Here's another batch of PJ fan notes submitted by readers. If you have more, please send them our way. Ed's storytelling on the rooftop at Murphy's, a possible urban legend, and a memorable autograph snub.
I got to meet Eddie Vedder, and yes, he's cool. I bartend at Murphy's Bleachers across from Wrigley Field in Chicago. As most people know, Eddie is a huge cubs fan and sings the 7th inning stretch on occasion. He usually comes over to Murphy's for a few beers after he sings, and on this particular occasion I got to hang with him on our rooftop for a couple hours. I won't disclose everything we discussed, but he did tell an awesome story involving him, a Bob Dole mask, hash, Johnny Depp, and Hunter S. Thompson in a room at the Ritz Carlton in NYC. Let your imagination run wild. He stayed as long as he could (about 2 cases of beer) and on the way downstairs we thought it would be funny to notify Eddie that it was open mic night at Murphy's. We thought he'd just laugh and get on his tour bus. Nope, dude gets onstage and plays "keep on rockin' in the free world" by Neil Young. Indeed we will Eddie, indeed we will.
Cheers, Russ Natalie
"No, You Want It Back"
Back in 98 at the height of their Ticketmaster feud, PJ did the "Voters for Choice" concert in Washington DC.
To get tickets, you had to send a postcard. or several hundred, if you were a bored college kid with time on his hands and a shit-ton of stamps. Lo and behold, a buddy and I scored two tix.
The deal was, you had to be at Constitution hall at some ungodly hour of the morning, with a photo ID to claim your tickets. No problem there.
Get into the show later, and the kid sitting next to me is about 10, and beaming that she got to see this show. So i asked what kind of photo ID a 10 year old shows. Her father laughs, and says she brought an old report card and he vouched for her. Seemed resonable to me. Halfway through Neil Young's set, security comes up to the girl and tells her she forgot her report card at the desk this morning. Initially, she's nonplussed. 'Its an old report card, no big deal.' The security guard tells her—'no. i think you want it back' and shoves it in her hand.
Intrigued, i watched her open the envelope. Eddie had written a note in there, congratulating her on such an excellent report card and stressing the importance of an education. I have no way to verify if the note was legit, but it seems a long way to go for a joke by a security guard — kirk
"The Night Was Already Legendary And The Show Hadn't Even Started"
I saw Pearl Jam on the Yield/Live on Two Legs tour, I believe in 1998, with my best friend, his little brother, and our dads. It was at what was then called Starlake Ampitheater outside Pittsburgh. As mere middle schoolers, we knew nothing of concepts like pregaming or hotboxing before shows, and so punctuality was the one and only goal. Thus we were inside the venue before the opening act even started. As we walked around looking for corndogs and the like, we saw a tiny, tiny man who I think was wearing a knit cap and who we could SWEAR was the Pearl Jam frontman. Our dads' first instinct was that it was some impostor fucking with drunk people.
But we kids wouldn't accept that, so we made our entire posse slowly follow the man, until our dads confirmed it was most definitely Eddie Vedder. He was just strolling around solo getting a lay of the land at the venue, apparently. Or searching for a corndog. Who the fuck knows.
Our fathers looked on as we three kids approached Vedder. I used to wonder why they stayed back, but I now know how strange it can be approaching/fawning over a celeb when you're a fully developed adult human. Anyway, we struck up a conversation and professed our love the only way modern pubescent males know how: by using the words awesome and like (interjection) far too often. After asking for his autograph, Vedder rebuffed. But before the dejection could even be expressed through our faces, he said he'd sign something for the little brother, since he was just a kid. The night was already legendary for us and the show hadn't even started.
If I recall correctly, that night PJ made an impromptu change to their set list to play a song that someone requested by way of writing it on a shirt and tossing it on stage. Side note: I still have my shirt from the concert - red, with yellow birds on the front, and the tour stops in tiny yellow print on the back. The armpits pretty much have the texture of construction paper at this point.
Spin, spin. — Carl