I first listened to Pearl Jam in my parent’s bedroom (they had cable). Flipping through channels and coming across MTV and Pearl Jam’s Unplugged session for ‘Ten’, their first album. Maybe I was about 17. I recorded it on VHS and played it over and over. I’m 32 now. So what is it about this band, and absolutely no other, that can still have the same effect on me when I listen to their music?
I’ve rolled my eyes at people in tears at Take That gigs. Well, the footage of this. I never went (obviously). But I sniffled twice at this Pearl Jam gig. It’s been about 12 years since I first saw them live (also at the MEN). And I suppose I was taken aback by the emotion. The nostalgia, and the force of it.
Everyone’s been through that lonely stage I suppose, and everyone’s found a band/author/vice that nods at you like, I get that. I understand. Here, me too; this is what I think. For me, that was Pearl Jam. I’m not listening to Pearl Jam in my parents’ bedroom on VHS any more, or wondering when I’d be ‘the star in someone else’s sky’. (Or is it sun? – never sure). This song was like a promise to my future self. To me, now. Things will change, you’ll grow up, you’ll learn to live with things the best way you can. Happiness…the yellow brick road.
Listening to Ten especially is a window back to 1997 and I’m so chuffing grateful that it’s 2012. So grateful that I got to watch them again, and not feel disappointed. (Some bands that last like this start to look like your dad, no?) I got to time travel a couple of decades of life and sing my little heart out. As evidenced on some of these videos.
Here’s a little snippet of Black. Hope you love it.