With Cameron Crow's new movie, "PJ20", coming out soon, which depicts the first 20 years of the band Pearl Jam, I wanted to take this time to make sure that everyone who will listen to me through this blog knows, not only of my love affair for these five guys, but to say that they've had more of an influence on my life than probably anyone outside of my family has ever had. I know this sounds like an overstatement, but believe me, it is not. (The music of) Pearl Jam has been with me during a very important part of my life. I wouldn't say I have failed in the last 20 years, but I've dealt with many things knowing that their music would help me get me through those dire times of questioning fate with their words and song that helped me believe, if not for that moment of time, that things will eventually be okay.
This is that important to me.
The first time I heard Pearl Jam was my Freshman year in college. I had moved from Portland, Oregon to Las Vegas in 1990 (yes, out of the northwest, right at most important time of the grunge era). I had moved into my first apartment of my life. On the first day we were able to get cable, I sat on the couch, turned on the TV which had happened to be previously tuned to MTV. As soon as my eyes could adjust, the VJ started to introduce the first video of a band called Pearl Jam.
This video, and more importantly this song - once again - changed my life. I went on to listen, and usually cry (or at least yell out the lyrics in my car) every time I listened to this song. Even to this day, 20 years later, I still tear up.
Literally, after watching that video, I turned off the TV, got up from the couch, grabbed my keys off the kitchen counter and drove down whatever miles it took me to get to the closest Tower Records. I busted through the doors looking for any sign that included the letter 'P', only to be stopped mid aisle. That mother fucker who stopped me from my mission... the reason why he stopped me, my friend, was because he had to tell my about "this band". This band was Alice in Chains. I walked out of the Tower Records that day with Pearl Jam's "Ten" and and Alice in Chains, "Facelift", and got into my Volkswagen Rabbit.
(Although Alice in Chains' music was great, and I still enjoy it to this day, the former lead singer, Layne Staley who killed himself, will always be a big influence on what I write about, and the characters I create.)
Creative minds, and the need for creative people to share their creativity through arts, starts somewhere. For me, it didn't start that day when I started listening to Pearl Jam and the other bands during that time, but that wave of music did start to plant that seed. I believe, with the bottom of my heart and soul, that Pearl Jam's music brought me to this moment where I can share my creativity with you (and anybody who will read this and listen to me through my writing). You, as any human being who go through many challenges that life throws at you, deal with things in their own way. For me, I deal with stuff through writing.
From "All Those Yesterdays"...
You got time to escape
There's still time, it's no crime to escape
It's no crime to escape, it's no crime to escape
There's still time to escape
It's no crime, crime...
I didn't start writing on a page until 2004.
The years between 1990 (I graduated high school in 1989) and 2004 is a fog. It's a fog that covers, or partially covers images that no one knows I've seen. The fog has also kept me from from those things and events most human beings have felt and have probably experienced.
In late September, or early October of this year, the documentary movie "PJ20" and the CD will be available for people to see and hear. On October 7th, 2011, I will turn the ripe age of 40. I would change a lot about myself (not choices I've made, but ABOUT myself) if I could, but I can't. Because of that, Pearl Jam has been a huge contributor in helping me hold on.
As a fan of the band, and an unidentifiable creature beholden of the words and/or music of Eddie, Stone, Jeff, Mike, and the different drummers (most notably, Mike Cameron) I would like to tell you guys that, whenever I needed something, I turned to you more often than not.
In regards to my creative side, why I have chosen a world where creativity has, and will continue to dominate my mind's space from the time I wake up in the morning to the time I go to asleep? I don't know how much of an influence you all had. I do know that I started writing when I was listening to your music on a daily basis for over 12 years (1991-2004) - my early adult life.
I think it's why Eddie keeps writing songs about escaping and searching to find one's true meaning in life that brings me to the band (my interpretation of his writings).
I want to escape from my past, reaching for that future which seems so attainable but seems to keep drifting away from me. (The music of) Pearl Jam has made a difference in my life by making it alright. Although the band doesn't really know... they do know; they reached me with their music. Because of that, I can reach down within myself and find a story with characters that need something (someone). It might not be my story, but my character's stories will be told and, hopefully, listened to.