David Bowie was a hero and legend to many, so those in the music industry who had a chance to have a relationship with the singer cherished the moment. But sadly for Jane’s Addiction‘s Perry Farrell, he twice pushed the boundaries of that friendship with technological mishaps. As Farrell revealed to Howard Stern, on two separate occasions, he accidentally provided access to Bowie’s personal contact info to random strangers.
Farrell and Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan both shared Bowie stories while appearing on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show earlier this week. But Farrell’s story is one that just leaves you with that sinking feeling knowing how much that the Jane’s Addiction singer admired Bowie.
“It was not like I was talking to him or said something wrong,” explains Farrell, before revealing his Bowie mishap. “Back in the day, when cellphones were just starting to happen, I just had this Blackberry … so I left my Blackberry in a cab on the way to the airport and the cab driver took it, went through it and found David Bowie’s name, so he called him up.”
Farrell reveals that the cab driver kept calling Bowie, which led to a reprimand from the legendary singer. Perry explains, “I said, ‘Hey man, it wasn’t me. I’m sorry that this guy’s bothering you, but I left my phone in the cab,’ so he forgave me.”
But that was just strike one for Farrell where Bowie was concerned. As Perry revealed to Stern, “This was also [around the time of] the beginning of the Internet, so I didn’t know what a BCC, blind CC copy was on an email. So these people reached out to me to see if I would help them save this lake. And I got really excited about it and I go, ‘I’m altruistic and I’m going to help the world here,’ and then I said, ‘I’m going to see if David wants to do this too.'”
“So I send him this thing and I say, ‘David, you’ve gotta help me save the fish,’ and what I didn’t realize is there were 300 people on the chain. So again, all these people start hitting him up, and again, he said, ‘Perry, what are you doing?’ and I said, ‘Well, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m sorry.'”
Farrell says after that, he never really had a chance to make it up to the singer. He recalls, “Just before he died, they had a show that he had put together with Tony Visconti, a great producer, and he wanted me to do it. So I was like, ‘Aw man, I’m gonna make up with David. This is great. I can’t wait.’ But two weeks before the show, he died. So I never got a chance to say, ‘Hey man. We did it. And I didn’t screw up.'”
Farrell has taken part in multiple Bowie tribute events in the years since, and the singer remains one of his favorite artists.
Earlier this week it was announced that Jane’s Addiction would be joining Smashing Pumpkins on their fall tour. In addition, Farrell was on hand to support Billy Corgan and his Smashing Pumpkins bandmates when the group became just the second rock act to have their handprints immortalized at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.