Searching For Eddie Vedder.

I have been searching for Eddie Vedder for over a decade and a half. From the grunge clubs in Seattle all the way to the epic recent concerts in Italy. I have made my way low on funds, at times without home or hope, in search of Eddie Vedder. My wife thinks that I am obsessed with the man but this is no more true than saying that a brother is obsessed with his younger brother. You see, in an indirect way- Eddie and I are “brothers.” He is six years older than I and much more acclimated to the world than I- but none the less we are brothers. How could I think such a ridiculous thing you may be thinking? You are Jewish, six foot five, lack any singing ability and you are allergic to booze- you say. There is no way you could be the brother of Eddie Vedder!! This is true on the physiological level, but brotherhood is much deeper than body or biology- brotherhood is an energy, it is a shared soul. We share the same soul.

When I first met Eddie Vedder I was beginning to experience panic attacks. I was a member of Generation X not knowing what my life was for or who I was. I was searching for a soul. Confusion embalmed me like a dark fog and the result of this imbalance was a panic so ferocious that all I could do was measure my life by each inhalation. I lived in fear that the next exhalation would be my last.

I attended a small private college and fell into a love affair with wine, women and marijuana. It was under the influence of all three of these vices that I first heard the music of Nirvana. It was my birthday, May…1992. The sounds spoke to me of a new beginning, the possibility for an identity. And then before I knew what was happening the grunge movement was underway and I was wearing boxer underwear, flannels, ripped jeans, black Doc Martins and my hair was nearly down to my shoulders. I was sitting front row at a Pearl Jam concert watching this new beacon of hope for my exiled generation sing like a Shaman and run around like he was trying to bring purpose back into a blank society. It was then that I had my first meeting with Eddie Vedder. He fell off the stage and landed on my head.

After college I moved to Seattle, bought a dog, drank too much and worked in a bookstore. I lived alone in a small cottage and read books that I had stolen from the store (I returned most them when finished). I smoked weed with Chris Cornell (who was a frequent costumer) in a park and everywhere I went I hoped to run into Eddie Vedder. I attempted to find out where he was living from Chris…but at the time I was told that he rarely came out of his home and had constant security guards meandering around his grounds. Besides, Chris would never tell a person like me where this legend in the making rested his head. I was a stranger to stoned to zip up my pants who could barley hold down an honest job at a book shop.

Skip ahead to the year 2007. I am a sober (don’t even eat sugar), vegetarian, married, hypochondriac, childless unemployed blogger who rarely leaves his house. I am introverted and frequently I will watch Eddie Vedder interviews and Pearl Jam live footage on You Tube. In my chest there lingers not only a nostalgia for the grunge era (which seemed to pass away quicker than a heart beat) but a chronic feeling of failure. Just yesterday I was young and now I am closing in on forty with chronic anxiety and little to show for my years on this earth. This is my sixth day without leaving the house- but I find consolation in knowing Eddie Vedder is living the life I only wish I could.

It’s not the fame or the notoriety that I envy but rather the artistic integrity of a man who is able to live out who he truly is. Most of us have to cut our hair and work at day jobs that have nothing to do with our soul, in order to put food on the table. We have to forget about the idealisms of our youth and retire who we really are into our back pockets. This is punishment for not finding your “niche.”

Now I am nearing middle age, and for the sake of family I have put aside my aspiration to write novels and picked the second choice…I will be a high school Teacher. I will not live the life I had imagined for myself a decade ago. But my brother is living it for me, and I live it vicariously through him. His protests are mine, his success is my pride. At 42 years of age he can still sing like a maestro while being a smoker and an avid wine drinker. Eddie is able to intoxicate stadium after stadium of people with his humble soul. This is one of the many differences between us.

I am unable to find teaching job because I refuse to cut my hair which is the bond that holds my soul together. Along with my Pearl Jam t-shirts and buttons…I am often referred to by others as “Eddie Vedder like.” I pretend to be surprised, but the truth is this is the exact effect that I am going for. At times I find myself pretending to be Eddie Vedder (I did this when I was a younger man as well. I would wear the “Beat It” jacket with shoulder pads, white glove, white socks and penny loafers- pretending to be Micheal Jackson. I was a white man living in a hick community and brought on many beatings from red necks because of my desire to be like Mike). I lost my last job as a high school Teacher for making my students watch one live Pearl Jam concert after the next. I tried to explain to the administration that I was teaching my students what it means to search for Eddie Vedder- to remain true to that one thing in us that is the real reflection of our soul!! They could not understand.

It will never happen my wife says. “I could write novels, I could act in a film…there has got to be something that I can do so that I do not have to sell my soul!!” “Eddie Vedder has been doing what he does for a long time and he is an icon,” my wife says “you are almost 40 and you just have not been on that path my love. You can not be Eddie Vedder!!” Sometimes I get so depressed I spend the entire day in bed. There is Eddie Vedder, 42 and still rocking out on stage. He drinks wine, smokes cigarettes, is in top physical condition and is an icon. He is a voice of the anti-war movement and good friends with Sean Penn (someone I have always wanted to speak with). I on the other hand get sick if I drink or smoke a cigarette, can not walk up a flight of stairs without chest pain and have very little money in my bank account. The tires on my car all need to be replaced, but I can not afford to do so. I live in an old home which is freezing cold in the winter, smells like toxic glue and wobbles when ever anyone walks around.

I am not feeling sorry for myself but I envy the man who I call my brother. I told him this not long ago. It was after a Pearl Jam concert in San Fransisco. I waited with a group of a dozen die hard fans until about three in the morning for Eddie to exit from the back stage exit. It was cold and desolate in the San Fransisco early morning. The only people out on the streets pushed shopping carts filled with their meager possessions. I was about to turn away when suddenly I heard the crowd erupt into loud salutations shouting “Eddie!!” “Eddie!!!” He kindly got everyone to calm down by saying “please calm down, I will get to each and every one of you. we just need to be quiet.” I could feel my tired heart racing in my chest as I awaited Eddie’s glance. He signed set lists and talked with one lady about how great she thought he was aging. He seemed very comfortable, a little drunk, almost Buddha like in his demeanor. Then I caught his stare and stuck out my hand. He shook my hand and it was then that I said “You are doing a great job, I envy you your success.” He looked at me square in the eyes as if he was trying to remember if we met before. He then said “thank you my brother, but do not envy me, I’m just doing the best I can…like you.” And then he was gone. He got into the front seat of a black van which I imagine took my brother to his hotel room.

Now I sit here writing. It is raining outside and I spent the entire day reading in bed. I watched a few Eddie Vedder interviews tonight. I feel like my life is on hold while he is living life to its fullest. I have been wondering. Am I doing the best I can? And I have to say that my answer to this is no. No I am not. I have always been rather lazy and short of finding that one thing I love to do and then doing it all the time. No, I am not doing the best I can…and this is exactly why I am searching for Eddie Vedder. He is a man who is doing the best he can. I watch him and I am in awe. “So this is what it looks like when one finds their soul purpose,” I say to myself. Slowly my awe turns to inspiration…and I am reminded of something that I seemed to have almost given up on. My search for Eddie Vedder.

37 thoughts on “Searching For Eddie Vedder.

  1. Finally got a chance to see Pearl Jam in concert when they made a swing through Saskatoon a year or so ago. Extraordinary performances by one and all and the band was so clearly “on” and happy that night. They even came back for an encore with a ragged-ass version of the Guess Who’s “Running Back To Saskatoon”, the lyrics scribbled on a piece of looseleaf. THAT’S a band who love what they’re doing. P.S. Got to see one of MY obsessions last month when Tool passed through. WOW!

  2. I was in a courthouse once and there was an attorney with a pony tail, the kind tied neatly at his neck; he also had on a very un-lawyerlike suit. I thought he was so cool as I stared at the paintings on the wall of men with ruffled shirts and powdered wigs. Who made the men must have short hair to have jobs rule? You might not be ready to write the novel, but you might get paid for this blog post by submitting to a magazine, Rolling Stone maybe. The LA Times Sunday magazine. Who am I to judge, but I think it is publishable with no editing.

  3. Yes..it is only natural that men should have longer hair. This cultural conditioning that makes people believe that the shorter the hair the more employable the man is a form of stripping men of their very masculinity. It is a way to separate men from their feminine aspects which then makes them more prone to untempered acts of control and dominance (it is my belief that authentic masculinity is equally connected to its feminine attributes- the yin and the yang). We see the end results of this violent pathology every day.
    I do think making men cut their hair is a violent act against the masculine psyche. It creates mediocre men.

    Thank you for the suggestions and the support. At some point I may do just what you have suggested.

  4. This is the greatest letter a soul has ever written.
    Tears drip from my eyes. I am Eddie’s Sister, and when my moment came, He said to me ” NOT Know I’m with my Daughter, with a stop sign hand in my face. Saddest day of my life!
    : – ( Hail Hail

  5. What a weekends…….. The Vic Private show Thursday night.1000 people…. 2nd row… It’s took me 10 years to get a guitar pick. Got five that night…. Friday went to Lolla.. Had fun…….. Saturday.. Walked the Magnificent mile… had never been… and just for kick’s, decided to go into Eddie Vedders hotel… As we were in there for like three minutes, my hubby says’s, I have to go to the bathroom..… As I am waiting for (Hubby) to come out of the bathroom… right in front of my… the elevators open…and It’s was Eddie Vedder…. I couldn’t believe my eyes…… I stood in place.. and began to shake… he then walked straight to me… Eddie, Girlfriend and bodyguard… ( NO KID WITH HIM) as he reached me… about 2 1/2 feet away … all I could get out was Eddie………. He then puts out his arm with a STOP SIGN HAND.. and says.. the following………… NOT NOW I’M WITH MY DAUGHTER”……………………………………………….. I stood and cried for ten mins… cried for three days… one of the saddest days of my life!!.. It wasn’t what he said, It’s how he said it.. and he wasn’t with his daughter……. he then walked over about 6 feet to where.. Oliva was sitting.. I didn’t even see her.

    To all Jam friends… timing is EVERYTHING @ 12:30pm Saturday 8/4/2007 . Just a little note to tell all that I just met / ran in to Eddie Vedder at his hotel… Couldn’t believe my eyes as he began walking straight at me… with Jill in Hand.. Body guard carrying that little brown suitcase… As he approached me, I Of course began shaking uncontrollably!!! Tears began to fall.. I said Eddie………….. and he said “NOT NOW I’M WITH MY DAUGHTER”……………………………………………….. in a very RUDE and fucked up manner.. I then stood there crying uncontrollably. I could not believe what a total ass he was to me, this will go down as one of the worst day of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Eddie Vedder was a total dick… not cool! I am so sad.. I can not even tell you….. I took a pic for all to see how sad he made me!! I wish I had never run into him!!!!!!!!!!!!! He ruined my weekend.. I then stood there… giving him all the space in the world.. not saying one word.. Thinking after he greets his daughter… he will come over…five minutes go by…….and the body guard say’s .. are you guys ready… Eddie Vedder said Yhep… he scooped up his kid and Jill (girlfriend) and Bodyguard.. then walked RIGHT IN FRONT of me…. not saying one word to me..With me standing there crying with my sunglasses on… RUDE RUDE MEAN MEAN MEAN EDDIE VEDDER…..:(

    Note from Loved one..
    Welcome to the world of I’m somebody and the hell with those of you who have made me stinking rich because I can scream into a microphone. Let that be a lesson to you the next time you decide to work your ass off to go and spend thousands of dollars and mark your body for the rest of your life for some ungrateful prick like EDDIE FUCKER. I am very sorry that happened to you Jenny only because I know how truly dedicated of a fan you were. A lesson that I am sure you will pass on to your kids some day of what is really important like family and friends they are the only ones that can truly appreciate you for you. Jerry

    Not Now, I’m with my daughter!!” This is what Eddie Vedder said to me on 8/4/2007 at 12:45PM OMG!! Thanks Eddie.. Catch ya next time.. Eddie 😉

    I still love him and he has taught me about forgiveness! Eddie is my Hero
    eV.

  6. I am sorry to hear of your experience. remember, he is a human being and one fundamental thing that humans do is make mistakes. I am glad to hear that you have learned forgiveness as a result of this encounter. He comes across so many people in a day, all of whom want some acknowledgment from him. I am sure he was just feeling claustrophobic, not in the mood to acknowledge anyone but his daughter and himself. Who can blame him?

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

  7. Dude… you reached the deepest of me with that. I was impressed by the fact you think you are not doing the best you can or you never did. Think ’bout the good times you spent during your whole life, good moments, the people you love… they all care about you. Your existence is not meanless… it is even more important than other’s. You ARE someone for your wife, for example… and from my own experience, I can tell you this: as a high school teacher, you surely left a mark on many kids. And now, with this blog, you are leaving a mark on me. You made me realise how important it is to do what one really loves to do. To live the life you want, not the one others want. To live with the heart, with the soul… and not to sell it.

    So, pal, remember that. Eddie Vedder is just a grunge musician who has the luck of being able to earn money by doing what he loves. But he’s a mortal too. He’s as human as you, and as me. And your blog is worth to be read.

    Greetings from Argentina, good luck dude!

  8. Eddie vedder, chris cornell, kurt kobain……………

    they all have had a bad childhood…..
    when you have nothing to lose, you do whatevar the fuck you want….and when you do what you like… you do suceed because you are good at it……

    so its like that
    dont worry bout if your doing what you like or not
    but instead
    like what you do
    and you’ll be happy …..every one is doing something…..some kind of job….some just have job which are more paying and make them famous but that doesnt mean that they are better than the rest of us……..

    i could be a better Architect than eddie may not be as good a singer as i’m an architect… so that means i’m better…..

    whatever …i guess you get the point….

    cheers

  9. You know, I’m a few years older than you, and this post reminded me of the struggles I had in my early 20s.

    At that time I was also obsessed with the “soul” thing, I guess that’s Gen-X thing, generational.

    What I’ve discovered is that the people we worshipped (Vedder, Cornell, etc.) are just flawed human beings — they are not particularly omniscient or wise in many respects — they have simply succeeded in pursuing their dream, parlayed their talents into celebrity-culture status.

    I could give a rat’s ass what Eddie Vedder thinks about politics or the world because his thoughts are of little practical consequence.

    The irony here is that you probably never found your dream because you never killed your hero.

    Hero worship is a distraction from finding your true self.

  10. It is true that I do not kill my heroes. In fact I take much time to learn from them and find many of my aspirations in their success. I take pieces of who they are and what they symbolically represent and then I incorporate these pieces into who I am. This is how art is made. We are influenced by certain things and then incorporate these influences into our creations. Like Oscar Wilde said, the greatest work of art is who we are…and I like to think that I am just starting to figure this out….with a little help from my heroes.

    However, JB- I do appreciate your perspective. It is similar to killing the Buddha if you see him on the road because he may have to much influence upon who you are. In order to discover ourselves we have to accept who we are not and having heroes may distract one from finding this out. I will let you know if I ever figure it out.

  11. Thanks for writing this…

    I always appreciate a man who wears his hair long…something primative about it. The guy in the produce department at my local grocery store wears his hair long in a pony tail. He’s about my age (late ’30’s), I think. I always want to approach him and just say, “I love the hair”. I’m happily married and have no interest in this person, other than…wanting to tell him I like his hair!

    My husband used to have long hair…that was, of course, one of the initial attractions. Time has passed, and hair has been cut short.

    What must it be like to never have to give up your youth?

    I loved your thoughts on Eddie. I’m grateful that he and Pearl Jam is still around. They keep me young. They let me know that some things have permanence…and that not everything fades away…

  12. My hair is almost down to my mid- back. Deep down I believe this is my way of getting close to Eddie Vedder. Two men united through long hair. I think that even deeper down I am hoping that by growing my hair long I will somehow turn into or become Eddie Vedder. Strange I know….but true.

    Thank you for your beautifully thoughtful comment PreciousKittykat- I to am grateful.

  13. Great read….amazing read…loved it. Can relate and am an avid Eddie and Pearl Jam fan, Nirvana as well. Best of luck to you.

  14. I found this post randomly while “googling” some Eddie Vedder stuff.

    I just wanted to say that your article inspired me. I too feel an affinity with Eddie Vedder as a “brother” – I am 11 Oc (dog) on the mayan calendar and so is Eddie Vedder. However, I was born in 1985 and I suppose I am considered to be a member of “Generation ‘Y’,” but it was the music of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Soundgarden that has drastically shaped my perspective on life, as well as my current life path. I am 23 years old. I already have two college degrees, and I am in a position of anxiety in life. It was when I was just a child that I first heard the music of the “Generation ‘X’,” but I was always around people older than myself, so I felt that I was one of them (and I still do – in fact, I got the Docs on now along with my long underwear).

    Now I have met Chris Cornell 4+ times, I have seen Pearl Jam in concert at least 10 times, and I am pursing a 3rd college degree.

    I felt I needed to share this information with you. Thanks very much for sharing yours.

    Oh yeah, I’m part Israeli, too : )

    With Love,
    “E-Dogg”

  15. I am glad you found this post and shared your story. It is good to her that the younger generation is keeping some of the greatest music ever created “alive.”

  16. Let me start this with, I am an Eddie Vedder fan, and a Gen-Xer too. I am a Cub fan, so is Eddie, but if I ever met the man we would probably get into a major argument over politics. As I get older, I see how you can easily fall into this trap of how great it was when you were younger, how great the musicians were back then, etc. Call it nostalgia I guess. Yet I believe our generation is better than this. I get so tired of hearing Boomers pontificate about how great the 60’s were. I’m a little disappointed that our generation is starting to do the same thing about the 90’s. I think the strength of our generation is our pragmatic, realistic, take no shit, let’s move on approach. With the economic shitstorm on the horizon, I think the world will need the gifts our generation has. Yes Eddie has a great voice, no question. BUT, each individual’s challenge is to find their own voice. Eddie is a man, not a god. So are you, and so is everyone reading this blog, except the ladies of course:) Hero worship? I don’t know, it’s not for me. Would it be cool to run into Eddie Vedder, sure. Do I spend time thinking about it, or trying to do it? No. I’d rather spend time with my wife and kid and provide them with a better life. Maybe I’m off base with what everyone is trying to find here. I just think we often don’t look inside ourselves for greatness and try to find it outside of us. If you are a teacher, be the best teacher that ever lived. If you are a garbageman, be the best garbageman that ever lived. If you are a ….. PS Yellow Ledbetter is the best Pearl Jam song ever don’t you agree?

  17. I am in complete agreement with your wise words.

    Oh, and I do agree about Yellow Ledbetter. When you hear the song it makes you stop and listen.

  18. I shook hands with Eddie Vedder last night after seeing him perform solo at The Palace in Albany, NY. It was outside the venue an hour and a half after the show. I was standing just feet away from him as he thoughtfully greeted each fan standing eagerly behind a small blockade. When it was my turn, his hand was extended, we shook hands, but we did not make eye contact. His eyes were looking to the person standing next to me, perhaps they were speaking to him or perhaps he was just a bit out of it. I uttered, “I’m a big fan, big fan”, though I’m not sure he heard me. I then backed off to let the people behind me have a chance, and in doing so, I heard him say “I’ve been around for a long time”. I don’t know if that was in response to someone else or what have you, but oh well. I am thrilled to have shook the hand of my idol, and stood two feet away from him as he spoke with other fans. I wish that Eddie and I had at least made eye contact, or that I could have mustered the confidence to engage him in some way…but in actuality, what can I say to him besides, “I’m a huge fan. I love your work”. He is my single favorite musician and perhaps my idol. His music and Pearl Jam’s collective music moves me, inspires me, and keeps me going in difficult times. But unless I had some lightning strike chance to go fishing with Mr. Vedder for a day, which ain’t gonna happen, then I don’t think I would be able to properly express just how much he and his music means to me. It is a mixture of sadness and extreme excitement I feel right now…hard to explain. But nonetheless, a great performance, and a “thrill” to have shook hands with him.

  19. I think I know exactly how you feel. I think of Eddie as my own personal spokesperson. He seems to be very empathic toward women like me, so I think of him as my brother “for a minute” sometimes. I’ve seen him in concert many times–nearly crushed at Lollapalooza ’92. Silly me. I thought I was the only one who was onto the fact that Eddie Vedder was special. It only took one song to realize everyone was into them. I was crushed in the crown, literally. I’ve never met the man in person, but am happy he has seemed to find happiness in having children. I am always happy when I see my favorite volatile personalities find happiness. I just hope that someday I will find it again for myself. You see, my husband died when I was 19 years old and my son was 5 months old. It’s been 29 years, but someday, I’m confident, I will find someone who appreciates the hard road I’ve had to travel. Someday I will find the Better Man.

  20. I was at Lollapalooza in 92 as well! What an epic show (Soundgarden played as well)!! Thank you for your touching comment- I to hope that you find a “Better Man” sometime soon as well. I am certain you deserve him.

  21. I met Eddie at O’Hare as we boarded the same plane for Seattle. He could not have been kinder. He is a human who is being just like the rest of us.

  22. I just came across this today, long after it was written and read and re-read by so many of you. It touched me to my core….and since its been a while since you wrote this, I’m hoping that things have become a little brighter for you. I am also in awe of Eddie and have been since the very first day I heard that voice, and listened to the words. I too, spent a good deal of my lifetime feeling as if I’d never done what it is that I truly wanted to do. Life gets in the way. You do the best you can….or you tell yourself that’s what you’re doing, even if in reality, you know that you’re not….its self-preservation, gotta maintain the sanity. While I do not want to be Eddie, I am in total awe of who he is. I love that man with all my being. But while reading your story, I’m reminded of what he once said, when we were all so much younger than today. Ed said, you might recall, that “You don’t love me. You don’t know me. You love who you think I am. If you knew me, you wouldn’t love me. And don’t try to pretend you know me, because I don’t even know myself.” And while at the time, I thought, oh how could he say that? He’s wrong…I do know him, WE know him! But as I’ve grown and lived my life, I think I know exactly what it is that he was saying, and that Eddie was wise beyond his years to realize that which we we all hold in denial. We all want(ed) to be him, we all want(ed) to be like him, in my case, being female, I didn’t want to BE him, but I want(ed) to be with him, to be by his side, to be in his company, to be his friend. …. but who is it that we really want know so awfully much? An icon. Do we know the man? We think we do. True, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of a fleeting meeting with Ed, he looks you straight in the eye, gives you his undivided attention, for however brief a moment, and it FEELS as if you know him…and as if maybe he even knows you. And…after all these years, and all the stories, all the shows….all the “conversations” from up on stage, all the words that have meant so very much, both lyrics and ramblings, and all the little things we’ve been privy to, we actually do know him a lot better than we did back then, but who among us can really say that we really do “know” him. Not many, certainly not me. In the early days, I loved the idea of Eddie, seemingly a free spirit, doing what he wants when he wants and the way he wants to do it. The crazy, angry young man. I saw a lot of myself, my repressed self, as I’m sure you have, in him…and wished I’d be brave enough to say what I wanted, act how I wanted, to express deepest feelings, to speak out and stand up for what I felt was important, regardless of the consequences, top care deeply, and at the very same time, to not really give a crap. (that’s what i thought ed was doing) Now, though, I realize that not much of what I perceived to be the reality, actually existed in the way that I thought it did. Eddie is a man, just a man, (albeit a beautiful and talented man) and while he may be living a dream that most of us can only just hope to experience in some remote parts of our brain while deeply asleep in the middle of the night, it’s most likely not all that we imagine it to be. All that being said, I’m still in total awe of the man. Still totally in love, just as much, NO that’s wrong, because over the years, its evolved into a much deeper understanding, even so much more..than it was in the beginning. So, I’m right there with you dude, on that one. We are nearly the same age, Ed and I, and looking at my life, now, after so many years of self doubt…..and knowing that it’s not even one iota as exciting as his, or that of countless others, FINALLY, I feel I’ve done good..raised a family, dealt with the problems and treasured the joys, kept bread on the table and a roof over our heads. Now, my kids are grown, and they’ve given me beautiful grandchildren, little babies running all over the place, as permanent testament to the goodness in the life I’ve led so far. And through it all, as most of us do…I wasted much time “wishing” that things were different. I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish…I guess it never ends, right? In the end, though, we all do what we’ve come here to do. There’s always going to be something more that we’ve always wanted, something we’d have done differently, missed opportunities, wasted chances. Realize that you CAN do what you want to do, but in doing so, there’s always something else that you must give up. Nothing’s as it seems…..you know, I stole those words,or borrowed them, as I often do, but they were written (thanks Jeff) for a reason….that reason being, it’s the truth. So….. and I say this after so many years of self-doubt and feeling unimportant and insignificant myself, that maybe, just maybe, you can find a way to be sort of satisfied with what you’ve accomplished so far. Not a rock star…not a millionaire…not even close..not even ….but to your family, to your wife, to your children, to your friends, and hey, even to your readers, you ARE EVERYTHING…and who can ask more than that? Life can be hard, my friend, this we all know…and as for our friend Ed, well he might just know that a little bit better than some of us…we all know that the difficulties in his life have contributed so very much to his talent as an artist…but would we be willing to live that life in order to be who he is today, or who we perceive him to be? Only you can answer that, but hey, you know, it might not all it’s cracked up to be. We can’t change the past…so no use dwelling on it, (“you can spend your time alone redigesting past regrets, or you can come to terms and realize that you’re the only one who can’t forgive yourself….it makes much more sense, to live in the present tense” ….. words to live by, like i said….wise way beyond his years..well ed and mike in this case). These words have helped me see past huge obstacles in my life, especially when i find myself dwelling on the what ifs…why didn’t i… and why DID i…questions in life. I know that you KNOW them…take them to heart friend. I can tell you that I understand where you’re coming from, I really do, as I, too spent a good portion of my life living in anxiety and self doubt. Some of it heavily medicated in order to try and deal. Ed’s words kept me sane and pulled me out of a funk more times than I really can say. So, I get it…his words, many of them, bring tears to my eyes, tears of gratitude, an unparallelled feeling of being totally understood …as if he was right inside my head (and yours, our collective heads) when he wrote a song, or a line….and I wonder each and every day, how does he do that? How do the words of one person, one man, touch the souls of so many so deeply? My soul has been forever imprinted…and so, I get it. Just sayin’. But look at your hero’s life. Look, really look. It’s not been all peaches and cream. Listening to his words alone will tell you that. As a child..and as an adult…he’s had to deal with the same trials and tribulations as all of us, in some ways more, in some ways, less. Just a human being.
    As far as your teaching, your long hair, your aspirations in life (other than being like Eddie)…its what makes you “you” and it’s all good. (I personally find long hair on a man very very appealing). If you feel that your Pearl Jam obsession (I use the word “obsession” in the kindest way possible, as I’m obsessed as well) , your long hair, your dress, your outlook on life, whatever it is, has kept you from teaching, and if teaching is truly a love of yours, then, perhaps you’re not looking in the right venue? Why not seek out a position in a school for the arts…a private or charter school…a college/university….where individuality and creativity are encouraged rather than frowned upon? It’s out there brother, sometimes we just have to look in an all new direction. And if it’s not what you want…well, live your life, take care of your family…LIVE…and do “that” the best you can. Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Maybe write..you surely have a talent for that. Use the internet to your advantage..submit, submit, submit. Don’t worry so much about what Ed is doing, dude. We all worship him. You know we do. How can we not? But we don’t have to BE him. Eddie would be the first person on this planet to say to you…..”be yourself…it’s all you CAN be”, you know? We all have importance and meaning in our lives, even if we can’t see it there ourselves.
    I’m rambling, but that’s nothing new. I guess what I’m trying to say is, that I understand your love for Eddie, your desire to be like him, your desire to be near him…cuz geez, well, I don’t have to explain it to you…more likely than not, that will never happen, for either of us, but I understand it…totally get it. But you need to be YOU. YOU is who you are. YOU is who your family loves. YOU is who wrote this awesome article. “YOU ARE”.
    Best to you…I hope you find your way in life, it’s not too late, you’re not too old….you’re never too old….believe me, i’ve got a couple of years on you, and i’m just beginning to know myself..and its a blast! I’ll leave you with a few more words to live by, quoting Ed of course, when he said, “It’s so important – Every day we wake up, we’re creating our memory. We have to create the best ones we can, even if for one day. Find your goals and take them one step at time. Your happiness and control form responsibility. It takes work and you MUST do things yourself. Don’t expect anyone else to do it for you. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. I’ve learned that about myself. I once thought I was under the lion’s paw but when I decided to take on responsibility, I became much more free.”
    See you at the show!
    Peace,
    jo

    1. Jo,

      Thank you so much for your response. Again, so long after you wrote these, your words have touched me as much as the original text has inspired you. I feel exactly the way you do. Taking to my 40s to feel closer to “me.” I am now pursuing a career I have wanted to be into for a long time, just getting the courage to return to school — I am so enjoying the path I’m taking, it’s almost scary!

      1. (oops-hit something that posted not-finished by accident!) … continued…

        Back in (all of our) 20’s, their music inspired me to be more “me,” even though I lost my way for a long time after that. Only recently did I find myself closer to reaching that person we all try to attain.

        I would say more, but you have said it all so perfectly already– our “collective heads” and collective “obsession” —

        “I know I was born and I know that I’ll die. The in-between is mine.”

        Hope this finds you, and Randall, and all others here well. Take care, and of course, Pearl Jam forever (couldn’t resist)! 😉
        Michelle

  23. This is beautiful Jo. Thank you for being such a sensitive, insightful and caring person. This long and thoughtful comment of yours is timely and profound- I need to read it a few more times. I will say here that for me Eddie is a symbol for a kind of personal and economic and artistic freedom I have always longed for. As a symbol I am striving to live “that kind of life” (it is probably a process without an end that even Eddie himself is journeying through), but personally the past year or so I have learned to accept “what is” to have gratitude for it all and to simply live my life without comparisons. However, I often catch myself saying….”gosh, I’d much rather be a rock star” such as when I am working as a bartender. But yes, Eddie is a human and I am sure struggles through the same trials and tribulations as us all——–yet what he has accomplished (culturally/ personally/ economically/ creatively) must feel good deep down. Maybe this is what I envy most……

  24. so what will you do now?
    that you’ve realized you aren’t doing your best.
    how will you begin to do your best.
    to help the world. to help your family.
    i’m curious.

  25. i just wanted to say I’m real fond’a Eddie Vedder, And I type it dozens of times a day in my name. Eddie Vedder is well there’s no words I have. I read everyone’s words but I have none. The feeling is something I can’t put into words…well I’ll try…his eyes, voice, his ability to write and connect with …himself deeply.. which moves us, and….he’s so beautiful doing it. How did he know? His beauty is in his humility. Chris Cornell has a beautiful face and great voice but he doesn’t have the soul of Eddie, and Chris tries. But you see him trying. Eddie…doesn’t seem to try. I cannot believe he can go into himself like he does in front of so many, …it blows my mind watching him. MTV unplugged Porch, and Black…those are amazing performances, actually all of them are. And Pinkpop 92 kills me. I’m Jewish but if there’s a Jesus that’s Eddie. I know that sounds stupid but he’s got that pure soul. And I know it is silly, I feel like deleting this whole thing I’m writing, but there’s something we’ve all witnessed in Eddie that’s stunning, he is extraordinary as he’s connected to us, and appreciated us as an audience, and we love him for that. Have you see him in younger days looking kinda awkward, youthful and not sure, … and the band members were grooving on their guitars amongst themselves, jamming with each other and the drummer but Eddie was in his own sphere, his own world…..I think Eddie tried to connect with them but they didn’t seem to give him much contact, except Stone who eyed Eddie adoringly in some moments, or in awe I think. Dave Abruzz, the drummer was jealous of Eddie, that’s obvious. With PJ Eddie seemed kind of alone, out of their clique. He was always different from everyone. I’m rambling here, but I just love everything about Eddie Vedder…even though I may not “know” him…he exudes such warmth and a rememberance of something I know which is probably in me, and reminds me of my own soul.

  26. I’m still learning from you, as I’m making my way to the top as well. I definitely enjoy reading everything that is written on your blog.Keep the information coming. I liked it!

  27. Well, Eddie was not rude to me in the least. I met him about a year ago. I just told him how much his music meant to me and grabbed me and gave me a big long hug.

    As far as the guy writing this blog. Dude, come on… I mean Eddie is cool and all but geez live your own life. You are in your 40’s and you are obsessing like a female Justin Bieber fan. Create your own path.

    1. Hey ..behave ! Age has nothing to do we with it. In fact consider that older people are younger because they’re clser to the beginning of time. If you can even bend your mind around that . Name callerand labelers are annoying.

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