30 Interesting Facts About Pearl Jam Every Fan Must Know

Pearl Jam
(Photo : Jonathan Bayer)

Pearl Jam, one of the best-selling bands of all time, was one of the most influential bands of the 1990s, having outsold many of their contemporary alternative rock bands. The band is often described by Rolling Stone as “spending much of the past decade, deliberately tearing apart their own fame.” The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in the year 2017. With over 90 million albums sold worldwide, the band has been one of the most successful rock bands, securing themselves a place in rock history. Here are some really interesting facts about the band that even die-hard fans might have missed before:

    Bono and Eddie Vedder at a Pearl Jam Concert"Bono and Eddie Vedder at a Pearl Jam Concert" by iChris is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  1.  The second album “Vs.,” released on October 19, 1993, sold 950,378 copies in its very first week of release, outperforming all other entries in the Billboard top ten that week combined.
  2.  Their debut album “Ten” stayed on the Billboard charts for almost 5 years, becoming one of the highest-selling rock records ever, reaching 13x platinum status.
  3.  “Vitalogy,” their third album, released on vinyl, CD and cassette, became the second-fastest-selling in history, with more than 877,000 units sold in just their first week.
  4.  During the band’s 2000 European tour, an accident at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark on June 30, 2000, led to the death of nine fans, who were crushed underfoot and suffocated to death, as the crowd rushed to the front.
  5.  The track entitled "Arc" from their seventh album “Riot Act” was recorded as a vocal tribute to the nine people who died at the Roskilde Festival. Vedder performed this song “Nine” times during the 2003 tour.
  6.  During the mid-1980s, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament were the members of Green River grunge band, which disbanded in 1987.
  7.  They began playing with Malfunkshun vocalist Andrew Wood, which led to formation of the band Mother Love Bone in late 1987. With the support of PolyGram record label, the band recorded and toured in 1989, and released their debut album “Apple,” in July 1990.
  8.  But the unexpected death of Wood, due to heroin overdose, let to the demise of the Mother Love Bone, as both Gossard and Ament were devastated.
  9.  Gossard used his time to write material harder-edged than before and started practicing with fellow Seattle guitarist Mike McCready, whose band, Shadow had broken up.
  10.  With the encouragement of McCready, Gossard reconnected with Ament and this led to the trio sending out a five-song demo tape to find a singer and a drummer.
  11. Pearl Jam Lighting Bolt Concert _D7C34970"Pearl Jam Lighting Bolt Concert _D7C34970" by youngrobv is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

  12.  The demo tape was passed on to former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons, to see if he would be interested in joining the band, and also to pass it on to anyone who might be best for the lead vocal position.
  13.  Irons gave the demo to his friend in San Diego, California – singer Eddie Vedder, who was the lead vocalist of the band Bad Radio.
  14.  After listening to the tape, Vedder went surfing, where he got the inspiration for lyrics. He recorded the vocals of three songs – “Alive,” “Once” and “Footsteps,” and sent it back to the trio.
  15.  Gossard, Ament and McCready were very much impressed with Vedder’s vocals and immediately flew him to Seattle for an audition. Vedder became a member of the band with in a week’s time.
  16.  With Dave Krusen on drums, the band, officially under the name Mookie Blaylock, played their first show at the Off Ramp Café in Seattle, on October 22, 1990.
  17.  The band soon signed with Epic Records in the year 1991, and renamed themselves as Pearl Jam, which was said to be a reference to Vedder’s great grandmother Pearl, who had a special recipe for peyote-laced jam, in the promotional videos.
  18.  However, Vedder admitted the story to have been “total bullshit,” although he had a great-grandma named Pearl. It was actually Ament who came up with the name “Pearl,” and the band settled on the name “Pearl Jam.”
  19.  They released their debut album “Ten,” released on August 27, 1991. But, in May 1991, Krusen left the band to check himself into rehabilitation for alcoholism. He was replaced by Matt Chamberlain.
  20.  However, Chamberlain also left the band, after suggesting Dave Abbruzzese as his replacement, who played the live shows of the band supporting their album “Ten.”
  21.  At the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards, Pearl Jam received four awards for its video for “Jeremy” including Video of the Year and Best Group Video.
  22. Pearl Jam Lighting Bolt Concert _D7C35264"Pearl Jam Lighting Bolt Concert _D7C35264" by youngrobv is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

  23.  However, the band refused to make a music video for the most popular single “Black,” despite facing enormous pressure from their record label, as they felt videos rob listeners from self-expressing the song.
  24.  In the early 1990, Pearl Jam set a cap on ticket prices of its concerts, and fought against the ticket vendor Ticketmaster, whose monopoly led to higher prices. The band was committed to keep the ticket prices down, but Ticketmaster refused to waiver service charges.
  25.  The band tried to create from scratch its own outdoor stadiums to perform, but failed in the attempt. The Ticketmaster’s practices were investigated by the United States Department of Justice and members Gossard and Ament testified on June 30, 1994, in Washington, D.C.
  26.  Drummer Abbruzzese, who disagreed with the Ticketmaster boycott, was fired after the finishing of the recording of their third album “Vitalogy,” was completed. He was replaced by Jack Irons, who made his debut at the Neil Young's 1994 Bridge School Benefit.
  27.  Their Ticketmaster boycott led to them play only at non-Ticketmaster venues, which actually prevented it from playing shows in the United States for the next three years.
  28.  Following the events of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Vedder and McCready were joined by Neil Young to perform the song "Long Road" from the Merkin Ball EP at the “America: A Tribute to Heroes benefit concert,” in an effort to raise money for the victims and their families.
  29.  Pearl Jam also played a benefit concert to raise money for Hurricane Katrina relief on October 5, 2005, at the House of Blues in Chicago, Illinois.
  30.  In the days prior to Election Day 2008, Pearl Jam digitally released through its official website a free documentary film, entitled “Vote for Change? 2004,” which follows the band's time spent on the 2004 Vote for Change tour.
  31.  Pearl Jam was ranked at number 8 by the Rolling Stone magazine in its “Top Ten Live Acts of all Time” issue, having been known for their intense live performances.
  32.  The band, throughout the last few decades has promoted an array of causes, including awareness of Crohn's disease, Ticketmaster venue monopolization and the environment and wildlife protection, among others.
  33.  Pearl Jam Net Worth: $70 Million

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