Notes On Pearl Jam 20.. Or.. My Two Hour Boner
Got a chance to view "Pearl Jam 20" yesterday. Suffice to say I was in Fanboy heaven for 2 hours. There's not much here the hardcore PJ fan doesn't already know but it's the collection of amazing footage that director Cameron Crowe painstakingly pieced together that makes it worth the price. The early footage of the band and Mother Love Bone with the late Andy Wood is the most incredible. I think I was hit with a nostalgic hammer while watching the early interviews and live performances. The early 90's were a roller coaster for me and seeing Pearl Jam in their pre-battered by fame days reminded me of a time when it was ok to wear Combat Boots with jean cut-off shorts. I grew up listening to these guys. And when I say grew up I mean survived my twenties and made plenty of life altering decisions. I was never one to subscribe to the "Kurt Cobain is the spokesperson of my generation". I did like Nirvana but I've always loved Pearl Jam.
Here are some of my favorite moments(until the next viewing):
I wish they would have spent more time on the recording of "No Code" which I think was a great turning point for the band creatively. But I'm sure there will be tons of extra footage with the DVD release on 10/25. There are some heavy moments in the film too, like their reaction to the fan deaths during their set at the Roskilde Festival in 2000 and Eddie talking about the father he barely knew. By the end you realize it took them 2 decades to figure out how to be in a band that creates on it's own terms. 20 years is a long time to commit to anything. Most bands are lucky to last past a couple of years and the average length of a marriage in the U.S. is five years. A band is much like a marriage. There's a lot of compromise, love, sadness, fighting, and happiness. You have to be as honest as possible to make it work. Cheers guys, for doing it your way and keeping it "real" for so long.
What were some of your favorite moments from "Pearl Jam 20"? Let me know in the comment section below. Let's talk a little Pearl Jam.
- Their 2nd gig ever at the Moore Theater in Seattle playing "Alive". To see them so unsure and treading lightly on stage is strange but there is also a chemistry that is coming to life.
- Their performance at the MTV "Singles" release party that never aired due to large amounts of wine and tequila. Apparently the band didn't want to do it and ended up doing a gig that all admit was very embarrassing. The footage is pretty hilarious and at times a little scary. Eddie repeatedly screaming "FUCK YOU" as a security guard tries to keep HIM from pouncing on the crowd is especially crazy.
- The band working out the Who's "Baba O'reily" backstage at Lollapalooza 92'. At this point they were surfing the crest for "10" but were going on third. I remember Stone saying in an interview at the time that they loved the early spot because it was low pressure. Eddie doing the scream in this scene is nothing but pure joy.
- Stone and Eddie first working together on a song that would later become "Daughter" on a tour bus. The interaction between them seems so natural.
- Mike McCeady saying he didn't remember playing "Daughter" on Saturday Night Live because he "blacked out".
- Jeff Ament and Chris Cornell's emotional testimony about their love for late Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood and how it affected them. Ament's description of seeing Wood in a coma is especially moving.
- Stone Gossard beaming with pride while describing hearing Eddie Vedder's voice with Chris Cornell's during the Temple Of The Dog sessions. My favorite line is "Wow! Our guy can really sing too!"
- The live footage of "Blood" from Auckland, NZ is quite powerful.