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According to lead singer Perry Farrell, there was an actual Jane - with an actual heroin habit and an abusive boyfriend named Sergio - who lived with him and nearly a dozen others in a group house in Hollywood as the band was forming in the early '80s. She talked endlessly about scrimping for a jaunt to Europe: "Jane says, 'I'm going away to Spain, when I get my money saved," and she took an occasional swipe at a housemate, but she never seemed to connect: "She gets mad and starts to cry, takes a swing but she can't hit."
The real Jane is Jane Bainter, who was living in Los Angeles. It took her a while, but she eventually got over her drug problems.
Farrell (Blender magazine, December 2006): "Around 1984, I rented a big house on Wilton, near Hancock Park, right in the heart of everything good in Hollywood, but the whole neighborhood seemed deteriorated. I deceived the landlord into thinking I was a gay interior decorator rather than a Punk rocker, and one of my housemates was Jane, this strangely beautiful, well-to-do girl who got caught up in the drug scene and fell in love with a dealer named Sergio. Jane was an intellectual and knew how to act aristocratic, even with a needle and a spoon on the table. I'm not sure if the song mythologized the neighborhood - St. Andrew's Place is nothing special to look at - but I do think it glamorized her life in a way. That was a great time, though. When the landlord found out I wasn't a gay interior decorator, he came after me with a gun."
Petula talks about her hits "Downtown" and "Don't Sleep In The Subway," and explains her Michael Jackson connection.
Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind. Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand
, is a fan.