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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

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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