Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Onion's AV Club on Pearl Jam

As part of their Whatever Happened to the Alternative Nation? Series, the Onion AV Club brings us a well-written, if not always kind, early history of Pearl Jam, entitled Pearl Jam: The perils of fame and the trouble with avoiding it..  Über-fans will know most of what is there, but you'll still enjoy remembering the various bits and pieces in a "remember where you were" kind of way.

“They made a big mistake,” Vedder says ruefully at the movie’s [Hype!] 43-minute mark. “They didn’t go further and find more of the bands that were already here, and had been here even before many of the bands that exploded were. That’s what makes me feel guilty about the success of our band, because it should’ve been spread out to a number of bands.”

When it came to rock stardom, Eddie Vedder was a socialist. But like so many celebrities before and after him, he blamed the media for his problem—which, presumably, was Pearl Jam selling more records than Gas Huffer—when he really should have blamed himself. Pearl Jam broke bigger than anybody else in Seattle because the band’s 1991 debut, Ten, satisfied a social need: It was spectacularly good at making alienated teenagers (i.e. all teenagers) feel less alone whenever they felt misunderstood by the rest of the world (i.e. every waking hour of the day).