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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pearl Jam Cover RITFW on Conan O'Brien Show - June 1st 2009

Just a smokin' & shreddin' cover of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" by Pearl Jam on Conan O'Brien Show on June 1st 2009. We understand this was not broadcast but performed as either a rehearsal or post-broadcast performance.

More on Pearl Jam and Neil Young and analysis of Rockin' In The Free World lyrics.


At 6/18/2009 05:58:00 PM, Anonymous dr dip said...

What can be more flattering for an iconic artist than to have his songs covered by the "Grandchildren of Grunge".
When a song is soo anthemic, so poignant..It won't matter what great band covers it..It'll always have that impact.
If there were to be an album of songs just based on ultimate rock Anthem's, How many songs would Neil have on it Heh!!!?

Yep..Keep on Rockin in the Free world...While we've got it!!

At 6/18/2009 07:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for putting this up here. i heard got some from the tv show. wasnt the best pearl jam song in the world. but damn that version of rockin in the free world is just off the charts. its amazing to see pearl jam get their energy and still look so much together as a band after almost 20 years. very few bands seem to have such a REAL pleasure playing together as much as pearl jam do. Roll on sunday night for some neil young in dublin!!!

At 6/18/2009 10:07:00 PM, Anonymous Todd said...

Yeah, well, we don't have three guitars, and we don't do two wah solos, and yes, we are usually more animated, but we don't have the PJ experience...

At 6/19/2009 08:37:00 AM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

It's great to see Pearl Jam still covering this song. Also quite awesome, the props they continue to give to Neil Young.

Eddie Vedder is more out-of-key live than even Neil Young, so I guess it works for him. I swear if he tried to sing it in a lower register he'd be a lot better off, but hey, it's all good. They play the song with a lot of energy.

But nobody performs this song the way Neil does. Even the great PJ don't quite do it as well.

At least it's faster. When they were playing it in concert back in the 90's, I swear it got slower and slower every time...

At 6/19/2009 10:26:00 AM, Anonymous hopsmokah said...


Government Mule tears this one up also.

At 6/19/2009 11:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may be the only avid Neil fan that is tired of PJ.

Mumble mouth Eddie, may be a fine guy, obviously the band worship Neil, but as for their output post 1995, meh...

-no more

At 6/19/2009 12:45:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

No, anon - I'm also tired of PJ. Ten is a great album, and I enjoy their collaboration with Neil (Mirror Ball), and have a lot of respect for them as musicians...

...but everything else they've done just doesn't really do much for me. Which says less about them than it does my own tastes, most likely.

So I'm with ya.

At 6/19/2009 03:20:00 PM, Blogger ShittyHorse said...

I'm totally cool with Pearl Jam, for a number of reasons: first, they’re a great live act, just awesome. I saw them last summer in Hartford (PJ and Hartford have a long and destructive history) and they just rocked the place, one of the best shows in a while (besides seeing Neil 12/15/08 MSG front row!) They closed with a killer version of 'Fuckn'Up'- again second only to Neil but still great.
Secondly- they have conviction, and integrity (a rarity these days) as they've found a great teacher in Neil Young. Look at PJ's career pre and post their collaboration with Young.... a big change there- in writing and how they carried themselves and their career. They got way more soulful and funky. They've stepped back from the limelight on purpose, stopped making videos for MTV (while Grunge was still the fad) they've also kept changing. Change is the greatest thing an artist can do, as long as they are capable of pulling it off well (what that entails, I haven't a clue...maybe just balls?). It shows a willingness to grow and that you are committed care enough about the music and the muse to keep growing and experimenting.... as Dylan says "Nothing is so stable as Change" and it is a MAJOR part of Neil Young's appeal. If Neil hadn’t kept changing he'd be about as relevant today as CSN (I like CSN but it's the Y that makes them relevant). We wouldn't be talking about Neil today if it wasn't for him changing. Pearl Jam are (for now) maybe the only keepers of the flame, besides Young. I believe they have a long way to go but their hearts are in the right place- they have the fire and the passion required for Rock n' Roll.
Take listen to Merken Ball- I'd put those two songs up against almost anything in terms of soul and feeling (and Old Black doesn’t Hurt either). Take a listen to Vedder’s solo stuff…great songs that I believe show a lot of growth as a writer.
In my opinion Nirvana were better then Pearl Jam but unfortunately they aren’t here anymore (god, imagine a Neil/Kurt collaboration!?!) Pearl Jam is still here and still doing it…their shows still sell out and they write great songs. Of course, this is all my opinion as you are entitled to yours but I do hope Pearl Jam (and Neil) keep fightn’ the Good Fight and Keep Rockn' in the Freeworld for a long time to come.

At 6/19/2009 04:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pearl jam,...yawnnnnn
...what's on the newszzzzzzzzzzzz.......

At 6/19/2009 04:14:00 PM, Anonymous dr dip said...

Nicely put, as usual Shitty..

Well, that's what its all about isn't it?
Musical taste IS personal and, what is one person's Thrash is another person's pleasure... or is that Trash and treasure(lol)I dunno know!
I personally, have liked only a handful of songs of PJ'S that have really grabbed me like Neil's, but, on saying that ,I haven't seen them live..only on album and radio and live can be a whole different experience as we all can attest with Neil's music..some of Neil's best work is his live stuff where a song played raw and with a slightly different interpretation
can take on a totally different perspective.
Yeah, Eddie's voice and writing ability, personally, don't light a candle to Neil's.BUT that's MY taste only.. I always thought that Eddie was FIGJAM fronting PEARL JAM
(fuck I'm good just ask me)..although ,since his collaboration with Neil,I think has
enhanced them as a band and guiven EDDIE a bit of NEIL humility.

Music critic Dip

At 6/19/2009 04:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


PJ are hardly the only 'keepers of the flame' with regards to moving forward.
As for ''integrity', that exclusive for Target speaks integrity to me.

Ever heard of Beck or Radiohead?
They constantly throw curve-balls, far more challenging to the fanbase & industry, than anything PJ might dream up.

Jeez-us. Open your ears a bit.

-no more

At 6/20/2009 12:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it... It rocks... It shreds.  They make it their own.  Reminds me of Neil's surprise appearance on the MTV Music Awards back in the day.

At 2/17/2010 08:19:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

@Anonymous: That "exclusive" deal with Target isn't really exclusive, it's just exclusive in terms of big chains. Backspacer is still sold in thousands of independent music stores, which was one of their stipulations with any deal with a major retailer.

They left the major record label, did it on their own, and got to keep the right to distribute it to independent stores. Is the fact that walmart can't carry Backspacer really "selling out" ?

Also, keep in mind they spent the better part of two decades tearing down their popularity:
1) Refused to release the singles the record company wanted (i.e. Sony wanted Black, which Pearl Jam felt would become too popular and kill the meaning of the song. They released Jeremy instead, much to Sony’s protest. There are at least 5 other instances I can come up with).
2) Refused to make music videos after Ten, despite the fact that MTV was pretty much controlling mainstream popularity at the time
3) Refused to tour in major venues for 3 years as they boycotted ticket master.

They did all 3 of those things as they were the most popular band in the world. They purposefully released non-commercial friendly singles, they refused to make music videos because they didn’t want their music remembered as videos, and they were kept out of major ticket master venues as they stood on their principles trying to boycott a monopoly and keep their ticket prices manageable.

You don’t think all 3 of those effected the band (in both a financial and popularity contest) in a MAJOR way? How many other bands do you think, at the height of their popularity, would intentionally sabotage their own career in order to stand up for their principles like that?


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