I recently watched the documentary by Cameron Crowe, Pearl Jam Twenty, celebrating 20 years of music from Seattle band Pearl Jam. Awesome! The footage from the early years of Green River and Mother Love Bone is priceless - long before Eddie Vedder joined the band and became the face of Pearl Jam (the band was originally, briefly named Mookie Blaylock, as all true fans know).
Part of the reason I am posting this here (other than to highly recommend the film) is that this is really a story about a bunch of guys who are friends and who have been fortunate to do things in a way that feels right to them. Part of what has kept them together is their dedication to being a band that makes music over a long period of time, constantly changing and evolving. The worst albums have been the ones that sounded like earlier albums - their best albums (like Lost Dogs, a compilation of B-sides and alternate takes) show the band taking risks and trying new things.
Pearl Jam Twenty - Trailer
Pearl Jam Twenty chronicles the years leading up to the band's formation, the chaos that ensued soon-after their rise to megastardom, their step back from center stage, and the creation of a trusted circle that would surround them—giving way to a work culture that would sustain them. Told in big themes and bold colors with blistering sound, the film is carved from over 1,200 hours of rarely-seen and never-before seen footage spanning the band's career. Pearl Jam Twenty is the definitive portrait of Pearl Jam: part concert film, part intimate insider-hang, part testimonial to the power of music and uncompromising artists.As a bonus, here is footage from the opening of the film at the Toronto International Film Festival - the press conference and then a Q and A in which Eddie makes a surprise appearance.
Q and A session: