served as the group’s inspiration and muse, their early lineup consisted of Eric Avery, Matt Chaikin and Farrell himself. Despite having assembled themselves together, Chaikin soon began failing to show up for rehearsals. Deciding that it was time for a new drummer, Farrell recruited the help of Stephen Perkins, the boyfriend of Avery’s younger sister. Following Perkin’s entry into the group, he wasted no time in recruiting his childhood friend, Navarroーwhich worked out, as they were looking for a guitarist at the time.
Coming together to regularly perform music at various local clubs, Jane’s Addiction quickly became a sensation in the LA scene. Before long, they had attracted the attention of several record labels, all of which were eager to offer the rock band a recording contract. After a bit of shopping around, Navarro and the rest of his bandmates forged a deal with Warner Bros. Records and began heading to the studios to work on their debut studio album.
Navarro’s Music Career with Jane’s Addiction
On August 23, 1998, Jane’s Addiction released their debut studio album entitled, Nothing’s Shocking under Warner Bros. Often regarded by fans as their best album, its production was handled by Dave Jerden and the band’s frontman, Perry Farrell. Recorded in Los Angeles’ Eldorado Studios, it came with 45 minutes worth of rock and metal beats; amongst its eleven-song track list were Standing in the Shower…Thinking, Summertime Rolls, Thank You Boys, Pig’s in Zen, Up the Beach, and Ocean Size. The group’s first professional release, it featured Navarro on both acoustic and electric guitars.
Despite its mediocre rankings on the Billboard Top 200, Nothing’s Shocking was overwhelmed with glowing reviews from critics. Hailed as a “must-have” for fans of hard rock music by Greg Prato writing or Allmusic, the album also received stellar ratings from other mainstream publications such as The Los Angeles Times, and The Rolling Stone. In 2006, Nothing’s Shocking also made it onto Q Magazine’s list of “Top 40 Best Albums of the ’80s”. Supported by three singles, it has since sold over a million copies in the US, making it Jane Addiction’s first Platinum-certified album.
From there, the American rock band came out with their second studio album, Ritual de lo habitual on August 21, 1990, two years after their initial release. Put together in a North Hollywood studio, it served as the group’s last album together prior to their disbandment in 1991. Roughly broken into two parts, the disc’s first five tracks consisted of a number of hard rock style songs, while the latter half served as a memorium to Xiola Blue, Perry Farrell’s deceased friend who passed away in 1987.
Their most successful album to date, Ritual de lo habitual peaked at number nineteen on the Billboard 200ーa vast improvement from what was achieved by their previous release. Reception wise, the album garnered much praise from Allmusic, Entertainment Weekly, and Q Magazine. Listed in the Rolling Stone’s list of “Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” in 2003, the album went on to spawn four singles including Classic Girl, Three Days, Been Caught Stealing, and Stop!. As of March 2000, the album has been certified two times Platinum by the RIAA.
Following the release of their second album, Jane’s Addiction went their separate ways in 1991. During this period, Navarro became a member of Red Hot Chili Peppers and worked with them on the album, One Hot Minute (1995). It wasn’t until three years after Y2K that the group reunited for a third full length album entitled, Strays.
Released on July 22, 2003, it was Jane’s Addiction’s first album together in thirteen years. Produced by Brian Virtue and Bob Ezrin, it boasted eleven tracks including the titles Everybody’s Friend, To Match the Sun, Wrong Girl, Price I Pay, Superhero, True Nature, Hypersonic, and Just Becauseーthe last of which garnered a Grammy Award nomination in 2004. The group’s first album to feature Chris Chaney on bass, it proved to be a hit, having sold approximately 110,000 copies within the first week in the United States.
Met with a warm reception, Strays received favourable reviews from many critics; for instance it was given a four star rating from Rolling Stone and a B+ rating from Entertainment weekly. Still, a few less positive ratings came from sources such as Pitchfork Media and Stylus Magazine, who gave it a 5.8/10 and a C+ respectively. Nevertheless, the album went on to produce two singles, Just Because and True Nature, the first of which peaked at number one on the US Alternative Songs Chart.
After that, it wasn’t for another eight years that they came out with their fourth studio album, The Great Escape Artist. Their second release to feature Navarro on both guitar and piano, it was produced by American record producer, Rich Costey. Preceded by the single, End to the Lies, which was made available as a free download earlier that April, the album came complete with ten rock tracks including Words Right Out of My Mouth, Splash a Little Water on It, Ultimate Reason, I’ll Hit You Back, Curiosity Kills, most of which were cowritten by Navarro.
Upon its release, The Great Escape Artist entered the US Billboard 200 at number twelve; it eventually also peaked at number three on the US Top Rock Albums Chart, the Top Digital Albums Chart and at number three on the Top Alternatives Album Chart. Overseas, it also charted in several other countries such as Finland, France, Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, and the UK. Despite its charting success, reactions to the album were mostly mixed; while some publications such as NME, gave it a favourable score of 8/10, other sources such as The A.V. Club and Spin Magazine gave less positive reviews.
Dave Navarro’s Solo Music Career
In the summer of 2001, Navarro released his solo debut album entitled, Trust No One under Capitol Records. Produced by Danny Saber, DJ Numark, Rich Costey, Andrew Slater and the rock musician himself, it featured thirteen tracksーall of which were written by himself. Some of the titles include Slow Motion Sickness, Very Little Daylight, Not for Nothing, Mourning Son, Sunny Day, Easy Girl, and Somebody Else. A moderate success, the album received a three star rating from Allmusic and Rolling Stone, although it did not end up charting in the United States.
What’s Dave Navarro Doing Now in 2017 – Recent Updates
Although he hasn’t released any new albums as of late, there may be something in store for us fans sometime in the future as it was just recently announced last fall that Navarro has signed with UTA Records as a solo artist. Will he be coming out with a new album or single? We’ll just have to wait and find out.
Besides music however, Navarro has appeared in a handful of TV talk shows over the past year including Breaking Band (2016), The Greg Gutfeld Show (2016), The Kennedy Show (2016), and Today (2016). In addition, the 49-year-old has been reprising his role as host and judge on the Spike reality tattoo competition, Ink Master.
If you’d like to stay up-to-date and connected with the American rock guitarist, you can do so by following him on social mediaーyou can find Dave Navarro on Twitter or Instagram at @DaveNavarro. You can also visit him on his official Facebook page at @DaveNavarro6767.