During Jane’s Addiction’s 2012 “Theatre of the Escapists” tour, an odd piece of business happened each night. An odd-looking woman pushing a baby carriage across the stage — no comment, no big gestures, just wheeled a Gothic perambulator from stage right to stage left. What was inside the stroller? A sadobaby.
The notion of a sadobaby, at least in pop culture, dates to a 1988 documentary about San Francisco runaways living on the streets. The kids portrayed in the film modify dolls as little totems for their own situations.
It’s a powerful idea, creating fetish dolls to exorcise the demons of an abusive environment, and it’s very much in line with the kinds of imagery that Perry Ferrell has brought to Jane’s Addiction since their inception. In fact, voodoo dolls were used as promotional items for 1990’s Ritual de lo Habitual album.
Aside from using the documentary for their “Twisted Tales” video, Jane’s used the sadobabies to make a little extra money at the merch table, where the previous night’s sadobaby was sold off among the t-shirts for a bit more — okay, a lot more. What do you expect for a one of a kind creation hand-crafted and signed by Perry Ferrell?
Mine was purchased at the Portland show on September 4, 2012. I can’t remember what I paid, and because nobody is selling theirs I have no idea what it might go for. Wild guess: $300-$500 to a Jane’s fan, $3-5 to the rest of the world. Happy hunting.