By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Pearl Jam Twenty
Written and compiled by Jonathan Cohen and Mark Wilkerson with Pearl Jam (Atlantic, $49.99, hardcover, 384 pages)
In celebration of Pearl Jam’s 20-year anniversary comes this intimate, unprecedented and lavishly illustrated self-portrait of an American rock band that’s survived, maintained its personal integrity and produced acclaimed music.
Twenty years is a long time to subsist in ‘business’, especially for a group of musicians. Frontman/vocalist Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard (guitar), Jeff Ament (bass), Mike McCready (guitar) and Matt Cameron (drums) have excelled and are now being rediscovered by a whole new generation of followers.
Told with wit and insight, Pearl Jam Twenty is an aesthetically stunning and definitive chronological diary from the band’s inception in the Seattle-driven ‘grunge’ revolution of 1991, up to its current day schedule. Pearl Jam are “musical survivors with passion unscathed”.
Designed to accompany the Cameron Crowe-directed biopic of the same name, together with an album, PJ20 contains a myriad of interviews, photographs, clippings and mementos which provide a first-hand insight on how this band has remained together – and so popular – for so long. Pearl Jam has sold over 60 million albums worldwide.
It contains detailed entries on the band’s first tour of Australia in 1995, where Dave Grohl (former Nirvana drummer and current frontman of the Foo Fighters) quoted on their Melbourne concert: “It was the craziest I’ve ever seen an audience. It was dangerous”. It also details one of the band’s darkest hours in 2000 at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark, where nine fans were killed and 30 injured during a Pearl Jam set.
The band’s musical legacy is phenomenal. They are really the only remaining headline faction of the ‘grunge’ movement of 1991. ‘Grunge’ singlehandedly reshaped rock music in the early 1990s and coined the terminology ‘Generation X’.
Bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana were intrinsic in providing a voice for a generation of apathetic teenagers. Their mark is indelible and references very closely to the 1970s ‘punk’ revolution.
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.