My homework assignment from my good friends at Deadspin was to write about my interaction with Pearl Jam and in particular Eddie Vedder in honor of their 20th Anniversary. The difficulty in this assignment is writing it without coming off like a name-dropping ass. Well for those of you who don't like me—enjoy, and for…
If you were going to pick a day to be a fly on the wall, you could do a lot worse than Oct. 8, 1990, in the dank downtown Seattle basement-cum-rehearsal space where Eddie Vedder, having arrived on a plane from California that morning, sang with Pearl Jam for the first time.
Vacuous, unchecked rock lore holds that Pearl Jam—before they settled on the sploogiest name in pop music history—were first called Mookie Blaylock. Grunge's stadium heroes would have been named after a very good, but never great, NBA point guard, if only Blaylock hadn't taken notice and forced a name change.
Fine. I admit, this is selfish. No one else on the staff was ever as excited about the prospect of a Music Week featuring Pearl Jam as the unifying theme, even though this band's sports-music connection is more obvious than most. They'll deal.