Eddie Vedder Makes Incredible ‘Trick Shot’ for ALS Challenge

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder feels at home in the water, but his comfort level got a little trickier recently when he decided to take part in an ALS trick shot challenge.

Vedder was challenged by Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein to complete a trick shot as part of the #TrickShot4Snowy challenge. The challenge was started to help out Calgary Flames Assistant GM Chris Snow who is battling ALS. As part of the challenge, people are asked to complete a trick shot of some athleticism and post it with the #TrickShot4Snowy hashtag, helping to bring attention to ALS, then make a donation to directly fund ALS Research.

For his trick shot, Vedder hopped atop his surf board skimming along the lake’s surface following a boat. While he was doing this, he also balanced while carrying a baseball bat and waited for someone from the boat to toss him a pitch. In addition to being a surfer, Vedder’s love for baseball has been well documented, so it should come as no surprise that he connected on the pitch. The bigger surprise may have been doing so while still maintaining his balance and never falling off the board. You can watch his trick shot below.

Having completed the task, Vedder then challenged his Pearl Jam bandmate Jeff Ament, claiming he knows he has some trick shots he could try, and retired NHL superstar Chris Chelios to take part in the challenge.

Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder Accepts the #TrickShot4Snow ALS Challenge

Fewer than 20,000 people in North America are estimated to be living with ALS. Of them only 2,000 are living with familial ALS, the kind caused by a gene passed down within a family. As of July 9, the #TrickShot4Snowy challenge had raised $186,519 for ALS research. To read more about Chris Snow and his family’s journey while dealing with ALS, click here.

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Eagles, Guns N’ Roses and Pearl Jam Received PPP Loans

Through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the U.S. government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some major rock acts, including the Eagles, Guns N’ Roses and Pearl Jam, are the recipients of loans to help their tour crew members.

The news comes via Rolling Stone, who went through data released yesterday (July 6) by the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration. They found more than 40 acts across the musical spectrum, including Cheap Trick, Weezer, Green Day and Tool, who received between $150,000 and $350,000. The article notes that the Eagles and Pearl Jam were at among those who were loaned between $350,000 and $1 million.

But Rolling Stone stresses that the loans weren’t granted to the artists, but rather their touring companies, adding that the Eagles’ money, according to the data, will help 50 people through this difficult time. The band had been in the midst of a tour where they were playing their landmark album Hotel California in its entirety, with an orchestra, when the lockdown forced them off the road with 12 shows in six cities remaining. The dates had originally been rescheduled for this fall, but they have since been pushed back even further, until the fall of 2021.

The PPP was created as part of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed in March, to help those who have been economically affected by the pandemic. The Small Business Administration released the information, which showed that 660,000 were loaned at least $150,000, following pressure from the media to disclose the recipients.

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Pearl Jam Pen Emotional Tribute on Anniversary of Roskilde Deaths

June 30, 2000 was a day that Pearl Jam will always remember, as nine concertgoers lost their lives during a crowd crush at the Roskilde Festival near Copenhagen in Denmark.

At that show, eight men between the ages of 17 and 26 were suffocated to death when the crowd began to push toward the stage. A ninth man died five days later at a hospital. In addition another 43 people were injured in the incident. Now, as the 20 year anniversary of that concert tragedy arrives, Pearl Jam have offered an emotional tribute via their website and socials.

On their Instagram, the band offers up a brief snippet of a larger message shared below, along with a visual of lit candles in the dark and a passage from their song “Love Boat Captain.” The track, which appeared on the 2002 album Riot Act, references the tragedy, with Eddie Vedder singing, “Lost nine friends we’ll never know / two years ago today / And if our lives became too long / would it add to our regret?

Pearl Jam’s full commentary, as penned for the group by Stone Gossard, reads as follows:

It’s been 20 years since that day.
A normal festival show day…show up 5 hours ahead. Wait for your slot.
I barely remember it…
Sunny, I think.
Lou Reed played, I think.
Then rain and wind.

But nothing has been the same since.

An unexpected moment intervened that forever changed all involved.

The 9 young men who were trampled. The lives of their families and loved ones who had to endure imagining their deaths over and over and the reality of never seeing them again. Every person at the festival who witnessed what was happening and tried to do something, maybe pulling someone up, or not being able to…

And those, like our band, who never realized anything was going on at all until it was too late…

All of us Forever waiting for the news to be different.

20 years later our band has 11 more kids, all of them precious, and another 20 years between us…

Our understanding of gravity and the loss felt by the parents of those boys has grown exponentially magnified as we imagine our own children dying in circumstances like Roskilde 2000.

It is unthinkable, yet there it is. Our worst nightmare.

Every day our hearts continue to ache and our stomachs turn at the thoughts of those young men dying and of what might have been different, if only…but nothing changes.

And our pain is a thousandth of that of the families…. the moms and dads, sisters and brothers, best friends…

Our deepest condolences and apologies to the families who lost their boys that day.

To the brothers and sisters, grandmas and grandpas and friends, all who lost their precious being…
Everyone failed to live up to what was needed in those hours before and in those days following the tragedy. The festival, the media, us included. We retreated and became angry after many reports implied PJ was responsible. Our words were nothing to help at that point. We hid and hoped that it wasn’t our fault. We have been trying our best to unhide ever since.

We’ve met some of the families over the years. With some, we have forged strong friendships…sharing and supporting each other. Some we do not know.

Young men who loved PJ and wanted to get up close. That was the through-line of all those who passed that day. We hope we will never know what that loss feels like. We hope.

We are forever in the shadow of your pain and loss and we accept that shade and are forever grateful to share that sacred space. The space created by the absence of those 9 young men…

Eddie Vedder recalled to the Seattle Weekly in 2006, “The days following, we were all pretty inconsolable. I’m sure that the families and friends have had to live with it in much rougher ways that us. But our own personal experience was that we were practically in the fetal position over the reality of what had happened.”

Band manager Kelly Curtis added, “When we still weren’t sure what had happened or how it went down, I think we all thought at the time, ‘This could be it.'” But Pearl Jam would take some rare time off to process the tragedy between albums before eventually deciding to resume their career.

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Pearl Jam Share Uncensored Version of ‘Jeremy’ Video

While human rights and the Covid-19 pandemic are currently leading the headlines, another serious topic is in the spotlight as Friday (June 5) was National Wear Orange Day, or as it is also known, National Gun Violence Awareness Day. To mark the occasion, Pearl Jam revealed their original uncensored video for “Jeremy” which was previously edited for TV back in 1992.

The original Mark Pellington-directed video alluded to the titular character’s fate in the edited version, but the uncensored version more clearly spells out what happened to “Jeremy.” Just a warning as the more graphic context should be considered before viewing.

In a series of tweets, Pearl Jam wrote, “In addition to the equity protests taking place around the country, today also marks National Wear Orange Day. The increase in gun violence since the debut of ‘Jeremy’ is staggering. We have released the uncensored version of the video which was unavailable in 1992 with TV censorship laws. We have also released an updated Choices shirt with all proceeds to support organizations working to prevent gun violence. We can prevent gun deaths whether mass shootings, deaths of despair, law enforcement or accidental.” The shirts they were speaking of can be found here.

The “Jeremy” video won four MTV Video Music Awards, including Best Video of the Year, Best Group Video, Best Metal/Hard Rock Video and Best Direction.

Pearl Jam, “Jeremy” (Uncensored Version)

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Pearl Jam Reflect on Unconscious Racism + How to Do Better

With the protests concerning racial inequality over the past week, it has led many to re-examine their own behavior and how systemic racism may have imprinted upon their everyday life. That includes the members of Pearl Jam, who have shared their thoughts online.

In a series of tweets, the band writes, “Pearl Jam was started with a love for music and social justice. Our organization has been reflecting on where unconscious racism is still showing up in our own lives and how we can do better.”

They continue, “While we continue to dig in, we do not want to contribute to white voices overtaking the narrative that the Black community is sharing. It is the responsibility of each of us to listen and educate ourselves on how to be better humans sharing this planet.”

From there, the group linked off to a Forge Medium article on performative allyship and how it may actually be harmful to getting a message across. For those unaware, the writer of the piece, Holiday Phillips, describes performative allyship as when someone from a non-marginalized group “professes support and solidarity with a marginalized group in a way that either isn’t helpful or that actively harms the group.” She continues, “Performative allyship usually involves the ‘ally’ receiving some kind of reward — on social media, it’s that virtual pat on the back for being a ‘good person’ or ‘on the right side.'”

She cites posts that use an image and a simple message or hashtag that doesn’t really engage or add anything new to the conversation. She continues, “It almost always expresses itself as outrage, disbelief, or anger “at the injustice.” But your outrage isn’t useful — if anything, it’s a marker of your privilege, that to you racism is still surprising. Trust me when I say this is not so for black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) for whom racism is an everyday reality.” She also calls out messages that refuse to acknowledge personal responsibility for systemic issues, instead seeking a villain to blame. “It separates you (good) from them (bad),” she explains. “Perhaps most noticeable, it’s usually met with praise, approval, or admiration for the person expressing it. That is its lifeblood.”

Rather than limiting support to social media outrage, the author suggests acting with your wallet to benefit agencies actively working on these issues, calling out the racism you see in real life, informing yourself on the issues and taking action in a matter while seeking no recognition for it. Read more of that article here.

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Pearl Jam Envision Climate Destruction in ‘Retrograde’ Video

Pearl Jam envision vast destruction from climate change in their eerie animated video for “Retrograde,” a song from the band’s recently issued Gigaton LP.

The clip opens with a man driving through the rain and visiting a strip-mall psychic. Gazing into a crystal ball, he foresees the Earth’s devastation as floods rage through cities and landmarks across the world — including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Space Needle in Seattle.

But director Josh Wakely weaves in an uplifting message, following the band members as they march out of tarot cards and unite with the rest of the world. Toward the end, climate activist Greta Thunberg is revealed as the fortune teller, alluding to the scientific warnings she’s helped spread in real life. Before the credits roll, a neon sign outside the building flashes a prophetic lyric from the track: “It’s Gonna Take Much More Than Ordinary Love to Lift This Up.”

You can watch the video below.

In an interview with Variety, Wakely detailed the intense creative process that birthed the video. The project was originally planned for a live-action format, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the team to adjust the production with a mixture of animation and motion-capture.

“Several times, I wondered if I’d have to call the band and tell them I couldn’t do it,” Wakely told Variety. “I would walk into my basement studio at 8AM and leave at 2PM, with Zoom running pretty much the entire time. But it was an amazing team effort. And it remains pretty definitively the vision I set out in the script long before COVID was a word I understood.”

The director told the publication that “Retrograde” marks one of his high points on the band’s 11th studio album. “Something Pearl Jam has done so extraordinarily well for 30 years is to speak truth to power and fire warning shots,” Wakely said. “Several other [Gigaton] songs spoke to me, but this one kept me up at night.”

“Retrograde” is the fourth single from Gigaton, following “Dance of the Clairvoyants,” “Superblood Wolfmoon” and “Quick Escape.

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Pearl Jam’s Incredible Concert Experience for ‘All In’ Challenge

Pearl Jam are the latest act to take part in the “All In” challenge and nominating others to pay it forward. The band has put together an impressive charitable package with the desire to raise funds for America’s frontline workers during this Covid-19 crisis.

Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder accepted the challenge on behalf of the band after being nominated by actress Laura Dern to take part. “I just wanted to tell her and everybody on behalf of myself and the group, we are in. We are all in and challenge accepted,” stated the singer toward the top of the video.

Vedder says he and the band have been thinking about how much they miss the live experience and playing for the fans, which is something they had intended to do this spring before the pandemic hit. That said, when the pandemic lifts, the group has come up with an incredible concert-related package that they feel will create an experience that gives you the full live show feel.

“What we’d like is for you and a friend to come to a Pearl Jam show near you and we thought it’d be nice if you came early for a soundcheck and you can see what that’s all about,” Vedder starts.

He then adds, “For at least one song, I’d like to have you onstage where I stand in the middle there, or six feet away, but to be up there on the stage and hear the stage sound and be surrounded by these great musicians at loud volume. Even just to stand in front of the great drummer Matt Cameron, directly in front of him, it’s a true thrill. You’ll feel some vibrations that maybe you haven’t felt before, ones that I’m lucky enough to feel all the time, and I thought that would be a great thing to share.”

“Maybe you could add a few song requests to the set list, within reason, or a challenge. You could challenge us,” says Vedder. They also have the idea of experiencing the show from different vantage points, first having the fan watch on from great seats in the audience, then moving to the soundboard where they can take in how the lights and sound work. From there, the winning bidder will get to hang at the side of the stage with the crew and even have the chance to join in bringing Eddie a guitar or microphone and enjoying some wine as well.

Adding to the fun of it all, Vedder suggests, “Why don’t we just say it’s your birthday and I’ll sing and have the whole crowd sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you. They won’t know. They’re not going to check your ID.” There will be candles and cake of course. And yes, you’ll also get a signed Telecaster guitar on top of it all.

“I reckon you’ll have a good story to tell,” says the singer.

Donations for Pearl Jam’s “All In” challenge will benefit No Kid Hungry, Meals on Wheels America and America’s Food Fund which benefits Feeding America and World Central Kitchen.

Finishing out the video, Vedder then nominated Chicago Cubs executive Theo Epstein and Treehouse Masters chief Pete Nelson to come up with their own packages and join in.

For those interested in Pearl Jam’s “All In” challenge, head here. And to see more of the “All In” challenge auctions, visit this location.

Eddie Vedder Details Pearl Jam’s “All In” Challenge Package

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Watch Billie Joe Armstrong, Eddie Vedder + Others Perform on Global Citizen’s ‘One World: Together at Home’

One of the biggest entertainment events yet during the global pandemic, the Global Citizen One World: Together at Home, took place Saturday night (April 18) across multiple TV networks as well as a variety of social media platforms. Among the entertainers across multiple genres included such rock giants as Pearl Jam‘s Eddie Vedder, Green Day‘s Billie Joe Armstrong, Sir Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones.

McCartney was among the night’s first performers, expressing his gratitude to perform during an event celebrating the world’s health care workers. “Let’s tell our leaders that we need them to strengthen the health care systems all around the world so that a crisis like this never happens again,” said McCartney, before reflecting on his own mother Mary who was a midwife and a nurse. He then performed the classic Beatles tune “Lady Madonna,” as seen below.

Sir Paul McCartney, “Lady Madonna”

Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder was the next rock act to appear during the special, settling in behind an organ to play a haunting version of the Gigaton album closer “River Cross.” The somber organ sound, a candlelit room and Vedder’s weathered vocal definitely made an impact. Check out his performance below:

Eddie Vedder, “River Cross”

The Rolling Stones were a late addition to the performance lineup, but provided one of the evening’s highlights. With a screen split between four cams, Mick Jagger opened the performance strumming an acoustic guitar to the familiar classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” One by one, camera screens popped up for Keith Richards, then Ron Wood and finally Charlie Watts, with the latter primarily drumming on household cases rather than drums. Still, the performance moved from a stripped back track to a more upbeat bluesy delivery by its conclusion. Watch below.

Rolling Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong previously performed on Elton John’s broadcast benefit, playing “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” This time around, he stuck with the American Idiot album, but played the seemingly apt “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” Have a look at the performance below:

Billie Joe Armstrong, “Wake Me Up When September Ends”

In the description for the Global Citizen organization, it reads, “Global Citizen is a social action platform for a global generation that aims to solve the world’s biggest challenges. On our platform, you can learn about issues, take action on what matters most, and join a community committed to social change. We believe we can end extreme poverty because of the collective actions of Global Citizens across the world.” Learn more about Global Citizen here.

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