Sunday, June 26, 2011

KEXP Documentaries: Mother Love Bone and ... Pearl Jam!

KEXP in Seattle's documentary series entitled Grungeproduced in collaboration with Experience Music Project, continues to roll with shows about Mother Love Bone and Pearl Jam.

You can listen to the Mother Love Bone episode here.

Singer Andrew Wood was well-loved in the Seattle community in the late ’80s. He said he named his band after the two things he loved the most. Mother Love Bone was formed in 1988 by members of two earlier groups from the grunge era, Malfunkshun and Green River. Andrew Wood, from Malfunkshun, was undeniably charismatic as a frontman. With his talent and the tight playing of the rest of the group (including the dynamic drummer Greg Gilmore) Mother Love Bone had an explosive stage show. Wood was influenced by legendary showmen like Freddy Mercury, Paul Stanley and Marc Bolan. He seemed destined for stardom, but to everyone’s surprise, he passed away the night before the band’s big label debut album was to come out on March 19, 1990. Andrew Wood’s death from heroin overdose solidified the dark cloud that hung over the new Seattle grunge scene.

Two members of Mother Love Bone, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard, would go on to form one of the most famous rock bands of all time, Pearl Jam. In this KEXP radio story you’ll hear a vintage clip of Andrew Wood himself. And thoughts from the band’s surviving members on what makes a band succeed or fail.

Or you can listen to the Pearl Jam episode here.

In 1990, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard from Mother Love Bone, drummer Matt Cameron from Soundgarden and guitarist Mike McCready got together to make a demo. This cassette tape ended up in the hands of California surfer Eddie Vedder. Vedder recorded vocals and sent it back, and these recordings were the start of their most famous album, Ten. Decades later, Pearl Jam is the one band that’s continued to play together since the original grunge scene. Vedder’s vocals are influenced by great rock bands like The Who, but also the great singers of Motown.

Pearl Jam gets a lot of flack for being an underground band who became successful. But how could they have done it more admirably? They’ve done so many benefit concerts and made political stands. They’ve defended rights for women, animals and contributed to foundations for Chrohn’s disease. They stood up to Ticketmaster when they felt it was cheating their fans. They’ve protested systems that create war and hunger. Get an inside look at the skills that make this Seattle team one of the greatest rock bands of all time, on and off stage.