Who Are You?: Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder


Who Are You?: Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder
Since His Earliest Days as a Popular High School Actor and His Years as The "Best Networker" in the San Diego Music Scene, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder Has Reinvented Himself as the Voice of an Alienated Generation. A Rolling Stone Special Report
"Welcome to the R.E.M. album-release party," Eddie Vedder deadpans from the stage of Seattle's Showbox theater -- "and the Pearl Jam reunion tour."
It's Sept. 14, 1996, and Pearl Jam are preparing to launch the world tour for their new album, No Code. This warm-up club gig should be Vedder's ideal venue. Having long professed disdain for his arena-rock superstardom, he faces a crowd of just 800 or so locals in ...

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in his husky baritone. The applause is scattered. "Well," Vedder mumbles, "you're about to hear it again." With that, Pearl Jam edge into "Sometimes," the fragile ballad that opens No Code. "Seek my part," Vedder sings, pushing out the lyrics in a pained rasp. "Devote myself/My small self/Like a book amongst the many on a shelf."

The muted start seems to confuse the audience of mosh-minded twentysomethings, who are pumped for some of Vedder's girder-climbing theatrics. The fans are out of luck. Even when the band members kick into "Hail, Hail" -- the closest song to a classic Pearl Jam arena anthem on No Code -- they seem determined to thwart the song's urgent, driving momentum. Bassist Jeff Ament, famous for his flying leaps, stands rooted to his spot on the stage. Lead guitarist Mike McCready tries a few flailing guitar-hero moves, but when his band mates fail to respond, he, too, sinks into a sullen torpor. Stone Gossard, who hasn't bothered to remove his glasses for this ...

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delivers Vedder's weekly small pepperoni and sausage pie. Fearful of reported death threats, hounded by fans who have gleaned his other address (in the city's Capitol Hill district), the singer has surrounded himself with a handful of fellow rock celebrities who are unwilling to speak of him to journalists, even off the record. On the rare occasions when Vedder does talk to reporters, he uses the opportunity merely to bemoan, endlessly, the burdens of his fame and success.

Publicly, Pearl Jam have always described themselves as a democracy where all five members form a consensus on decision making. But sources close to the band say that Vedder is the group's unquestioned leader and ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 5/16/2008 02:24:11 PM
Category: Music & Musicians
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1304
Pages: 5

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