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December 1995


Merkinball Album                    On December 5th, Merkinball was released. The album consists of two songs recorded during the MirrorBall sessions with Neil Young. It features Neil Young, Brendan O'Brien, Jack, Jeff and Eddie. Mike and Stone were not there on the day I Got Id and Long Road were recorded...it was a spontaneous thing. Merkin was a pubic hair wig (like from back in the 17th century during the plague). Eddie came up with the name for the single. MerkinBall is also available on vinyl.

                    By swearing off the ticketing giant during the summer tour, Pearl Jam tried to crack Ticketmaster's dominance in the concert business. As a result, a previously rigid Ticketmaster started bending it's service fee policies so that other alternative-rock bands could mount low-cost tours without fleecing their fans. Tours by the eagles, Rod Stewart, and Elton John and Billy Joel were breaking the barrier on the high end, with seats topping $100, and service fees were never even mentioned. Pearl Jam helped turn the tide by leading a wave of young platinum-selling bands vying for lower ticket-price honors, including Green Day($7.50); the Offspring($12); Stone Temple Pilots, Soul Asylum, and Hootie and the Blowfish $18; and Live ($20.) In some cases these bands sacrificed their own profits , but Ticketmaster also made token gestures by cutting its service fees. The charge was $1.50 per ticket for at least one Offspring show, and the company allowed some fans to buy tickets throughout the mail without any service fee. Live Success fully lobbied for at least one outlet on each of their tour stops to be able to sell tickets with no service fees.

                    "I'm not sure it helped Pearl Jam [Ticketmaster controversy], but it definitely helped the consumers", David Sestak (who co-manages Live).