I’m actually only about a third of the way through watching Pearl Jam Twenty, which is the Cameron Crowe directed music documentary taking a look back at Pearl Jam over the twenty years since their debut album, Ten, was released. I’ve been watching it a little bit piecemeal today between getting other things done and will probably continue watching the rest of that way as well. So far watching it is making me very happy because it’s making me very nostalgic.
I was in 8th grade when Ten was released, and that album totally defines my middle school memories. I don’t think there’s another album that so evokes memories of those years as that one does. Those distinctive opening chords of Jeremy always transport me back to my (much) younger years. Ten was one of the first CDs I ever owned, though it was released during that transition time between cassettes and CDs so I totally remember listening to friends’ copies of it on cassette as well.
I honestly am not the biggest Pearl Jam fan. The only other full album I ever bought was their sophomore effort, Vs. That is unless you also want to count the fact that I bought the soundtrack for Into the Wild, which was completely composed by Eddie Vedder. Pearl Jam was the first concert I ever saw in Maryland though. Just a few short days after moving into my apartment, one of my roommates wound up having an extra ticket to the Pearl Jam concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion so I tagged along with her and her friends.
I also feel an affinity for Pearl Jam because like me, their lead guitarist Mike McCready also suffers from Crohn’s Disease. He’s pretty much the only celebrity I’m aware of who speaks out about his struggle with the disease and undertakes fundraising efforts on behalf of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.
Despite my waxing and waning feelings about their music over the past twenty years, Ten will always be a defining part of my childhood. And with that I shall leave you with one of my favorite songs from the album.