The Seattle band is being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Friday, April 7.
Pearl Jam, Seattle’s most beloved rock band, will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Friday, April 7. We asked readers on Facebook about their fondest memories of the band and what the band’s music has meant to them.
Many said Pearl Jam reminded them of their middle-school and high-school days. Scott Hendrickson listened to Pearl Jam as a high-school student in a small Minnesota town. Since then, he’s been to 15 of their concerts and has lived in Seattle for 15 years.
“They are the soundtrack for my late teens, 20s, 30s, and today,” he wrote.
Pearl Jam at the Hall of Fame
The Seattle band will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Friday, April 7. We’ll be in New York covering the event. Follow The Seattle Times’ live coverage starting at 4 p.m. at seattletimes.com/entertainment, where you can also read about Pearl Jam’s first year, take a quiz about the band and more.
Hominee Matheny, who also grew up in a small town, said Pearl Jam’s songs bring back memories of staying up late, watching MTV and sensing that “there was something big out there.”
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Pearl Jam also reached readers outside of the U.S. Several international fans shared memories of visiting new venues and exploring other cultures while the band was on tour.
“I was 14 when I first sat down and listened to ‘Jeremy’ back at home in Sweden,” wrote Nicole Beijborn, whose first Pearl Jam concert was in Stockholm in 2012. “Sixteen years later, it is still my favorite song.”
Juan Camilo Campos, who lives in Colombia, first saw Pearl Jam in 2005 in Argentina. He said the variety of tour locations gave him a chance to travel the world, and that their first concert in his home country in 2015 was “a real special moment.”
Florencia Flor, from Argentina, was 15 years old when she first saw Eddie Vedder on TV. The language barrier didn’t prevent her from connecting with the music.
“I wasn’t sure about what he was saying, but I knew it was exactly what I wanted to say and I couldn’t,” she wrote.
Candace Lawley has a tattoo listing the dates of all the shows she has attended.
“[I] saw them for the first time in 1994 and have seen them 26 times total,” Lawley wrote. “Some people think that’s a lot, but I don’t think that’s nearly enough.”
After discovering that guitarist Mike McCready had Crohn’s disease like he did, Brent Hinson decided to hold fundraisers before Pearl Jam concerts to raise awareness.
“Seeing his openness and advocacy inspired me to become more proactive with my disease,” Hinson wrote. “It’s been quite an evolution for me. I started as a fan of their music and, through a medical coincidence, I learned to become an advocate for Crohn’s and colitis patients … I can’t think of a more deserving group to be recognized for the hall of fame.”
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Many readers mentioned meeting other fans and making new friends at Pearl Jam concerts. For some, Pearl Jam even helped them meet their future spouses.
Eleven years ago, Mia Miriane Goldman met her husband at a Pearl Jam concert in Las Vegas. She was attending the concert by herself, and he had an extra ticket after his friend canceled plans.
“We bumped into each other at the venue.” Goldman wrote. “Next thing I know, I am sitting seventh row center at the most amazing concert of my life next to a stranger who now is my husband of eight years and father of our little Pearl.”
Other readers, like Amanda Beth Smith, described interactions with members of the band. At a concert in Lexington, Ky., in 2016, McCready gave her his set list at the end of the show. At another concert that year, he let her friend sing the last part of “Even Flow.”
“Their music speaks to me in ways I never thought possible, and it has gotten me through some of the toughest times in my life,” Smith wrote. “I can listen to their songs and somehow they’ll pertain to every life situation I’m in today, no matter what the song meant to me yesterday.”
Some comments have been edited for clarity. Read more responses at facebook.com/seattletimes.