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Chilis Rock for the Kids

Peppers, Farrell play benefit for autistic children

October 1, 2004 12:00 AM ET
Beverly Hills rocked Thursday night as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Perry Farrell played a backyard party at Esquire House to raise funds for both the Autism Coalition and Surfers Healing, a non-profit that teaches autistic children to surf.

Surfers Healing founders Danielle and Israel Paskowitz had brought out the star power. "I'm a dear friend of the Paskowitz family, and a surfer from way back," Farrell said before spinning a set as his alterego, DJ Peretz. Farrell also performed two Jane's Addiction songs, "My Time" with Flea and John Frusciante, and "Oceanside" with Flea and Extreme's Nuno Bettencourt.

The luau-themed benefit, for which fans paid $250 a head to hang at the ultra-exclusive venue, an estate set up by Esquire magazine for events in L.A. through the end of the year, afforded an intimate performance setting. Among those on hand to watch the festivities were rockers Rob Zombie, Pete Yorn, Mark McGrath and Dweezil Zappa, as well as model Molly Sims and comedian Chris Kattan.

After Farrell, the Chilis took the tiny stage and played an eclectic thirty-minute set, going all the way back to 1983 for the opening selection "Out in L.A." "That song's older than you," Flea said before the band launched into a cover of the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated." The Chilis also performed an untitled, up-tempo new song.

Other highlights included Frusciante singing a snippet of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer," the more low-key "Around the World" and moving renditions of "Don't Forget Me" off of By the Way and Blood Sugar Sex Magik's "I Could Have Lied."

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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