6 Psyched Out P*rno for Pyros Songs

Everything about Perry Farrell‘s post-Jane’s Addiction band P*rno for Pyros dripped in psychedelics, from their eponymous debut in 1993, followed by their second and final album, Good God’s Urge.

Videos by American Songwriter

P*rno for Pyros was an experimental hodgepodge before breaking up in 1998. P*rno For Pyros was tripped out from the opening “Sadness” and mellowed-out “Meija” and into the more upped “Pets” and happier ending of “Orgasm.”

[RELATED: P*rno for Pyros Postpone Reunion Tour]

More than a decade after disbanding, the band reunited for a brief reunion around Perry Farrell’s 50th birthday in 2009 and again for a Lollapalooza live-stream event in 2020. P*rno for Pyros reunited for the band’s first full show in more than 20 years at the Rockville Festival in Daytona Beach, Florida in May 2022. That year, the band also played Lollapalooza festivals and a show at the Metro concert hall in Chicago and revealed their reunion tour and new music in 2023.

Working off their brief catalog of two albums from 1993 through 1996, here’s a look at just six of the trippiest P*rno for Pyros songs.

1. “Pets” (1993)
Written by Perry Farrell, Stephen Perkins, Peter DiStefano, and Martyn LeNoble

“Pets” was written about a relationship guitarist Peter DiStefano had with his high school classmate Briana Dean and her tragically short life.

“It was a song written for a girl that I was in love with,” said DiStefano. “I was in the seventh grade at Lincoln Jr. High in Santa Monica and she was in my cooking class. Still, when I think about her the love that I feel, you can call it puppy love or whatever, but my heart feels and my stomach drops,” he recalls.

DiStefano added, “One day she didn’t show up in cooking class. The teacher was nervous and everything. Then the next day we heard in the news—and nothing ever happened in Santa Monica [California]—but she had been murdered. There had been a Charles Manson-type couple that were robbing [her] house. Her and her brother, they came in [and] they tied them up, raped them, and cut them up in pieces. It was traumatizing and we didn’t talk about it.”

The song came from a “very dark place,” according to DiStefano. “When I played it, Perry goes ‘Pick it up’ so I did and he wrote lyrics to it. I never told the band or anybody where it came from, so I feel like the reason it went to No. 1 and was my biggest hit is because it was Briana’s ghost giving me success.”

Lyrically, Farrell was likening the human race to pets for their destructive nature. Ω

Released as the second single off P*rno for Pyros, “Pets” went to No. 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.

Children are innocent, yeah
Teenagers fucked up in the head
Adults are only more fucked up
And elderlies are like children

Will there be another race to
Come along and take over for us?
Maybe Martians could do
Better than we’ve done
We’ll make great pets

We’ll make great pets
We’ll make great pets
You make great pets

2. ” Sadness” (1993)
Written by Perry Farrell, Stephen Perkins, Peter DiStefano, and Martyn LeNoble

The opening track off P*rno for Pyros’ debut, “Sadness” addresses the complexities of mental issues, from sadness and depression and a cloudier state.

I got the devil in me
It’s a cloud
It’s sadness
It’s a cloud
Then I find compassion
And I find
It vanishes
These thoughts I have they seem
To pass me by
Like a cloud

I was praying
It’s a cloud
And hope it’s just another form of prayer
It’s a cloud

3. “Cursed Female”
Written by Perry Farrell, Stephen Perkins, Peter DiStefano, and Martyn LeNoble

Still on P*rno for Pyros debut, “Cursed Female” proceeds “Cursed Male” but delivers a more prevalent message of women’s more imbalanced reality: Cursed to be born / Beautiful, poor and female / There’s none that suffer more.

She’s the queen of the bees
That buzz in the bars
Fresh as a strawberry
And she always loved dancing

Cursed to be born
Beautiful, poor and female
There’s none that suffer more

Two girls in two nights
Got caught in the back of the alleyway
Fresh as strawberries
Two girls in two nights
When no one came out
Zipped up their clothes
And walked back on home

4. “Orgasm”
Written by Perry Farrell, Stephen Perkins, Peter DiStefano, and Martyn LeNoble

“Orgasm” is about a woman who has never experienced one. The closing track on P*rno for Pyros, “Orgasm” is one of the band’s more trippy tracks that remains in its sexualized trance for more than four minutes.

I met a girl
Who’d never had
An orgasm
I couldn’t believe
She’d never had one
I said, “sit back
And get yourself relaxed”

You looked so good
So good

5. “Porpoise Head”
Written by Perry Farrell, Stephen Perkins, Peter DiStefano, and Martyn LeNoble

Featuring Daniel Ash, David J, and Kevin Haskins of Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, and the Bubblemen, “Porpoise Head” opened P*rno for Pyros’ second and final album together in 1996, Good God’s Urge. The song explores the sensation of a drug-induced hallucination.

Here I lay waiting
for the bubbles to settle
I’m going down low
where your sleep meets your mental
Two tries at killing me
they couldn’t do it
I ran down the road
with no shoes and no jacket
Here I go dive away
Watch me dive away
Hey porpoise head
oh porpoise head
I know young boys
they all want to be bad
Don’t think it’s madder
to be a genius
Give me a lover
who won’t give me troubles
Some sexy dreams
to chew on these bubbles

The album also brought in Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro on the track “Freeway,” along with his Red Hot Chili Peppers bandmate bassist Flea.

6. “Tahitian Moon”
Written by Perry Farrell, Stephen Perkins, Peter DiStefano, and Martyn LeNoble

Also off Good God’s Urge, “Tahitian Moon” circles around finding peace even during uncertainty. The video for “Tahitian Moon” features the band performing on a beach in Tahiti, interspersed with images of Tahiti natives and surfing shots.

My boat’s capsized it’s gonna sink to the bottom
I can see the lights on the shore getting farther away
I don’t if I’ll make home tonight
But I know I can swim under the Tahitian moon

I came out here tonight to look for my friend
I don’t know if I’ll ever get to see him again
I don’t know if I’ll make home tonight
but I know I can swim under the Tahitian moon
one last time under the Tahitian moon

Photo: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage

Leave a Reply

7 Classic Rock Songs That Captured the Spirit of the ’70s

Top 5 Guitar Solos by ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons