Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23: Pearl Jam lead vocalist, Eddie Vedder, is 49-years-old today.

Vedder was born Edward Louis Severson in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois. His father was a lounge musician, and Vedder was his mother's maiden name. 

In the mid-1970s, his family moved to San Diego County, California. Vedder, who had received a guitar from his mother on his twelfth birthday, began turning to music (as well as basketball) as a source of comfort. He particularly found solace in The Who's 1973 album, Quadrophenia. He said, "When I was around 15 or 16...I felt all alone...I was all alone—except for music."

In the early 1980s, Vedder worked as a waiter, and briefly attended a community college near Chicago. In 1984, Vedder returned to San Diego, California and recorded demo tapes at his home and working various jobs. He played with several San Diego area bands, including Surf and Destroy, The Butts and Indian Style. In 1988, Vedder became the vocalist for the San Diego progressive funk rock band Bad Radio.

After leaving Bad Radio, Vedder was without a band, and throughout the rest of 1990 he worked part-time as a night attendant at a local gas station. Vedder became friends with former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons.

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rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991-2003)TenPearl Jam and Eddie Vedder: None Too FragileMusic for the Motion Picture Into the Wild

In late 1990, Irons gave him a demo tape from a band in Seattle, Washington that was looking for a singer. Vedder wrote lyrics for three of the songs in what he later described as a "mini-opera" entitled Mamasan. Vedder recorded vocals for the three songs, and mailed the demo tape back to Seattle. The three songs would later become Pearl Jam's "Alive,"  "Once,"  and "Footsteps,"  respectively.

After hearing Vedder's tape, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament invited Vedder to come to Seattle to audition for their new band. They were instantly impressed with his unique sound.

Pearl Jam was formed in 1990 by Ament, Gossard, and Mike McCready, Vedder and drummer Dave Krusen. The band originally took the name Mookie Blaylock ( a professional basketball player,) but was forced to change it when the band signed to Epic Records in 1991. Their first album was entitled Ten. 

Ten propelled  the band into the mainstream, and became one of the best selling alternative albums of the 1990s. The band found itself amidst the sudden popularity and attention given to the Seattle music scene and the genre known as grunge. The single "Jeremy" received Grammy Award nominations for Best Rock Song and Best Hard Rock Performance in 1993.

Pearl Jam received four awards at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards for its music video for "Jeremy,"  including Video of the Year and Best Group Video. Ten ranks number 207 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and "Jeremy" was ranked number 11 on VH1's list of the 100 greatest songs of the '90s.

In 1993, the band went into the studio to record what would become its second studio album, Vs. After its release, Vs. set at the time the record for most copies of an album sold in a week, and spent five weeks at number one on the Billboard 200. Vs. was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 1995. From Vs., the song "Daughter" received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and the song "Go" received a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance.

By 2000, the band released its sixth studio album, Binaural, and initiated a successful and ongoing series of official bootlegs. The band released seventy-two such live albums in 2000 and 2001, and set a record for most albums to debut in the Billboard 200 at the same time. "Grievance" (from Binaural) received a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam's contribution to the 2003 film, Big Fish, "Man of the Hour,"  was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 2004. The band's eighth studio album, the self-titled Pearl Jam, was released in 2006. The band released its ninth studio album, Backspacer, in 2009.

Vedder has contributed solo material to several soundtracks and compilations, including the soundtracks for the films Dead Man Walking , I Am Sam, A Brokedown Melody, Body of War, and Reign Over Me. He has also collaborated with a virtual Who's Who in music.

In 2007, Vedder released his first solo album as a soundtrack for the film Into the Wild.

On Pearl Jam records, Vedder uses the pseudonym "Jerome Turner" for his non-musical (usually design and artwork) contributions. He has also at times used the pseudonym of "Wes C. Addle" ("West Seattle.")


For more about Eddie and Pearl Jam, visit the band's Website at- 

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