I have been having the “who is a better fan” debate with gremmie for the past 5 years. It usually ends in me calling the band a bunch of sell outs simply to infuriate gremmie into a frustrated silence. It’s my nuclear option and it routinely works. But the facts are these: gremmie is a web sensation who attends every show he can, archives the best live performances he can find for almost 10,000 fans to listen to, and likes even the weakest of the Pearl Jam catalog. “Hitchhiker” anyone? Point is: it’s hard to beat him.

I still consider myself a huge Pearl Jam fan, but my fandom has evolved a bit. One might even say I am the Eddie Vedder who constantly changes and gets better with age, while gremmie is Dave Abruzzezze who doesn’t evolve and finds himself without a band [ed.note: screw you kev].

The whole debate got me thinking just how my fandom has changed since I was 15, playing air guitar, flailing about angrily about how unfair the world treated me. So, I’d like to go album by album on what the songs meant to me originally as an angsty 15 year old teen versus a slightly more angsty 30-something over the course of a few articles. Let’s start with Ten.

Once

  • 15 – The music was riveting, the words were angry and the tone even madder. It was about wanting people to see your point of view. “WHY AM I SO MISUNDERSTOOD!” I skipped this song the first couple times because Master/Slave was too mellow. It wasn’t until a pal told me that it was a “pump up song” did I go back to listen to it.
  • 30 – Maybe this is a little angrier than I’d be. I haven’t really thought about killing anyone by having them look me in the eyes as I did it. Since learning the guitar, the riff wasn’t quite as glorious as I thought as a non guitar playing 15 year old.

 

Evenflow

  • 15 – A song about the homeless and the injustice of income equality and having some compassion.
  • 30 – Don’t tax me to pay for the homeless; god knows I could be there shortly with this economy. Oh, and run for the bathroom after the mike solo and make it back for the next song.

Alive

 

  • 15 – Things can suck. They can suck badly. But guess what, you are still alive and just singing that can make a bad day of poor grades, rejection from hot girls, and friends who don’t understand you much better.
  • 30 – Thanks to a gigantic mortgage and a tenuous job market, you just sing it ironically. “I can’t afford my floating rate mortgage, but thank god, I’m still alive so some crooked government worker and a douchebag financier can run away with my hard earned cash!”

Why Go

 

  • 15 – Parents being too tough on you, life is unfair. Why go home? YEAH! Why go home!
  • 30 – Sitting on a beach on a nice vacation, your 6 days are over. You got to get back to the grind. “Why go home.”

 

Black

 

  • 15 – That sexy girl you would do anything for and would be a better boyfriend than that jerky jock she’s with. You actually tear up with the “I know you’ll be a star, but in somebody else’s sky”
  • 30 – The song you sing to your celebrity crush. Your wife knows about it. She’s totally fine with it. The line doesn’t upset you because you could most likely find naked pics of the said celebrity. Problem solved.

 

Jeremy

 

  • 15 – School’s tough, killing yourself in class would show them all how much you hurt inside.
  • 30 – You have a manager named Jeremy that you wish would kill himself. “Yes, Jeremy probably spoke in class like a kiss ass and learned nothing and got into a good school because he managed to get a good SAT score, but he has zero interpersonal skills at this job and has no talent aside from reading office reports.” By the “woo, woo, woo” parts you are singing along to, your face is as maniacal as Eddie’s in the video just thinking about the guy.

Oceans

 

  • 15 – Slow song, BORING
  • 30 – “I could make an iMovie clip of my wife and I on our vacation at the beach. It’ll be awesome because I think I have footage of a wave. Hello Youtube.”

 

Porch

  • 15 – Angsty pump up song. I had no idea what it was about. I just liked the idea of asking “What the fuck is this world coming to…”
  • 30 – I still have no idea what this song is about, but I love the live versions. In “Conspiracy Theory” Mel Gibson’s character bought a copy of “Catcher in the Rye” every time he tried to kill someone. In my OCD manner, I try to listen to every live version of porch available. What the fuck have I turned into?

Garden [ed. note: buffalo kevin had originally listed this as “Garden of Stone”]

 

  • 15 –  A garden of stone? How deep. I have a flag that I’d like to wear as well!
  • 30 -A garden of stone? Feng shui idea? Would that lower my stress level and/or cholesterol if we had a small garden of stone? Easy maintenance that’s for sure.

Deep

 

  • 15 – Another glorified version of why killing yourself would show the world how they simply never understood you.
  • 30 – Why is this song almost a caricature of the 90’s sound? I can’t listen to this song anymore.

Release

 

  • 15 – Since I had no idea this was about his dad when it came out due to the lack of internet, I just made it my personal anthem of feeling sorry for one’s self.
  • 30 – Every time my shitty Buffalo Bills release a player, I listen to this song as a cathartic rinse of that player’s presence on the team’s roster.

Next up, Versus.

       

      7 Responses to 15 Against 30: Ten

      1. LFitz says:

        That was great! and while I wasn’t 15 when the songs came out (I was a tad few years older) I can relate…that was funny! Thanks for the chuckle this morning!

      2. NaiS says:

        Ah, a fellow Bills fan. Clearly they don’t deserve such an amazing song like Release every time they cut failed high draft pick after failed high draft pick.

      3. Nobrein Sage says:

        oceans is never boring to me

      4. Emile says:

        Slightly older (was 20 when ten came out) sadly STILL tear up at Black!! thanks

      5. Nick says:

        Living in New England its amazing how shitty I feel when the patriots lose… I couldn’t imagine being a bills fan haha 🙂 . and yea oceans is literally the one pearl jam song I just can’t listen to.

      6. June says:

        Everytime I meet some Jeremy I consider him psycho. When it’s a manager related name, god, that’s even worse. 🙂
        And me, I always have Garden in my mind like this: Garden of Stone, not Garden of stone. (I’d expect Ed to show on his left when singing it live, just like “admire Stone” )
        Read this only two years after you wrote it but I’m a person who laughs with a joke after 5mins of having heard the joke, with the exact amount of laughter, as the others’. So…I laughed.

      7. Chris says:

        You sound like you’ve gotten bitter in your old age.

        Damn, you just reminded me that I have too! I’ve gone from, “f*ck the world. let’s destroy it” to “fuck the world, what’s on TV tonight?”

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