Pearl Jam is one of the most successful and influential rock bands of all time. From their early days as part of the Seattle grunge scene to their present status as global rock icons, Pearl Jam has always been a band that Does Things Their Way.
So what are some of the things that make Pearl Jam so great? Here are 10 things you might not know about one of the biggest bands in the world.
1. They once played a show to just 45 people
In 1990, Pearl Jam was booked to play at a tiny club in Seattle called The Vogue. However, on the night of the gig only 45 people turned up – less than half capacity for the venue! Despite this, Pearl Jam put on an amazing show, with Eddie Vedder later saying it was one of their best ever performances.
2. They purposely make bad album covers
Pearl Jam have released some truly terrible album covers over the years, and they do it on purpose! The band’s philosophy is that people should listen to their music because they like the way it sounds, not because they think the album cover looks cool.
3. Mike McCready has played with Elvis Presley… sort of
In 2002, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play with Elvis Presley – or at least, a hologram of him!McCready was asked to take part in a performance of ‘Suspicious Minds’ with a hologram of Elvis, which was beamed onto the stage at the Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee.
4. Jeff Ament is a serious artist
Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament is not only a talented musician, but also a successful visual artist. Ament’s art has been exhibited in galleries all over the world, and he even designed the cover art for Pearl Jam’s 2006 album ‘Pearl Jam’.
5. Stone Gossard once had a side-project with Prince
In 2001, Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard teamed up with legendary musician Prince to form the band Madhouse. The group released two albums, ‘16’ and ‘8’, before Prince decided to focus on his solo career again.
6. They were sued by Ticketmaster
In 1994, Pearl Jam entered into a legal battle with ticketing giant Ticketmaster. The band was unhappy with the service fees that Ticketmaster was charging, and they even went so far as to play a free concert in New Jersey to protest the company’s pricing policy. In the end, Pearl Jam lost the case, but the publicity generated by the lawsuit helped bring about some changes in the way Ticketmaster does business.
7. Eddie Vedder is left-handed… but plays guitar right-handed
Eddie Vedder is one of the most iconic frontmen in rock music, but did you know that he’s actually left-handed? Vedder learned to play guitar right-handed, as there were no left-handed guitars available when he was starting out.
8. They have their own record label
In 2006, Pearl Jam founded their own record label, called Monkeywrench Records. The label’s roster includes such artists as R.E.M., Neil Young, and Queens of the Stone Age.
9. Their fan club is called ‘Ten Club’
Pearl Jam’s fan club is called ‘Ten Club’, named after their debut album ‘Ten’. Membership to the club is by invitation only, and members receive exclusive merchandise, access to pre-sale tickets, and much more.
10. They’re inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
In 2017, Pearl Jam were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in recognition of their immense contributions to music. It was a well-deserved honor for one of the greatest rock bands of all time.