He's one of the great singers, he's one of the great songwriters, he's one of the great performers and in addition to all that he is a multi-instrumentalist, dear friends please welcome Eddie Vedder...
(Photo: Danny Clinch)
= He was born on December 23, 1964, in Evanston, Illinois. A year after he was born his parents divorced and his father left home. His mother married very quickly and introduced the new husband as Eddie's biological father.
= His mother decided to adopt 7 more children and create a lifestyle of a shared home, but in the early 1970s, Eddie, his mother, and three other half-brothers left for San Diego.
= When he was 12 his mother bought him a guitar and Eddie who found solace in music began to focus on it and on surfing. He said he felt alone all the time, except for the moments he was with the music.
= His mother divorced for the second time and moved with the rest of his brothers back to Chicago, but Eddie decided to stay with his father to finish school. At that time he discovered that his current father was not his biological father but his stepfather, Eddie did not have a chance to meet his biological father who had passed away several years earlier.
= Eddie tried to support himself and live alone, but was not really successful. He worked in a number of jobs such as gas stations, pharmacies, and even security. He eventually collapsed under the load, left school, and soon returned to his mother in Chicago.
= In 1984 Eddie returned to San Diego and began to spend most of his time in music, he wrote, played, created, and recorded various demos. Five years later he joined a funk band called "Bad Radio" and began his musical career.
= In the late 1990s, Eddie received from his friend Jack Irons (the drummer of the Chilies) with whom he played basketball a tape containing songs of a band in the making from Seattle. He listened to the tape and immediately (after a surfing session) wrote the lyrics and recorded vocals for each of the three songs
In the tape. These songs will later become what we know today as "Footsteps", "Once" and "Alive".
= During the flight to Seattle, Eddie wrote one of the band's most moving, if not the most moving songs, the song "Black".
= At the time, Ament and Gossard were working with Chris Cornell, guitarist Mike McCready and drummer Matt Cameron on a tribute album to the death of their friend Andrew Wood, which would later become the immortal album and ensemble "Temple Of The Dog". Eddie walks into the studio in the middle of the recordings and right away he is "thrown into the water", Chris asked him to sing background vocals in the chorus to the song "Hunger Strike". Eddie who stunned everyone in the room including Chris himself finally performed a significant part of the song instead of just background vocals. Eddie stayed for the rest of the recordings and performed background vocals for more songs on the album.
= In 1991 came out the only album of this band bearing the band name "Temple Of The Dog". This is Eddie's first recording album and it's also the first time he's heard himself sing on a record. Eddie said it was one of his favorite songs.
= At that time Eddie lived in the basement of Kelly Curtis who would later become the band's first Manager, his partner in the basement was Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains).
= Mike, Jeff, Stone, Eddie, and temporary drummer Dave Krusen went down into a small basement in Seattle, filled with heavy wooden tables and rusty tools, and within a week of rehearsals, they wrote 11 songs. The chemistry and dynamics between the guys happened quickly and brought out the best of the group in that basement.
= Immediately afterward they sign a contract with the record company "Epic" and enter the "London Bridge Studios" in Seattle with producer Rick Parashar, to record their debut album. The recording of the album lasted only one month and was done on a minor budget of about $ 70,000.
= The band's first name was "Mookie Blaylock", named after a famous basketball player who carried the number ten on his shirt. Since this had legal implications, the label forced the band to change the name and it was changed to "Pearl Jam".
= One of the defining moments in Eddie's life was the moment Chris loaded him on his shoulders and took him on stage to start the "Mookie Blaylock's" show. Eddie said he had a very hard time getting on stage, he felt like a foreigner coming from another city straight into Seattle’s music culture, a place where everyone knew everyone and everyone played with everyone. When in addition Andrew's death is still hovering in the air. Chris brought him on stage, introduced him to the audience, and gave him his blessing in front of the audience in Seattle.
= This event was the beginning of a wonderful and long-standing friendship between two huge singers and composers, but also between two fragile and wounded souls. Eddie said Chris was more than a best friend, he was a role model, the friend you look up to, admire, and love.
= In August 1991, the band releases their debut album "Ten". Although initially, the album was not very successful, towards the end of 1992 it got a significant breakthrough. It comes in second place on the Billboard 200, receives two Grammy nominations, and sweeps a bunch of awards on MTV. The album soon became one of the greatest albums to come out of the grunge scene and one of the greatest of the 1990s, and in general.
= The album brought to the young group a huge success at a lightning speed, straight into the lives of the young and innocent bunch. Everyone had a hard time dealing with it but Eddie was extremely difficult. The issue of success, commercialism, and admiration will accompany him throughout his life and will cause quite a bit of frustration, anger, and a great deal of criticism towards the industry. The hardest thing for him to carry is the dependence or expectations of the fans. Eddie said he felt that many people began to believe that he could change their lives or even save their lives, and they created such big and heavy expectations that just tore him apart.
= Already on this album Eddie turns out to be a songwriter in every sense of the word, his ability to write songs and the way he presents them is phenomenal. He is ranked at No.7 in Rolling Stone's best vocals of all time whereas Chris is ranked at No.9 (Just saying).
= In 1993 the band's second album "Vs" was released. The album soared on the waves of success straight to number one on the Billboard 200 and stayed there for 5 weeks breaking weekly sales records.
= Did we mention Eddie's aversion to success and fame? So in October 1993, a picture of Eddie appeared on the cover of the famous "Time" magazine. His photo was published as part of the article on the rise of the Grunge scene from Seattle. Eddie was very upset about the magazine and claimed he had nothing to do with the publocation.
= The band releases 9 more albums: "Vitalogy" (1994), "No Code" (1996), "Yield" (1998), "Binaural" (2000), "Riot Act" (2002), "Pearl Jam" (2006), "Backspacer" (2009), "Lightning Bolt" (2013) and the last album released in 2020 "Gigaton" that really got us back to the beginning, we fell in love with the band again following the album!
= Eddie has also written materials for the soundtracks of many films including "Dead Man Walking" (1995), "I Am Sam" (2001), "A Brokedown Melody" (2004), "Body of War" (2007), and more ...
= In 2007 Eddie released his first solo album "Into The Wild" which is the soundtrack to a Sean Penn movie of the same name. The album consists of 11 songs, two of which are "Hard Sun" and "Society" covers. Sean gave Eddie the freedom to create but asked him to accompany the script and Eddie for his part liked the idea that someone was outlining for him the storyline according to which he should write.
= In 2011 Eddie released his second solo album "Ukulele Songs". An album consisting of 16 songs, five of them covers, all performed on a Ukulele. The album was accompanied by a short and intimate tour that Eddie performed in small clubs across the United States.
= Eddie is a huge singer and performer and has a very, very, very long list of collaborations with artists of all shapes and genders, including: Ramones, Neil Young, REM, Neil Finn, Bad Religion, Mark Seymour, Cat Power, Mike Watt, Fastbacks, Wellwater Conspiracy and more ... and more ... and more ...
= We said, performer... He has two regular customs during the band's performances where he interacts with the audience. The first (which is good that no longer exists) is to perform spiraling exercises on anything that allows it on stage, pillars, cranes, lighting, cameras/photographers, and anything that can be climbed on and then jump from headfirst into the audience. The second is communication, everywhere in the world where the band performed, Eddie would write a letter in the local language, study it, and read it to the audience during the show.
= Eddie is very active socially and politically. He espouses the notion that music is a way of conveying a message and he uses the stage in order to influence and express his opinions. A very famous event took place during a band performance on MTV Unplugged. During the show, Eddie took a black marker and wrote on his hand "Pro-Choice" which is the name of an organization that supports women's right to have an abortion.
(Photo: SAMIR HUSSEIN)
= In 2010, the Vedder's founded an "EB Research Partnership", a worldwide organization dedicated to funding research aimed at treating epidermolysis bolus (EB), a destructive group of life-threatening skin diseases that affect children from birth.
= This time we will also send you to see three important films. The first is "Hype!", A film that tells the true story of the '90s in Seattle and how the Grunge scene rose. The other is "Singles", a Hollywood film made during the time of the Grunge scene in Seattle that features many of the band's members including Eddie. The third is "Pearl Jam 20", a documentary about the band's 20 years of existence