Been Caught Stealing

Album: Ritual De Lo Habitual (1990)
Charted: 34


  • This song is about the rush you get when stealing items from a store just for fun. Jane's Addiction lead singer Perry Farrell has a history of encouraging his listeners to do things that are unlawful or unhealthy: he once told a crowd not to let the threat of AIDS get in the way of their sexual freedom, and he admitted to not just using heroin, but enjoying it. At a time when rappers and dance divas were taking over popular music, Jane's Addiction was a voice of rock rebellion. Farrell points out that he in no way encourages people to follow his advice or example. He explained to BAM magazine in 1990: "I didn't get into this to make sermons or set up structures for others to live by. My intent has nothing to do with teaching. It's to amuse myself on this completely boring planet."
  • The barking in this song is Farrell's dog, Annie, trying to get into the vocal booth.
  • The album Ritual de lo Habitual was released with two different covers: one that contained both male and female nudity and the other, and another called "the clean cover" that showed only the band name, album name, and the text of the First Amendment.
  • The video was directed by Casey Niccoli, Perry Farrell's girlfriend and creative partner. She appears in the Jane's Addiction short film, Gift, and in the video for "Classic Girl."

    The "Been Caught Stealing" video is shot mostly from the perspective of security cameras in a grocery store, as we see shoplifters eluding a hapless security guard.
  • This won for Best Alternative Video at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards. Perry Farrell didn't show up, so director Casey Niccoli accepted the award with a rambling speech. She claimed that Farrell took off with another girl the day before, so she was not of sound mind.
  • Matt Pinfield, who hosted MTV's alternative music showcase 120 Minutes, told Songfacts about the transgressive nature of this video and the band in general. "Jane's Addiction changed the LA music scene - things before that were very different," he said. "They were very polarizing when they came out. People who were more into the jangly R.E.M. sound didn't really get them at first, or the hair metal stuff that was going on at the time."

    "The thing about the 'Been Caught Stealing' video is it shows the sense of humor and playfulness and the complete lack of fear that the band had," he added. "Like, 'Let's have a good time, let's do something that's crazy.' It's a classic video from that period of time. There wasn't much like it - although a lot of people definitely have tried to use some of those ideas."

Comments: 10

  • Hy from Usa And Totally Cool With ItNo allegorical meaning. He explained onstage that he likes the rush of stealing. "It's just as simple as that."
  • Amit from Chicago, Il, UsaFor some reason, this song reminds me of Deep Purple's Hush Hush.
  • Willie from Scottsdale, AzTwo words: arf ... arf ... buh bye! :-)
  • G from Potomac, MdWindy, don't you mean the Simpsons episode where Marge is caught ahoplifting by Apu which came out many years before it was blatantly ripped off?
  • Jeff from Austin, Txthe dude dressed like a pregnant woman wasn't a band member.
  • Madalyn from Greensburg, Pathe song would be so much better without the dogs barking
    other wise its a good song
  • Joel from Columbia, ScFile this one under missheard lyrics. I used to think they were saying "Hey, Iraq, give it back...It's mine.
  • Sled from St. Louis, NeThe lyrics are metaphorical innuendo for sexual pleasure without consideration of the other ("When we want something, we don't want to pay for it./We walk right through the door.") and the boastful celebration afterwards ("We sat and laughed. We sat and laughed and waved it into the air!"

  • Joe from Glendale, NyThis is also a great video. It Shows everyone in the band in some grocery store shoplifting. One is dressed up as a pregnant woman.
  • Windy from Otway, Ohthis song makes me think of the Family Guy episode where lois Steals from stores,but is caught by Joe. Also,this is on GTA:San Andreas.
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