For this bootleg Thursday I bring you “The Birdman Sessions”. In the spring of 2000 while in Miami at the studio of Sean “Birdman” Gould. As the story goes, Gould bumped into Eddie at a bar on South Beach and offered an open invitation to record. Eddie Vedder spent a drunken night in the studio with a few random musicians recording off-the-wall covers.
The session was dubbed “The Birdman Sessions”, and copies of the recordings were made for all of the participants. Copies of these tapes eventually leaked out amongst the Pearl Jam trading elite, and it stayed amongst those elite for quite a while.
What came out of the “Birdman Sessions” were covers of Tom Petty’s “American Girl”, Radiohead’s “Creep” & the Doors “Roadhouse Blues”. They aren’t the best of Eddie’s work, but they show that he has a firm grasp of both his fore-bearers & his contemporaries. The vocals are a little too high & the instruments are a little too low, but it still makes for interesting listening.
There are some odd answering machine messages that I’ll include as well. One where Eddie is apologizing for something & the other where he calls the “Birdman” from Spain. They almost sound like he drunk dialed Gould, but he’s very considerate & congenial & in a weird way sounds like Johnny Depp in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. It’s a nice little collection for any true Pearl Jam fan.
My absolute favorite song on the Bootleg is “Hunger Strike” though & truth be told I actually like it more than the original with Chris Cornell & not because he made a shitty album with Timbaland. It seems like the background voices aren’t fighting each other for control of the song like they do in the original. They just nicely compliment one another which is exactly the way it should be.
THE BIRDMAN SESSIONS