I ranted and raved about November 4th, 2008 all over the place the day after my fiance (I’ll change this in two weeks babe) and I had our closest run in with Eddie Vedder ever, but I still think it’s a worthy story to rehash. We had purchased tickets to see The Knitters which is a side project for John Doe, Exene, and DJ Bonebrake of X, along with guitar wizard Dave Alvin of Blasters fame. The Knitters are basically a countyfied version of X, and I am a big fan of X and all they have accomplished. It was also a pretty awesome coincidence that our choice for President of the United States had won the same night as well. The stage was set for a big party in Ballard that Tuesday!
I being a rabid Pearl Jam fan knows full well that Eddie is good friends with John Doe and has performed many a times with him at various places around the US, including that now legendary secret gig at the West Seattle Easy Street Records in 2006. Their trademark duet is “The New World” in which Eddie sings Exene’s part. This sort of thing is always in the back of my mind when attending shows by groups that Eddie is either a fan of or that he has performed with in the past. Some these artists and bands include: Neil Young, Crowded House, Kings of Leon, X, My Morning Jacket, Ted Leo, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and the list goes on. I had been dissappointed the last couple of times I had convinced myself that Ed would show up, most recently the X show at the Showbox in April 2008 was a good example. That one especially sucked because John even mentioned he was supposed to show but was sick right before they played “The New World”.
Anyways, to make a long story short Tif and I walked into the Tractor Tavern and there stood Jeff Ament, very cool but we’ve seen Jeff out and about before so it was more of bonus than a huge deal. Same with Mike McCready who is the member of Pearl Jam I’ve seen the most around town. The fun really began half way through The Knitters set when….well I’ll revert to my half buzzed, shell shocked after show account from the PJ forum which has been viewed a whopping 4166 times to date. This by the way is a huge accomplishment for PJ geeks like myself who frequent the forum. Ha!
Here you go:
I pee’d next to Eddie at the Tractor last night….
“Went to see the Knitters last night (John Doe, Exene, and DJ from X.) Walked in the Tractor Tavern in Ballard (SEA), and Jeff was standing at the bar, which was cool. Half way through the Knitters set John called up Eddie for “The New World”, he sang his parts and then danced with Exene for a good part of the song. He then ran off stage right behind me and up the bar for a Corona. At that point I took a bathroom break and ran right into him saying “Nice work, Eddie” which is all I could muster in passing, he gave me a head node. Later during the show I took another bathroom break and found myself urinating right next to him, but I didn’t say anything because there was a line and since he was in full costume (Big hat, thick glasses, puffy coat)trying not to bring attention to himself, I left him alone. I walked out and Mike was standing near the water cooler talking to some folks, Eddie gave him a hug and they talked about hanging out after the show. I lost my fiance for a bit after that but finally found her standing shoulder to shoulder with him, we rocked out next to him for the encore, he was jumping up and down, loving every minute of the Knitters. My story is not that exciting, but that’ll probaly be the closest I get to Ed, so it was a great night. Not to mention Jeff, Mike, John, Exene, DJ all in the same room as well.It was cool, everyone left him alone, only saw one fan ask for a picture. It was an awesome Inaguration day…life is good!”
As bland as this late night account sort of is, this was a very memorable Seattle experience for Tif and myself. It is really fun to rub shoulders with some of the great muscians new and old from the Seattle area once and awhile. It shows that folks like Tad Doyle, Kim Thayil, Mike McCready, Matt Cameron, Jeff Ament, Eddie Vedder, Chris Martin (Kinski), Bruce Fairweather, Kurt Bloch, Kim Warnick, Mark Arm and others are human and really pretty normal folks who are music fans as well as kick ass Seattle musicians.