Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Lost Dogs: 1992-1994



This was a productive era for the band. And most seems to have been released. At least, that is what we have thought.  In 2011 Pearl Jam released the book (and movie) PJ20 and on page 283 of the PJ20 book, the background photo is of master tapes and shows the songs 'Black Eye' and 'Eastern Beatles':

 Some interesting information on Black Eye in the 1994 Rolling Stone article written by Cameron Crowe:

Pearl Jam is the band’s turf statement, a personal declaration of the importance of music over idolatry. But the burden of Pearl Jam’s popularity has fallen most solidly on Vedder, who spent much of his off-season wondering about the effects of being in such a high-profile band. Vedder had – uncharacteristically – even gotten into a barroom fight defending the band. (In a Waits-like voice, he offers a snippet of an unrecorded song that he has written about it: “Gave myself a black eye/To show off just how I was feeling.”) 

There is also a 2001 Billboard article that contains the following snippet:

Does Pearl Jam ever go back and revisit unfinished ideas from previous writing sessions?
Jeff Ament: Probably not as much as we should. I definitely have amazing memories of some songs off "Vs." I know there's three totally finished amazing songs that don't have any vocals or lyrics and melodies. There's a couple of things from "No Code" too.

Maybe Jeff was referring here to Eastern Beatles, Cready Stomp and possibly Black Eye. Or maybe to a song called ‘I Won’t’. Because at the exhibition over at the PJ20 festival they even showed a lyric sheet for an unreleased song from this era called ‘I Won’t’. The post-it note even said ‘a song to be released someday….’.

So the song ‘I’Wont’ is surely not an instrumental. And based on that interview with Cameron Crowe ‘Black Eye’ could also have lyrics. CreadyStomp was released on the Vs. deluxe edition as an instrumental. ‘Eastern Beatles’ could be both. Since none of this was released we can’t tell.  

But we do know that a dozen cassette tapes belonging to Dave Abbruzzese found their way to E-bay. They were bought by a fan but not shared yet. All that we know is that it confirms all the above mentioned songs like ‘Black Eye’, ‘I’Wont’ or ‘Eastern Beatles’. As well as a recorded cover ‘Owner of the Lonely Heart’. Amongst jams and other instrumentals on those tapes one can also find four acoustic sketches or unfinished songs simply titled acoustic #1 to #4. Acoustic #1 was released on the PJ20 soundtrack!

More proof on 'Owner of the lonely heart' was found on the following still. It's from a September 1991 sessions with Dave A. Chinese was also tried.

The PJ20 book also had a passage about their first recording session with Brendan O’Brien. They demoed some Vs tracks and recorded covers of Sonic Reducer and Baba O’Riley. The first was released on a fanclub single (but not on Lost Dogs) the latter remains unreleased….