Here's the first batch of PJ fan notes submitted by readers. If you have more, please send them our way. In this batch you'll find Ed on a Tennessee runway, Ed making an anniversary special, and Ed landing on someone's head.
In 2008, Pearl Jam came to Bonnaroo in Tennessee. I had a connection that let me get out on the runway of the local airport when Pearl Jam's jet came in. I got to quickly snap this picture of Eddie Vedder as he was getting off the plane. Then we had to unload the band's luggage from the plane and into the van waiting for them. I included that picture as well because it was Eddie Vedder's guitar case with a "MB" sticker on it (Mookie Blaylock?). That night at Bonnaroo, Pearl Jam performed, and the suitcase that Eddie Vedder was carrying off the plane was onstage with him. At one point in their set, he opened the suitcase, and took out a pack of cigarettes, and a bottle of something and just took a smoke and drink break while the band was jamming...
"To The Nice Couple In The 3rd Row..."
I pseudo-surprised my wife by purchasing 3rd row center-stage tickets to Eddie this past summer in Long Beach. To celebrate our anniversary in concert style, we made a glittery sign on bright pink poster board that read 'Dear Eddie, It's our 4th Year Wedding Anniversary. Love, Jaime and Jamie'
About 15 minutes into the show, Eddie has the stage crew hit the lights so he can see the crowd. We hold our sign in the air, and all the fans in the front three rows are yelling to Eddie about our anniversary (PJ fans are just cool). Eddie couldn't quite read the sign, so he asked us to pass it to the stage. After doing a few more songs, he walks over to the sign, leans over to read it, gets a smile on his face as he leaves the stage after his first set.
He reappeared on stage and played a few more great songs, he stops and says to the crowd something along the lines of 'I wish the dedicate the next song to the nice couple in the 3rd row celebrating their 4th anniversary.' He then plays the Tom Waits 'Picture in the Frame' song. Our neighbors happened to be at the show and took a picture of the pink sign on stage with Eddie. We were able to get back stage after the show thanks to our neighbors, but never had the chance to meet Eddie. We did meet actor Tim Robbins...— James Wheeler
"He Landed Directly On Top Of Me"
Okay, maybe this isn't the greatest story on earth, but I swear I wouldn't have made it to middle-management without this event happening, and as that is my second greatest achievement (and the first is my son…who really is the combined achievement of my wife and my sperm…so I hold this PJ story in pretty high regard).
Lollapalooza, Tinley Park, 1992. Pearl Jam are still new enough that they're playing during the day, right after Rage Against the Machine (Rage OPENED the show…are you serious!?!). Eddie starts talking during the breakdown for "Once" and says "to" the security guard "Hey man, I invited a couple people down to the front" and then makes a motion to essentially the entire stadium. I'm out on the lawn, and being young and spritely at the time I hop a couple of barriers and charge down to the front, along with about 3000 other blabbering idiots who'd heard Ten on repeat for four months. The band kicks back into "Once" and some moron throws his flannel at Eddie, who promptly ties it around his own head, essentially blindfolding himself.
He's still plowing through "Once" and staggering around the stage blind when he comes back to the climactic guttural scream of the song and throws himself off the stage and into the crowd and land directly on top of me. I manage to suppress my boner long enough to help everyone lift him back up and surf him back to the stage, while simultaneously grabbing the flannel shirt…along with another 10 people.
I wrap the shirt around my fist and hold on for dear life. Piece by piece it's ripped away, including a chunk by a guy who bit down on it with teeth like Jaws from the freakin' Bond films. Ultimately I'm getting trampled and me and one other guy have the shirt. I scream to him "HOLD ON AND WHEN WE GET OUT OF HERE WE'LL SPLIT IT UP!!!!!!"
We start army crawling, still getting stomped on by suburban kids with brand new Doc Martens, connected by the shirt like two convicts in a predictable Jaime Foxx movie until we get away from the scrum and split the shirt up. I ended up with a piece about five inches by three inches and cherished it like a dead sea scroll…right up until my fucking house burned down three years later with the shirt inside…
James R-Phoenix AZ