Pearl Jam Went on Dead Tour

On October 21 PBS’s American Masters series will premiere Cameron Crowe’s highly anticipated documentary Pearl Jam Twenty. Crowe recently sat for a panel at the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles, where the former Rolling Stone scribe discussed the film in detail. HitFlix’s Alan Sepinwall live blogged from the panel and shared a bit of news that surprised us – the members of Pearl Jam actually went “to a series of [Grateful] Dead shows” as a research and development exercise of sorts.

Sadly, PJ20 won’t include the Seattle band detailing what they saw…

Crowe says they cut a scene in the documentary where the band goes to a series of Dead shows while they were trying to figure out how to do tours going forward. “I think they said to each other, ‘This is the way we can be,'” he says. He agrees with the parallel. “It’s great that they change their show every night, because whatever run of shows you get to see, you’re going to see a completely different experience every night.” Most touring bands do the exact same show night after night, “But not Pearl Jam.” [HitFlix]

Over the years there has been lots of comparisons made between Pearl Jam and the Grateful Dead with Paste Magazine’s Justin Jacobs doing a fine job of examining the similarities back in 2009.  Pearl Jam have clearly learned a number of important lessons from the Dead and we love that the band members weren’t too caught up in labels and genres to ignore the success of the Grateful Dead’s touring operation and relationship with their fans. In 2006 Pearl Jam’s manager Kelly Curtis told Entertainment Weekly that the similarities between the groups weren’t a coincidence…

”We were studying the Grateful Dead model,” says the band’s longtime manager, Kelly Curtis. ”We just went and hung out in their offices and looked at how they did things. It was so grassroots and so great.” [EW]

It’s too bad the scene in question was left on the cutting room floor as our curiosity has been piqued about which run of Dead shows Eddie Vedder et al attended. Perhaps the Seattle shows of ’94?

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4 Responses

  1. scotty, have you read Dean Budnick’s new book “Ticketmasters”? He covers a lot of this territory. pretty cool. it took a little to warm up, but now it’s getting better. I’m currently working my way through the Pearl Jam/TM ticketing battle.

  2. No way???!!! That was Mike McCready on top of that bus in the Giant’s Stadium parking lot with a fistful of balloons???!!!

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