Nephew Eddie and Uncle Neil
We'll probably never forget the shows we saw back in 1995 when Neil Young and Crazy Horse opened for Pearl Jam at the Voters For Choice Benefit concerts at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.. The song debuts of "Act of Love" and "Song X" absolutely floored us particularly in the context of the times.
The V4C concerts were held shortly after the murders of abortion clinic workers Lee Ann Nichols and Shannon Lowney by an anti-choice zealot and the tension in the air those evenings was quite palpable. And Neil's performance of "Act of Love" with it's stark questions on the issue of personal choice and freedom was just another example of making music for the times and ages.
We went on at length in our review posted to rust@death at the time about Eddie Vedder had just inducted Neil Young into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the evening before. About Pearl Jam concluded their set by reprising "Act of Love" during which Neil came out and jammed with them on the song's second performance of the night.
So with Pearl Jam on the road, the point of this post is to recap just a bit of their long history with Neil. We've had a core page on Pearl Jam and Neil Young that hasn't been updated in awhile but here's a few items to tie in.
Just this week, Eddie Vedder covered "Sugar Mountain" and "The Needle and the Damage Done".
From The Globe and Mail:
"Singer Eddie Vedder casually walked on stage first with a smallish acoustic guitar, said “surprise, surprise,” spoke of his experience of once riding the Ferris wheel with iconic Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young at the nearby Canadian National Exhibition, and then gently strummed Young's Sugar Mountain , a song about carnival barkers, coloured balloons and leaving one's youth behind.
Saying he hoped he wouldn't misplay the next selection, Vedder then offered The Needle and the Damage Done , a sorrowful ode containing the line, “I sing the song because I love the man.” The impromptu performance came on a day in which Vedder had spoken to the Globe and Mail. Mostly he talked about Pearl Jam's forthcoming album Backspacer , but the subject of the mentoring Young was broached. “We learned a lot from Uncle Neil,” Vedder said. “Him adopting us as his nephews has taught [Pearl Jam] immeasurably, on numerous levels. Things about music and about humanity, either by watching him, or hearing what he comes up with, or by conversations we've had.”"
Neil Young and Booker T. & MGs, Pearl Jam & Blind Melon
The Gorge, Washington
September 5, 1993
Poster by Frank Kozik
More on Pearl Jam and Neil Young.