Perry Farrell To Light Menorah In Annual Hanukkah Ceremony

Porno for Pyros/Jane's Addiction leader will DJ at San Francisco event launched by late promoter Bill Graham.

SAN FRANCISCO -- He might be going under the nom de turntable DJ Peretz, but rest assured, the guy on the podium lighting the giant Hanukkah menorah in this city's Union Square on Sunday evening will be none other than Perry Farrell.

The leader of art-pop band Porno for Pyros and the now-defunct L.A. rockers Jane's Addiction will be joining in an annual holiday menorah lighting celebration in Union Square started by late San Francisco-based concert promoter Bill Graham more than 24 years ago.

"The menorah symbolizes the light of the world, and there was not a menorah light [in this country] until Bill Graham lit it in the late '70s," said Farrell, who, in addition to working as a DJ, leads a new band, Gobalee. "When we light the menorah, all the nations in the world are being lit up, so it's important to do it every year."

Farrell's appearance will cap a day of festivities that begins the celebration of Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish holiday which includes the nightly lighting of candles.

In addition to a post-lighting DJ set from Farrell, the festivities Sunday will include '60s personality Wavy Gravy and music from folkie Peter Himmelman. The subsequent eight days will offer arts and crafts, music and other activities at Union Square.

The project also has erected a website (http://billgrahammenorah.com) featuring a history of the Union Square ceremonies, an interactive menorah and information on the joyous holiday.

Farrell, who has participated in previous Graham menorah ceremonies, said of this year's event, "God's existence is verified in the existence of his servants."

In keeping with the legend of the holiday -- which tells of the miracle of one-night's-worth of lamp oil lasting for eight -- Farrell added, "Their responsibility is to keep his name and his cosmic flame."

Farrell met Graham while touring with Jane's Addiction in 1991, the same year the singer launched the Lollapalooza summer music festival. Graham died in a helicopter accident that October.

"There were a few things my dad did that should continue and this is one of them," said Graham's son, David, who also will be participating in the festivities surrounding the menorah's lighting. "It's a hallmark San Francisco event and my dad was always proud to hold up his end of Union Square, which is an appropriate name, given that there's a huge Christmas tree at one end and this huge menorah at the other."

The 30-year-old Graham, who will preside along with his younger brother Alex (DJ Alika), said the celebration is designed as a family event.

"And with the website it will be nice," he added, "because people who aren't in town can see it on the Web and participate in their own way."