Sunday, January 8, 2012

We're faithful, we all believe, we all believe it (Pearl Jam)

Adam gave me a copy of Pearl Jam's Twenty DVD while I was back in NZ recently. My children know my tastes well!

I've been a pretty loyal fan since day one when the unbelievably great Ten came along. It seemed they arrived fully formed (I love it when bands appear this way - like The Doors - with a different sound/attitude/style right off the bat).

I also love it when, as a fan, I can get in on a good thing right from the start. Maybe that's why I have continued to buy every studio album released by the band over the last twenty years (even when the quality control was a tad wayward).

I even have a sizeable collection of the live albums and Stone Gossard's fantastic solo album, Bayleaf  (although I'm not that enamoured by Eddie's solo stuff away from the band for some reason).

The Twenty film is an excellent primer on both the band and the Seattle music scene that spawned them. It's also a pretty good insight into Cameron Crowe who was a Rolling Stone journalist before becoming a film maker of some renown (Jerry Maguire is one of my favourite films and its also gave Tom Cruise AND Renee Zellwiger their best roles ever).

I liked Eddie Vedder before I watched the film. Now I like him a lot more! What a guy - a fantastic voice I knew about, but a sensitive soul with a brain is pretty rare in rock circles.

The other revelation is Stone Gossard. The cool name, the cool music - yes, but who knew he was so funny, so personable, so anchored, so nerdy (the glasses and goofy grin? It could be me!!!). I loved the tour of his house where he finds his Grammy award in a dark corner of his basement!

The film has some great moments but the version of Better Man when the crowd takes over the singing is especially affecting.

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