Before becoming Pearl Jam, the band was named Mookie Blaylock, after the basketball player who was with the New Jersey Nets at the time.
One of Blaylock’s trading cards somehow appeared in the tape case of one of their demos, so they chose the name when they needed to come up with something for their first show in October 1990. Their first album is named after Blaylock’s number: “Ten.”
The band’s next name, Pearl Jam, is surrounded with many rumors that are spread by the band itself. For example, Vedder liked to say that his great grandmother was named Pearl, and she made a great hallucinogenic jam. Other rumors were that it had something to do with Janis Joplin or the basketball player Earl Monroe, who were both nicknamed Pearl.
Another rumor has it that the band saw Neil Young perform at the Nassau Coliseum when they were in New York to sign their record deal, and Young jammed for hours on just a few songs. Needing a name for the band, and with the word “Jam” in their heads, they combined it with Pearl and chose it because as Jeff Ament says, “there’s some weight behind it.”
Eddie Vedder wrote the lyrics to “Oceans” while locked out of the band’s rehearsal space.
Throughout making the “Ten” album, Eddie Vedder kept surprising his bandmates with his extraordinary ability to come up with lyrics for songs on the spur of the moment. “Oceans” is a perfect example, because it was composed while the singer was accidentally locked out of the band’s rehearsal space during a rainstorm.
Vedder recalled to Seattle Sound:
“Someone asked me to put change in the parking meter for them. I went and did that and then I came back and was locked out. It was drizzling, and I wasn’t dressed for an outing in the rain. I had a scrap of paper and a pen in my pocket, and they were playing this song inside. All I could hear was the bass coming through the wall, this window that was boarded up. So I wrote the song to the bass. I wasn’t even listening to hear the song at first. When I heard a break, I’d start pounding on the door … trying to get out of the rain. So as I was doing that, I thought, fuck it, I might as well write something.”
There were two versions of the “Jeremy” music video.
Pearl Jam’s 1992 hit “Jeremy” is based on a Richardson, Texas teen, Jeremy Wade Delle, who shot himself in front of his classmates at Richardson High School. Vedder wrote the song on the night of the tragic events. He also had his old junior high school classmate who shot…