Netflix Pick (Streamable): Pearl Jam 20

Last night, I watched the “Pearl Jam 20” documentary film by Cameron Crowe on Netflix, as I said I would. I think it’s one of the best rockumentaries I’ve seen in a while. “Pearl Jam 20” celebrates 20 years of Pearl Jam, that’s the whole point of it, but the film mostly focuses on the band’s past. This film will give you a lot of insight on the band’s history and it’s really interesting stuff.

This film will show you how Pearl Jam all started and how they first got together. Then the film will show you how they became superstars in the mainstream in the 90’s. Pearl Jam first started through Mother Love Bone. An 80’s hair metal band that featured singer, Andrew Wood, who would later pass away due to overdosing on heroin. The band also featured Pearl Jam members, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard. After, Andrew Wood, died, Jeff and Stone wanted to keep playing music.

Their friend Chris Cornell, wrote a few songs about Andrew Wood in tribute to him, “Reach Down” and “Say Hello 2 Heaven”. So Chris reached out to Jeff and Stone, together they formed, Temple of the Dog, to do a collaboration on an album together. Chris was the one who brought in Matt Cameron as drummer and Eddie as backup singer. While Pearl Jam was already formed before Temple of the Dog, Pearl Jam didn’t release their first album “Ten” later on, soon after the Temple album. Temple released their album before Pearl Jam did.

Back in the old days of Pearl Jam in the 90’s, they were just young kids. Watching this documentary certainly brought back memories from their past, I remember watching all that stuff on TV back in the day. I remember the young Eddie Vedder, being a crazy perfomer. This guy certainly was never afraid of heights ’cause when they would do outdoor concerts, Eddie would climb on the ceiling and do all kinds of risky stunts on stage while performing. Eddie doesn’t perform like that anymore because of his age obviously.

This doc only gives you behind the scenes stuff of their first three albums. Everything about Pearl Jam’s past is in there, including the controversial story where a boy kills himself over the Pearl Jam song, “Jeremy” and their battle with Ticketmaster.

They also talk about how the band is lucky to be staying together playing music with the same guys after all these years. Most Seattle bands have broken up over the years, but Pearl Jam stuck around. It’s clear that Pearl Jam don’t care about being superstars at all, ’cause they don’t make music videos too much and they released their latest album, “Backspacer”, without a label. They released that album on their own budget.

It’s amazing to me how Eddie’s vocal style never changed over the years. He always sang the same way. That unique deep voice of his. This was a pretty inspiring film and it’s a well made documentary. The interviews were entertaining too. There’s a lot of never before seen footage included as well. The band never liked that term, “grunge”, and they never cared about winning awards.

Whether you’re a longtime Pearl Jam fan or a newbie, this is a must see. This was great to see.

I still need to see the Foo Fighters documentary, “Back and Forth”, which is out on DVD I believe, so I que’d that through the Netflix DVD rental. I should be getting the Foo Fighters movie in the mail soon, I’ve been wanting to see for a while as well.

Glad I finally watched “Pearl Jam 20”, the soundtrack album on CD is also great to listen to.


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