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February 1991

 

                    A few days later, (after recording a  better quality demo tape) wanting to get more live experience under their belts before they began recording their debut album, Pearl Jam (Mookie Blaylock at the time) set off on a two-week West Coast club tour opening for Alice in Chains, who were then being comanaged by Soundgarden's manager, Susan Silver and Kelly Curtis. The itinerary took them from Los Angeles to Seattle, and all points in between. The warm-up gig was at the Off Ramp Café in Seattle on February 1st. There's a flier circulating from that show.

 

02/01/91 - The Off Ramp Cafe: Seattle, WA (Mookie Blaylock)

Attendance: 299

Opened for: Alice in Chains

 

                    " Like February 7th we are opening for Alice in Chains and it´s been nice to know that they let us open for them, for 8 shows ", said Mike McCready.

                    "Jeff and Stone, they weren't released from their PolyGram contract. But now we didn't have any relationships with PolyGram and we were being ignored. So we kind of concocted a scheme. We hired the lawyer who had negotiated his contract to help us get out of it. This after six months of trying to get money out of PolyGram", Kelly Curtis (Pearl Jam Manager).

                    "The band fought hard for their release. Kelly and the band had a meeting with Rick Dobbis to basically say we want to go off and do our own thing and start over. And he benevolently granted them their freedom. Kelly then came downtown to a restaurant in Chinatown to meet me and [Sony Music exec] Michele Anthony, let us know how it went. So he's there with Stone and Jeff, waiting for us, and Dobbis walks in. And they literally feigned that they had just finished eating. They left and ran down the street, caught us just as we were getting out of the cab, and we all went running off downtown somewhere else. Small town: how many restaurants, right? It was like A Hard Day's Night. By the time Eddie was playing the shows as Mookie Blaylock, it hadn't been finalized yet, not legally, and that was a huge panic for me. But they got their release. I think there were people who tried to get it stopped within PolyGram. I'm sure they don't look back on it too fondly", Michael Goldstone (Epic Executive).

 

MOOKIE BLAYLOCK West Coast Tour Supporting Alice in Chains:

02/07/91 - Florentine Gardens: Los Angeles, CA

02/08/91 - God Save The Queen: Long Beach, CA

02/10/91 - The Bacchanal: San Diego, CA

02/11/91 - Club With No Name: Hollywood, CA

02/13/91 - Winters (on El Cajon Boulevard): San Diego, CA

02/15/91 - I-Beam, San Francisco, CA

02/16/91 - Cattle Club: Sacramento, CA

02/20/91 - Melody Ballroom: Portland, OR

02/22/91 - The Off Ramp Cafe: Seattle, WA

 

                    Their first show supporting Alice in Chains took place in Los Angeles at the Florentine Gardens on February 7th. They played 'Brother' for the first and only documented time.  Next day, at the God Save the Queen club they were introduced as  "The band had played other places in California, and is now playing here, and has former Mother Love Bone members, and is now called Mookie Blaylock". On February 10th, Pearl Jam played at The Bachannal, a club in San Diego where Eddie used to play with his former band 'Bad Radio'. The only video that is circulating  by Bad Radio was recorded at this old haunt. The Alice in Chains Homevideo as a brief footage of Eddie on stage singing with Jerry Cantrell (AIC guitarrist). Again on February 11th, at the Club with No Name in Hollywood, the guys were introduced as "They are not Mother Love Bone, they´re a new band called Mookie Blaylock. Please keep your eyes out this Summer for their new record, so here they are Mookie Blaylock". Two days later the guys played at this tiny club on El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego called Winter's where Eddie used to work. 

 

02/07/91 - Florentine Gardens: Los Angeles, CA (Mookie Blaylock)

Opened for: Alice in Chains

Setlist: Release, Once, Even Flow, Alone, Breath, Brother, Garden, Porch, Why Go


02/08/91 - God Save The Queen: Long Beach, CA (Mookie Blaylock)

Opened for: Alice in Chains

Setlist: Wash, Once, Even Flow, Alone, Alive, Deep, Porch


02/10/91 - The Bacchanal: San Diego, CA (Mookie Blaylock)

Opened for: Alice in Chains

02/11/91 - Club With No Name: Hollywood, CA (Mookie Blaylock)

Opened for: Alice in Chains

Setlist: Wash, Once, Even Flow, Breath, Porch


02/13/91 - Winter´s: San Diego, CA (Mookie Blaylock)

 

02/15/91 - I-Beam, San Francisco, CA (Mookie Blaylock)

Opened for: Alice in Chains

 

02/16/91 - Cattle Club: Sacramento, CA (Mookie Blaylock)

Opened for: Alice in Chains

 

02/20/91 - Melody Ballroom: Portland, OR (Mookie Blaylock)

Opened for: Alice in Chains

 

02/22/91 - Off Ramp Cafe: Seattle, WA (Mookie Blaylock)

Attendance: 299

Opened for: Alice in Chains

 

 

                    During this time, Seattle was bathing in the spotlight as the location of Cameron Crowe's movie Singles, with many Seattle residents landing bit parts in the film. Others would have a greater role, and then there were some, like Mike and Dave Krusen, who virtually missed the boat altogether. And so on Feb. 22th (the last date opening for Alice in Chains) at The Off Ramp Café in Seattle Pearl Jam met one of the movie's stars, Matt Dillon, and that night, Stone, Jeff and Eddie went partying with him. Mike and Dave Krusen, unfortunately, had prior arrangements. The next day they learned that the partying had doubled its an audition for the movie's fictional band, Citizen Dick (led by Dillon), and that they were not included. Still, Krusen's drum kit would star in the film, with Eddie sitting behind it! Krusen eventually appeared in a crowd scene during an Alice in Chains performance.  

                    "People would come up to me and say, 'Jesus, the pain in that guy [Eddie]... Is it real?' He feels things tremendously... an open wound, in fact. I met him at a barbecue at a friend's house and I sat on the rug with Eddie as things were winding down that night and he just proceeded to unspool. He just started telling stories about all these things that were just crowding his head... and those stories ended up on that first album... Stuff about his childhood and about people he knew and their problems. What you see is no pose", Cameron Crowe.

                    Matt Dillon, accustomed to being the star of his films, was a little uncertain about Singles at first. "'Then I met Pearl Jam, and that sold me. I thought, okay, I know where I'm goin'. These guys are cool."

                    Dillon needed to work hard on his role as a pivotal member of the Seattle scene. His normally short hair was covered with a long, lank wig, and as for the clothes, well, they were the real thing, courtesy of Jeff Ament. The two were the same size, and Dillon felt they gave him a more realistic look. Ament's bedroom was also the inspiration behind Dillon's in the movie.

 

 

                   

 

                    "I definitely don't talk like Matt Dillon. But I made a couple of thousand bucks loaning him my clothes. I wore shorts year round. I rode bikes everywhere, didn't have a car, and if I was going to practice I had to carry my bass on my bicycle, so I couldn't wear jeans. I'm not sure what defined what grunge was or wasn't. I never ever wore a flannel shirt. I had a few hats, for sure. That started off when I was in Green River and had a girlfriend who made hats. At the time, I don't think I looked like a rocker, I looked like a dumbass. It was partly function and partly what was laying around", Jeff Ament.

                    "Me and Stone met Cameron about four years ago. I was just kind of excited, because he was a writer I used to read. At the time, Stone and I were working in coffee houses and trying to get Mother Love Bone off the ground. I heard from him a couple of years later and he got me to help out with graphics and art design, and then he wrote parts into the script for Stone and Eddie, who we´d just met. We probably shot for about ten days to get 10 seconds of screen time", Jeff Ament.

                    "There was a really cool night when a whole bunch of those people came to my house, a farm near Seattle. Kelly and most of the Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains guys showed up. We pulled out guitars and had a hootenanny. It was one of those nights that you never forget, like camping out together. Some people were chemically altered and were giving champagne to my horses when I woke up the next morning. Eddie and [wife] Beth [Liebling] were just like little Eskimos in their sleeping bags", Nancy Wilson (Cameron's Crowe wife).