Pearl Jam biography
Pearl Jam is an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. Since its inception, the band's line-up has included Eddie Vedder (vocals), Stone Gossard (guitar), Jeff Ament (bass), and Mike McCready (guitar). The band's fourth and current drummer is Matt Cameron, also of Soundgarden, who has been with the band since 1998.
Formed after the demise of Gossard and Ament's previous band, Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam broke into the mainstream with its debut album, Ten. One of the key bands of the grunge movement in the early 1990s, Pearl Jam was criticized early on as being a corporate cash-in on the alternative rock explosion. However, over the course of the band's career, its members became noted for their refusal to adhere to traditional music industry practices, including refusing to make music videos and engaging in a much-publicized boycott of Ticketmaster. In 2006, Rolling Stone described the band as having "spent much of the past decade deliberately tearing apart their own fame."
To date, the band has sold over 31.5 million records in the U.S, and an estimated 60 million worldwide. Pearl Jam has outlasted many of its contemporaries from the alternative rock breakthrough of the early 1990s, and is considered one of the most influential bands of the decade. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic referred to Pearl Jam as "the most popular American rock & roll band of the '90s."
Formation: 1984-1990Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament were members of pioneering grunge band Green River during the mid-1980s. Green River toured and recorded to moderate success but disbanded in 1987 due to a stylistic division between the pair and bandmates Mark Arm and Steve Turner. In late 1987, Gossard and Ament began playing with Malfunkshun vocalist Andrew Wood, eventually organizing the band Mother Love Bone. In 1988 and 1989, the band recorded and toured to increasing interest and found the support of the PolyGram record label, which signed the band in early 1989. Mother Love Bone's debut album, Apple, was released in July 1990, four months after Wood died of a heroin overdose.
Ament and Gossard were devastated by the death of Wood and the resulting demise of Mother Love Bone. Gossard spent his time afterwards writing material that was harder-edged than what he had been doing previously. After a few months, Gossard started practicing with fellow Seattle guitarist Mike McCready, whose band, Shadow, had broken up; McCready in turn encouraged Gossard to reconnect with Ament. After practicing for a while, the trio sent out a five-song demo tape in order to find a singer and a drummer. They gave former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons the demo to see if he would be interested in joining the band and to distribute the demo to anyone he felt might fit the lead vocal position.
Irons passed on the invitation but gave the demo to his basketball buddy, San Diego, California singer Eddie Vedder. Vedder was the lead vocalist for a San Diego band, Bad Radio, and worked part-time at a gas station. He listened to the tape shortly before going surfing, where lyrics came to him. Vedder sent the tape with his vocals back to the three Seattle musicians, who were impressed enough to fly Vedder up to Seattle for an audition. Within a week, Vedder had joined the band.
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