You don’t usually think “deep silence” when you hear the name Russell Brand.
But on Nov. 29 at the Palace of Fine Arts, the wiry and unbounded comedian-actor-musician lends his considerable talents for a one-night performance to benefit the David Lynch Foundation, an organization providing instruction in Transcendental Meditation to some of society’s most vulnerable: the homeless, military veterans, Native Americans and inner-city children.
Brand, who openly discusses his dissolute early life and years of heroin addiction, credits TM with helping him stay on the wagon.
“I’m an erratic thinker, quite an adrenalized person,” he says.
“Through this meditation I felt very relaxed. [I felt] a beautiful serenity and selfless connection — a sense of oneness and love for myself but also for everyone else. I felt like separateness evaporated.”
Like several other unlikely advocates for TM, including filmmaker Lynch himself, plus radio host Howard Stern and comedian Jerry Seinfeld, TM doesn’t seem to have dulled Brand’s edge.
He says, “If you aren’t governed by fear you can live truthfully and find a kind of beauty.” (Tweeting a photo of his wife, singer Katy Perry, first thing in the morning without makeup definitely qualifies Brand as fearless.)
“But if you’re inhibited and fearful, you will live a prescriptive existence,” he adds. “Once you get beyond the hedonistic first impulse of that philosophy, you find you need to focus on something wider, more permanent and beautiful and valuable.”
The DLF benefit concert signifies Brand’s first public return to the Bay Area since his 2008 BBC Documentary series “On the Road,” inspired by Jack Kerouac’s chronicle of that famous road trip across the U.S.
Clearly besotted with his final destination, Brand concluded the series with a paean to what he described as “the fabulous white city of San Francisco … her eleven mystic hills, with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato patch fog beyond … the smoken goldness in the late afternoon of time. San Francisco: Where a whole generation took Kerouac’s book to heart.”
Perry will not perform next week, as she’ll be on her own road trip. But Mr. and Mrs. Brand were able to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary with a romantic jaunt to (where else?) India.
IF YOU GO
Russell Brand Live!
Where: Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 29
Tickets: $50 to $75 and up for VIP entrance
Contact: (888) 233-0449, www.slimstickets.com, www.davidlynchfoundation.org/russell-brand-live
Note: Due to construction, parking is particularly limited, and early arrival is suggested. A free shuttle from the St. Francis Yacht Club is available.