Many years back, we had a young neighbor across the street that played pick-up guitar for the Delgado Brothers. In early 1992, Terry and his wife invited Jane and I over to their house for what was to become a seminal party.
As I recall the event had started to wane, when Terry led me to his stereo equipment and music collection, which he had set up in a closet under the stairs leading to the second story. He said he had discovered this band that he wanted me to hear. The group had just released their first album, and I didn’t have to listen very long before I understood why he was blown away.
The album was Ten; the group Pearl Jam.
The next day, I bought the disc and turned my sons—then 12 and 9—onto Eddie and the guys. It was like 1964/Beatlemania deja vu in the Greco household. This then 43-year-old father went ape shit. We bought each new release as soon as it hit the stores—yah, those places where you went to buy music before iTunes and the digital airwaves. Except for the Stones in ’81, I had never seen a major band in concert–would you count The Monkees? — so I was determined to get to a Pearl Jam gig. It never happened.
I got to see Eddie Vedder do a couple of numbers with Mike Watt when Watt played at the Backstage, and I actually had a ticket to see PJ at the Chula Vista amphitheater, but had to give it up because of a conflicting business commitment. The drought has finally ended, because this Thursday night I will be rocking my 64-year-old ass off when Pearl Jam takes the stage at San Diego State.
When it comes to ranking bands, I’ve always placed the Beatles in a special emeritus class—I mean, come on, what else can you do with that one-of-a-kind cultural phenomenon? Before PJ, Jim Morrison and The Doors earned my highest ranking. How ironic for me that Eddie Vedder took Jim’s place when the Doors were inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 1993 (e.g., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TxjxzdmFW4). Pearl Jam has created over 20 years of consistently tight, moving, original music that really dig. I am counting the hours to Thursday night.