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Song Meanings / Album concept / Art Work / Technical Stuff


Here's some meanings/information behind these songs:


                    "I'm so ignorant of this technical stuff, I've always done it by ear. Honestly, I'd rather do regular interviews. It's more interesting to talk about whatever... anything other than guitars. I'm not into being a tech-head. Everything I know, I stole directly from Ace Frehley, Angus Young and Keith Richards. That's how you learn. I used to sit for hours and copy every lick on those early AC/DC and Kiss records. From there I went to Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan. After a while, you kind of develop your own style", Mike McCready.



Pearl Jam, Even Flow Single, - Dirty Frank


                    'Dirty Frank', was written during the Chili Peppers tour. Bearing a heavy peppers influence in both its funk feel and its uncharacteristically jocular lyrics, the song tells the tale of "Dirty Frank Dahmer", a cannibalistic tour bus driver who prowls concert venues across the nation looking for fans to eat, all the while driving drunk and transporting a terrified band who mostly hide under their bunks.   Once Mike joked "We were convinced he was a serial killer, oh man, I'm glad we're still Alive".

                    "This is a song about our illustrious first bus driver, who we were convinced was a serial killer. (laughs) It came out of a jam we had at a soundcheck when we were touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. We were influenced by their funky jamming; maybe it's an homage. Eddie came up with the lyrics. We've tried to play it live a couple of times since, but it never works. I've heard it on bootlegs and it's really bad. The recorded version is cool, but we never did it right again", Mike McCready.

                    "Dirty Frank is a pearl jam. The lyrics on that song are amazing, some of the best Eddie's ever written. It had a lot to do with that. You can't help but be influenced by the Chili Peppers when you watch them night after night. Rather than emulating them, we just wanted to catch their groove and feel it the way they feel it. "They cook 'em just to see the look on their face." A little hats-off tribute. [Laughs] It's cool to have moments like that. Sometimes, it's great to be dark and foreboding, but this band definitely has a sense of humor, too. It's important that it comes out at least every once in a while, to keep things in perspective. I don't think Peark Jam are doomsday predictors or sad guys; I think we're a band that enjoys life", Stone Gossard.



Pearl Jam, Xmas Single 93, - Angel


                    In 1991, around the time Eddie wrote the words to the song, he was under the spell of a book he'd found called The Eloping Angels. Written in the 1800s, it tells of a pair of angels who yearn for the love and intimacy they are unable to attain in heaven. It is a story about longing for things just beyond one's grasp and about the torturous isolation suffered by beings who are set apart from others. Those themes figure prominently in Vedder's lyrics to 'Angel'. 



Pearl Jam, Singles Soundtrack, - Breath


                    "That was a really old song of Stone's from his days in Mother Love Bone. It was just another chance for me to do a lot of leads. The song was kind of cool at the time because it reminded me of performing. For me, it was about playing live", Mike McCready.

                    "Breath" and "State of Love and Trust" were recorded last February in Seattle, and are just a couple of songs that we thought would be good for the soundtrack. Not much of a story. [Laughs] They're older songs. "Breath" is on the first demo we did as a band. I used a Les Paul and Marshall on that track. We didn't really have time to mess around and bring in my Vox AC30 and my Steinberger! [Laughs] We had a day-and-a-half to do it, so I just played through my normal set up", Stone Gossard.



Pearl Jam, Basketball Diaries Soundtrack, - Catholic Boy


                    "Jeff and I did that song with Jim Carroll, who wrote the song and the book the movie is based on. Jim came out to Seattle and Chris Friel, a frind of mine (from McCready's high school band, Shadow) played drums. Eddie plays guitar, Jim sings, I play guitar, Jeff plays bass - Stone was off doing something else. We cut it at Bad Animals in a day. We got to hang out with Jim Carroll all day. He's so cool", Mike McCready.



Temple of the Dog, - Reach Down


                    "That was my first lead on an album, and I was so excited. I'd been in a studio before, but never to record an album or anything. I did that in one take! I soloed through the whole thing and ended up with the headphones wrapped around my face. I was totally flushed. The guitar work in that track represents one of my proudest moments", Mike McCready.



Temple of the Dog, - Hunger Strike


                    "I remember thinking that this was a really beautiful song when I heard it. Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) showed me the riff. I had a '62 reissue Strat and I wanted to use the fourth-position tone setting - between the bridge and middle pickups - for the beginning of the song because I like that softer sound. Then I kicked it to the front pickup for the heavier part of the song. This is one of many amazing songs written by Chris", Mike McCready.



Pearl Jam, - Yellow Ledbetter


                    "Yellow ledbetter" was a leftover from the Ten sessions, Eddie had simply improvised the lyrics during the one-take session, singing whatever phrases happened to pop into his head (In concert, Eddie has outfitted "yellow ledbetter" with countless different sets of lyrics over the years). The songīs  odd title was a joke, in honor of a chicago friend of eddie"s named Tim Ledbetter.

                    "Eddie kind of mumbled through that one, I don't think he even had the lyrics together when they did that", Kelly Curtis (Pearl Jam Manager).



Pearl Jam, - Crazy Mary


                    "Lou Reedīs Wife Sylvie gave me a tape in NYC (at the Dylan tribute). Said the music belonged to an artist who had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Her name was Victoria Williams, and that rang a-bell. The second her voice began on the song, "Crazy Mary" I knew who it was...We had all seen her less than 6 months previous opening for Neil Young in Seattle...It was scary and sad,...But no more,...For having met Victoria, it has evolved onto a truly uplifting experience... A quiet, late night slow song... We played in a circle, Live organ, Candles. Take a bottle, drink it down, pass it around...", Eddie Vedder.