Pearl Jam Twenty documentary


By: Derrick Deane on July 27, 2011 at 4:56PM

Directed by Cameron Crowe, Pearl Jam Twenty (shortened to PJ20) features never-before-seen footage of Eddie Vedder and his bandmates, along with commentary from Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell and Alice in Chains’ now-deceased Layne Staley, as they adjust to their rise to superstardom. Crowe has brought us previous music documentaries featuring Tom Petty and Alice in Chains, so you could say this is familiar territory for the former Rolling Stone magazine freelancer. The footage and soundtrack look great and this is sure to be a must-see for Pearl fans when it hits theaters sometime in September.

Pearl Jam Twenty from Pearl Jam on Vimeo.

The above article has to do with one of my art pieces: “A Vedder Jam.”

Becoming a man with Pearl Jam

By Tim Benjamin (11-17-09)

Pearl Jam's 1991 debut album Ten

Pearl Jam's 1991 debut album Ten

Growing up in the nineties as a teenager with no real moral compass to direct me I did have a few in the music world.  After my father left three days before Christmas of 1991, the following Christmas was a cold bitter after glow of the shattering of my family and what I had thought to be normal.  The following Christmas of 1992, my brother gave me the cassette of Pearl Jam’s debut album Ten.  This gritty and studio based beat rumble and rattle album shot through my ears as I drove the dark streets with my brother to and from my father’s homes.  Forever, Ten will be the soundtrack album of my family’s destruction.  The aftermath of my father leaving left my mother forever damaged and the track “Why Go” was in my mind the song of my mother battling the world. It was later revealed that Vedder’s lyrics were inspired by his long-held hurt in discovering at age 17 that the man he thought was his father was not, and that his real father had already died.  I had another male leave me in 1993 and that left me with Kurt Cobain who died the following year.  The absence of a male role model and the vacuum of how to feel or how to deal were left to what was left of the grunge movement.

"Kurt Cobain's Primal Scream"

"Kurt Cobain's Primal Scream"

The importance of the influence of Kurt Cobain’s primal scream of anguish cannot be under or over stated as my loyalty to him.  Thus, the dilemma of the death of the last of the men of my early teenage years.  Cobain’s and his widow’s criticism of Pearl Jam did not help matters in what I should do with myself. .  Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain angrily attacked Pearl Jam, claiming the band were commercial sellouts, and argued Ten was not a true alternative album because it had so many prominent guitar leads. The collaboration of Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament and Soundgarden’s singer Chris Cornell and drummer Matt Cameron in the formation of Temple of the Dog in 1990 would of proved that since Chris Cornell, a mentor to Cobain of Vedder’s promise and worth.  Cobain later reconciled with Vedder, and they reportedly were on amicable terms before Cobain’s death in 1994.  At a concert following Cobain’s death, Vedder stated that he and his band would not be here if not for Kurt.

"Not For You" CD single art

"Not For You" CD single art

As my personal heartbreak in my freshmen year around Christmas of 1993 took affect, the Pearl Jam album Vitalogy (1994) was released and the track “Not for You” was a secret yell at the person that broke my heart.  The song with or with out its true meaning were both wrong with what I felt but I had something to scream with.   Many evening I spent running in the cold night air listening to the album as loud as possible as my breath was seen in the streetlights.

1996's No Code

1996's No Code

As my senior year rolled around, I had my brother leaving to join the Coast Guard.  As friends went, I had a good friend in my older brother.  Always busy and had great friends that took me in as one of their own, and in the end I had another male leave me.  The same year Pearl Jam released my personal favorite album of theirs, No Code.  Poignantly was the track “Off He Goes” in which Vedder wrote about himself “being a shit friend. I’ll show up and everything’s great and then all of the sudden I’m outta there…”

"Off He Goes" CD-Single art

"Off He Goes" CD-Single art

This fleeting relationship more than a shit friend is how I felt about my brother and many other men in my life that I feel I scare away or they have better things to do than hang out with me.  The double side is those that I wish to be better acquainted with some but I can only muster enough courage to talk briefly talk with them than I have to run away.

A Vedder Jam

eddie_vedder_vedder_jam-IMG_2437-thumbA Vedder Jam

Color Pencil on Strathmore 11” x 14”

November 11, 2009 – 12 hours

The name of the alternative rock group Pearl Jam came from the introduction of their new singer.  After the original singer of the Sub Pop band Mother Love Bone died of a drug overdose, the bassist and founder recruited a San Diego surfer named Eddie Vedder.  After Vedder had covered the final formulation of the band and all original planned tracks for Mother Love Bone, he wrote a couple new songs as well.  This plus a few other factors gave Vedder the ability to add his input into a new name for the group.  The name was conceived as a band decision however it was fettered through Vader’s family.  Vedder said that the name “Pearl Jam” was a reference to his great-grandmother Pearl, who was married to a Native American and had a special recipe for peyote-laced jam. (1) – Tim Benjam

(1) ^ a b Neely, Kim. “Right Here, Right Now”. Rolling Stone. October 31, 1991.

"Eddie Vedder" 1996

“Eddie Vedder” 1996

It should be noted that the color version of this portrait of Eddie Vedder was done 0n November 11 – 17, 2009 which are important dates both in the country of America and in my life span.  The original sketch was done in 1996 and has spent close to to fifteen years in my portfolio.  The revision came as I had grown uncomfortable with the light sketching style that was the norm of my life in the late nineties.

After stubbornness and the love of color in my art urged me to do a really refined portrait of Mr. Vedder.  After smoothing out his hair and trying my best to recreate that slightly stained and faded coloring to his grunge style shirt, I started on the background of Red and maroon.  Somehow Eddie Vedder will for ever be in a marron coloring in my mind.  Blue and purple blotches began to arise and the idea of jam came to mind.  In all it was a stones throw away from Pearl Jam’s name.  Also Vedder in the place of Better stated that I felt this Eddie portrait was “A Vedder Jam.”

Pearl Jam is back with Backspacer

Eddie Vedder

Eddie Vedder

Pearl Jam’s new CD in a hard bound book/Pizzoli style package. 2009 release from Eddie Vedder and the boys, their ninth album overall. For Backspacer, the lasting Grunge rockers decided to do it big. They left label J Records and decided to release to album themselves, since the certainly have enough money to do that. They also hooked up with ’90s Alternative Rock producer du jour Brendan O’Brien (Korn, Bruce Springsteen), the first time that the band has worked with O’Brien since 1998’s Yield. The music on the record features a sound influenced by pop and New Wave.


2009's Backspacer

On a personal note, Pearl Jam’s Backspacer came at a time of great need in my life and “Just Breath” was a wonderful tune to listen to as I had to deal with two deaths in my family.  Having the same producer as Yield makes all the sense in the world in that Yield has the same musical dynamic as Backspacer.