Gil Kaufman, from Behind the Scenes Music, recently paid a visit to Pearl Jam Headquarters. Check out the story of his tour. Here are some excerpts:
One of the conference rooms in the smartly appointed offices featured images of the band with various dignitaries, from President Obama to Bruce Springsteen. The most intriguing was a shot of Beyonce and Jay-Z walking through the bowels of Madison Square Garden and gawking at a photo of PJ singer Eddie Vedder. Right next to that was a set-up sequel of Vedder looking equally astonished at a photo of the hip-hop supercouple.
The next room was a PJ fan's, well, nirvana, jammed with giant stage props from various tours, a set of surfboards with airbrushed images of the band that was a gift from their Australian label and giant metal racks lined with guitar cases, snare drums and mic stands. At the back of the room was a large carpeted rehearsal space tricked out with a vintage Elton John Captain Fantastic pinball machine, the entertainment system the group takes on the road, a massive Ramones stage-curtain backdrop and a haunting painting of the band's longtime producer and friend, Brendan O'Brien, nailed to a cross.
We walked through to the sports lounge, with its skating half-pipe and the honorary Johnny Ramone baseball lending library, with the many volumes of baseball biographies collected by Vedder's old pal and punk icon, as well as some of Johnny's baseball autograph books, trading cards and a baseball glove-shaped easy chair.
He even treated us to a mini-review of Ed's upcoming, Ukulele Songs.
There, Bierman gave us a preview of Vedder's upcoming solo album, Ukulele Songs, including the swaying, Hawaiian reverie "Satellite" (sample lyric, "Don't think I'm out playin'/ Because I'm inside waiting for you") and the spare, throwback Everly Brothers cover "Sleepless Nights," featuring the perfectly meshed voices of Vedder and the Frames' Glen Hansard.