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 January 1995

 

                    "Hey... am I on?" were the first words delivered by Eddie at the start of the band's, "Self Pollution Radio" [a reference to a Vitalogy passage on the evils of masturbation]. The four-and-a-half hour show, was broadcast on January 8th, 1995, and featured live sets from Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, the Fastbacks, and Mad Season (Mike's side project previously known as The Gacy Bunch), a spoken word piece from Nirvana's Krist Novoselic, tracks from Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl's solo album (Foo Fighters debut album), impromptu interviews and much more.The program was conceived following Pearl Jam's Easter Sunday show in Atlanta last April [04-03-94]. The band had purchased satellite time and made the show available on a nonexclusive basis to any radio station that wanted to carry it; afterward, Eddie spun his favorite records for an hour [he played as also his and Beth's holiday answering-machine messages on the air and put in phone calls to a number of musician friends, among them Neil Young (who wasn't home) and L7 drummer Dee Plakas (who discussed the feminist organization Voters for Choice, for which Pearl Jam, Neil Young, and L7 would play a benefit in Washington, DC, the following week)]. The show also marked the live electric debut of Pearl Jam's new (by that time) drummer, Jack Irons, a one-time Red Hot Chili Pepper. The show was broadcast from a run-down Seattle apartment Eddie used as a rehearsal space. Bands performed in the bedroom, and a separate trailer was used for Eddie's DJ stints; video montitors were hooked up so that visitors could see as well as hear the live sets. During the broadcast, Eddie gave his home phone number. Originally the phone company disconnected the number due to the large volume of calls received. The number was then reconnected and some fans did get through. The number has since been disconnected permanently. Director Doug Pray, on hand during the broadcast filming footage for a forthcoming Seattle scene documentary, Hype, found the event fascinating. 

                    "That was the result of a major label saying, 'Okay, you won't do videos, you won't do interviews...what will you do? Will you do anything?'. They have a huge budget to spend, so it turns into an accounting problem for them. The band's response, apparently, was, 'Okay, we want to set up in out practice room and have a bunch of our friends play, and we want to broadcast it to the whole world'. So they got this satellite dish-there's a shot of it in the movie- outside of the dingiest little practice room. This gigantic dish literally beaming all over the world. Los Angeles alone had four stations, a six-hour broadcast, no commercials. Just them playing music and every once in a while going, 'Is this thing on?'. I mean, it was kind of bad in a way, but it was great. All these local bands they were promoting. If that isn't a radical example of do-it-yourself on a global scale, I don't know what it is", Doug Pray (Hype Director).

 

Pearl Jam performing at the Self Pollution Radio 95

 

                    "They sent the audio to us, and we just put it on the satellite, anyone who has a shortwave radio on the planet Earth would be able to listen. And because it was done on a nonexclusive basis, three radio stations in Los Angeles ran it, four in Detroit, six in New York -- that never happens. This is free form progressive radio, and it's a party for the band".

                    "That was something Eddie arranged through a Seattle radio station (KNDD 107.7 FM). The Seattle community got so big so fast, and then when Kurt killed himself, it seemed like everything was unraveling, falling apart... which it did. This was Eddie's attempt to just get everybody together and jam. Soundgarden came down, Krist Noveselic read some poetry, Mudhoney played, The Fastbacks played, Pearl Jam played and Mad Season played. We did it in Eddie's living room. It was great because it was a chance for everybody to get back together and just jam and talk. It was a loose vibe. You didn't really think about it going out live all over the world", Mike McCready.

                    "Everybody looks happy and healthy tonight, It's like a community thing. It's fantastic!", Kris Novoselic.

                    "I think this should happen every week!", Matt Cameron.

                    "The first PJ pirate radio show was at this practice place that they had, it was this dilapidated house along the side of a small freeway. And it was just this boarded up house that looked like it was condemned. It was like a punk-rock house party. A million dollars worth of gear broadcasting from it. There were a few kegs outside, kind of the immediate circle of friends, the Seattle scene people were there. It was just really fun. I wish more things like that happened where I could see a lot of these people on a regular basis", Steve Turner (Mudhoney guitar player).

                    "Jack is the guy that actually turned us on to Eddie. So in some ways it's come full circle. Whether we're together for two more months or 10 or more years or 20 more years -- it feels like the definitive right version of this band because Jack had a lot to do with us finding Eddie. I'm ready to be in a band again. Hopefully, we can work out our ticketing thing. We'll figure it all out, and then we can play", Jeff Ament. 

                    "Jack's amazing. Dave was a great musician, but I think Jack is a little more of a Matt Cameron (Soundgarden) type of drummer and is better suited to us. We actually feel like a complete band now for the first time. We're Spinal Tap when it comes to drummers [laughs], but I think this is gonna be the final change", Mike McCready.

                    "The response [to the Easter broadcast] was phenomenal, and the band loved it, and Eddie said, 'Hey can we do this again?' And then a couple of months ago when he was in New York, he sat down with us and said, 'Can we do that?' And we talked about where and how, and we came up here about six weeks ago and saw this place", Harvey Leed (vice-president of promotion at Epic).      

                    

 

01/08/95 - Self-Pollution Radio: Seattle, WA

Setlist (live) Part 1: Spin the Black Circle, Satan's Bed, Corduroy, Not for You, Immortality,

Setlist (live) Part 2: Last Exit, Blood, Tremor Christ, Porch, Indifference  

Complete Broadcast: Pearl Jam  'Aye Davanita', Eddie Vedder  intro and comments, Sonic Youth 'Teenage Riot', Slant Six 'Don't You Ever', Klark Kent (Stewart Copeland from The Police, and his band) 'Away From Home', Pearl Jam live Part 1, Daniel Johnston 'Walking the Cow', Zeke ' West Seattle acid party' and 'Schmidt rid', Eddie & Beth's holiday answering machine messages, Dee Plakas (from L7) & husband singing Jingle Bell Rock, Matt Lukin (from Mudhoney), The Descendants 'City girl', The Fastbacks live (On your hands, Run no more, Old address of the unknown), Gashuffer 'One Inch Masters', John S. Hall (from King Missle) 'A Little restraint (spoken word)', The Gits 'Guilt within your head',  Eddie comments interview w/ Val Agnew (from 7 Year Bitch) and Dave Minert (from Greta), Bobby Miller 'Keep your mouth off my sisters (spoken word)', Dancing French Liberals of '48 (The Gits minus Mia Zapata) 'Dancing Foreign Legion', Mudhoney live (Judgement, rage, retribution and thyme, Generation spokesmodel, What moves the heart), Eddie & Stone, Weapon of Choice 'U Owe it to U', Outkast 'Ain't no thang', Jeff mix tape with Iggy, Tom, Veruca, Henry, and Noam Chomsky, Mad Season live (   Lifeless dead, I don't know anything), Jeff (Tom & Iggy (drummer piece), Jeff (Jungle Oats) 'Solitude', American Music Club 'The President's Test for Physical Fitness', Eddie, Dave Grohl/Foo Fighters 'Gas Chamber (by Angry Samoans)', Exhausted', Babes in Toyland 'Pain in my Heart', Soundgarden live (Blind dogs, Fell on black days, Kyle Petty, son of Richard, No Attention), The Frogs (Do me), Eddie & Krist Noveselic,  Phone-call with Dennis (from The Frogs), Wesley Willis 'They threw me out of church', Phone-call with Mike Watt 'Big train', Mike Watt's answering machine message w/ Kathleen Hanna (from Bikini Kill), Krist Novoselic reads from his book    Chapter 1 - Surprise, Surprise, The Who 'Tattoo', Pearl Jam and Krist live jam, Pearl Jam live Part 2, Hovercraft '0001', Magnog, Phone-call with Dee Plakas about Voters for Choice,  Eddie  commentary about Rolling Stone, Spin, Ms.Voters for Choice memo, Louis Armstrong 'What a wonderful world'.

 

 

Mike and Jeff during Soundcheck, at the Hall of Fame 95 with Neil Young

   

                    On January 12th, Eddie inducted Neil Young into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Stone and Jeff joined Neil Young and Crazy Horse for the first ever performance of 'Act of Love', a song that would appear on the 'Mirrorball' album. After Neil Young's speech, Eddie, Jeff and Stone joined them to perform 'FuckinīUp' which was censored by the TV Network. 

                    "I uh, I can't get this thing out of my head. It was, uh, I think it was Peter Buck from R.E.M. and Neil Young and they were doing an interview and they were talking about music and talking about their love of vinyl and the analog sound compared to the digital sound and uh what a shame it was the industry kind of pushed it aside. Um, and then he went on to say something like 'Those people at the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame better think twice about inducting me 'cause if I get that Eddie with Neil Young at the 95 Hall of Fame podium in front of those people, I'm gonna have a lot to say.' So I hope Neil's feeling uh, feisty tonight and, uh, speaking of feisty, some smartass who arranged the tables put our table right next to TicketMaster's table over here, so I predict a food fight by the end of the evening...and I would recommend to the classy people like Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson over there to scoot away or maybe join in. Maybe we should all join in while we got 'em right here. I was talking with this guy Joel Bernstein who's a friend of Neil's, a comrade and co-worker who was cataloging all of Neil's tapes from over the years for a box set and, uh, there were tapes... there were 8-tracks and 16-tracks and 24-tracks and cassettes... like a thousand of them. And I asked, you know, were they labeled? And he said, 'Yeah, they were labeled. They were labeled Wednesday night, Monday morning jam in B.' And after it was all done, I think Joel ended up cataloging them by songs like the 40 best versions of 'Tonight's the Night' and the 65 best versions of 'Cortez the Killer' and Neil and I were standing in this room and we were looking at all these and I thought he was maybe gonna take one down and we were gonna play it. He looked around and he said, 'I gotta get outta here.' I saw a man overwhelmed by his body of work. Um, on the way over, Stone Gossard...he said a friend, Lonnie, called Neil's music, uh, 'mountain funk.' He was the 'king of mountain funk.' I thought that was pretty cool. He's taught us a lot as a band about dignity and commitment and playing in the moment and when I hear, you know, the speeches and inducting Janis Joplin and Frank Zappa, I get, uh, I'm just really glad he's still here. And I think I'm gonna have to say that I don't know if there's been another artist that has been inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame to commemorate a career that is still as vital as he is today. Some of his best songs were on his last record. Well, it's a real privilege to be up here inducting him... to a great songwriter, a great performer, a great Canadian. Welcome to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, Neil Young", Eddie inducting Neil Young into the Hall of Fame.

 

 

01/12/95 - Waldorf-Astoria: NYC (Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

 

                    During January, Pearl Jam played two benefit shows in Washington for the Voters Choice. Because Pearl Jam refused to use Ticketmaster, the Los Angeles-based ticket distribution system, concert organizer Campbell set up an elaborate mail lottery system for the Saturday and Sunday benefits. This led to about 167,000 pieces of mail with the winners pulled by random. On January 14th, by the time Pearl Jam took the stage, it was nearly midnight and the audience gave the group a thunderous ovation. Not only were these fans seeing the band return to action, but they had also overcome tremendous odds to get the $25 tickets. Saturday's show almost marked the official debut of Jack Irons, who has replaced fired drummer Dave Abbruzzese. Eddie, wearing a red sweatshirt, spoke only once about the abortion-rights issue, and that was in the form of a brief message urging young fans to believe in themselves, whether starting a rock band or expressing their political views.

                    "These guys were friends, I liked the music, they knew my playing. But don't get me wrong, there were auditions. There were four or five other guys they were talking to. Each guy in the band had someone they were interested in. To some degree, I was the favorite, but there was no guarantee. I was friends with Eddie, and we both knew we wanted to play together, but I had to fit in with everybody. So when I first joined, they were like, "Let's do this first tour together and see how it goes over three or four months." And we spent about that much time just feeling each other out and getting through things. But they welcomed me from the start and treated me as a bandmember throughout. Like any relationship, I sort of just dived in. From my perspective, it couldn't have been just any band. It had to work musically. But I also figured if I didn't have to struggle in the music business anymore, if I could just play and have some sense of balance, that would be the thing I needed", Jack Irons.

 

Eddie during the press conference with Gloria Steimen                    Earlier, at 2pm went on a press conference at the 930 Club , where the group had played in itīs early days, Eddie stared into a battery of TV cameras and reporters as he expressed his support for Voters for Choice, which is headed by Gloria Steinem. 

                    "It is a weird position as an artist... to blatantly enter the political ring. We don't come from that space... [but] I know what it is not to be heard, so if I can raise my hand and speak out for some of these people who don't have a voice at the moment, then I almost feel a responsibility. I think it is... sickening [About the recent violence at abortion clinics]. There's nothing that distinguishes these [people] from any other terrorists... I was thinking [in 1993] after David Gunn, which was the first death to come about this way, that everything was going to stop... that people were going to realize that pro-lifers killing people was going to be the ultimate contradiction and it must stop... As it is, now they're like martyrs. Forget MTV,the action is on C-SPAN [fans as young as 12 and 13 have written him about their concern over such as issues as violence in school and abortion rights]", Eddie Vedder.

                    "I first met Pearl Jam because they were performing, with Neil Young, for the 22nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade at an annual concert that Voters for Choice does in Washington, D.C. When the issue of late-term abortion was emerging as a crucial one, they asked to have a briefing so that they would truly understand the issue. Maureen Brittel of Voters for Choice, who was one of the women whose story convinced Clinton to veto the legislation that would have outlawed late-term abortions, came, and the whole band was there. You know, it's a level of caring. Since then we've all become friends. And, of course, now I've acquired a value to my nephews that I never had before", Gloria Steinem (Women's rights activist).

 

01/14/95 - Constitution Hall: Washington, D.C. (Voters for Choice Benefit)

Attendance: 3,500

Opening: Lisa Germano, L7, Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Setlist: Release, Spin the Black Circle, Last Exit, Tremor Christ, (Wish You Were Here riffs)/Corduroy, Not for You, Daughter/(Sick o' Pussies), Glorified G, Go, Deep, Black, Rearviewmirror, Immortality

Encore: Blood, Indifference, Act of Love

Notes and Quotes:
With Jack Irons behind the drums for the first time as the Pearl Jam drummer, the members of the crowd reacted by booing, which Eddie remarked "you miss Dave and I think that is really nice. But you should all thank Jack Irons because this band wouldn't be together today if it wasn't for him. He saved the life of this band, so thank him". Eddie dedicated 'Go' to Dave, [who wrote the song]. 'Act of Love' is played with Neil Young, sans Eddie.    

01/15/95 - Constitution Hall: Washington, D.C. (Voters for Choice Benefit)

Attendance: 3,500

Opening: Lisa Germano, L7, Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Setlist: Release, Go, Last Exit, Tremor Christ, Corduroy, Whipping, Not for You, Dissident, Daughter/(Sick o' Pussies), State of Love and Trust, Satan's Bed, Rearviewmirror, Act of Love (teaser), Immortality, Black, Blood, Porch

Encore: Better Man, Spin the Black Circle, Indifference, Rockin' in the Free World

Notes and Quotes: "I should introduce you to Jack, playin' behind the drums...Jack Irons, Hey...We feel like a real band up here", before 'Dissident'. During 'Daughter', "My Body is nobody body but mine, you run your own body, let me run mine". "I think you all figured why we're here, why you're here, so...we don't need to talk about it, we're just keep playin' for a while", before 'Rearviewmirror'. "We hope you had a great night...It means a lot to us, you came out...or it was for the music or the cause, it just means a lot, you're here...Thanks for your stamps, postcards...for your future, for nation this is the only bulding in this city that it's not controled by Ticketmaster...Glad we could had a great time without those guys...it's good...I was going to talk to you more but Stone is ready to play, so", before 'Blood'. "We forgot, there's still more...We could stay here till the West Coast time", before 'Porch'. Returning for the encore, "Thanks...I was going to talk to you some more about politics, but if you guys vote...if you guys have the energy towards voting as you do towards music, we are all set, we're just fine...If you don't believe that you could make a change by your vote, and that you can't make changes by your actions, and that you cannot spread the word to your dear friends...I think that, we dealt we this twenty years ago, and I think we are in the majority, we've got lifes, some of these people that are causing all these trouble, and killing fucking people, they don't seem having any life...It's getting very serious, and you have to spent time to be active in this stuff...And I know it's just like you think like 'My God I've got other things to worry about and this shouldn't be a problem', but it's becoming a big problem and once we get rid of this one we can move on to other things...Music is my religion, I would get joy from that...I would never force my believes upon anybody and that's the problem...And so what else can I say, Hold on to your freedom", before 'Better Man'. "We like to thank everybody for playin' in the bill tonight...Lisa Germano who started the night off, L7...I don't know if you've noticed or if you paid attention but L7 had a different drummer...The usual drummer is Dee...Dee is the Rock for Choice poster girl, she started it...she's really mad at me for bringing her [laughs]...But it's really important to mention these people...So thanks again to L7...and Neil is not here, he had to take off right away, but he's gonna hear the tape, so everybody give a big hand for Neil Young and Crazy Horse...And we should also thank the crew who came, Dave and Kerry, Brett, Smithy, give them a big hand...And now they're pissed off at me too...And one person I hope doesn't get made to mention her name, but it's been very inspirational for me and Beth...Everybody here give a big hand for Gloria Steinem...This all thing as been for Voters for Choice, which is raising money to elect people who are...to put people who are Pro-Choice and take care of you guys", before 'Indifference'. L7 joined the guys on 'Rockin in the Free World'. 

 

 

                    In late January, Pearl Jam began recording 'Mirrorball', a loose, well-received collaboration on which they served as Neil Young's backup band. The recordings took place in Seattle, at Bad Animals.

                    "I got a call from Kelly. He said, "Don't be surprised, but in an hour Neil Young is going to call you and want you to produce a record with him." He calls me and says, "Can you come tomorrow, or the next day?" We did [Mirror Ball] in a week and a half. Eddie wasn't around much for it", Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam Producer).

                    "I think I was in the midst of a pretty intense stalker problem, and leaving the house wasn't the easiest thing to do. And also I don't think we had a lot of downtime and I had committed to my most significant other that that was going to be downtime", Eddie Vedder.

                    "That came at a time when we needed it, that Neil thought we were a band that would be good to make a record with. He probably felt sorry for us. He made it all right for us to be who we were. He's not taking his career so seriously that he can't take chances. Suddenly, our band seemed too serious", Stone Gossard.