It’s raining today, not buckets like it will on Sunday I hear, but raining nonetheless. it seems that time of year is upon us. The time when the sun comfortably rests & the rains shower us with the moisture of the heavens. It’s only fitting that a band from the Seattle grunge scene played their first show ever today in 1990. Under the name Mookie Blaylock soon to be Pearl Jam they played a gig at the Off Ramp in Seattle & made rock history. Pearl Jam is one of those enigmatic bands that seems to shun the limelight* & genuinely care about the fans that support them. It seems like such a short time ago that I was listening to this new wave of music called grunge that would come to change my life.
*except when they’re fighting Ticketmaster.
20 years together is a feat for any kind of relationship, but especially a band with all the egos & celebrity that go along with being in a band that has sold out Soldier Field in Chicago among other places. Nirvana was together for less than a decade when Kurt killed himself, Alice in Chains lost Layne Staley to drugs & Chris Cornell did a pop album that was hideous before he decided to reunite with Soundgarden. Through all of that Pearl Jam has stayed together. It hasn’t all been pretty. They’ve made some pretty bad albums, but also some of Rock’s greatest albums including Ten. An album they think was overproduced. So in staying true to their vision I’ve recently gotten hold of the first week rehearsal demos (10/23/90) from a friend & I will now share them with on this the 20th anniversary of Pearl Jam.
Also, because it is raining & I do love it so, here is a poem (not something I would normally condone – poetry that is) by Sara Teasdale that I first saw in Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. One of my favorite books of all-time & really less about Martians & more about life in the Nuclear Era.
There Will Come Soft Rains by Sara Teasdale
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
There are some that have asked for zip files & others that want to pick & choose what they download. Unfortunately, right now the company that I store my files with does not do zip files yet & I really don’t want to move to another site. So for now this will have to do, sorry.
Pearl Jam First Week Demos – 10/23/90