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High 5: Best Pearl Jam Fans You Know
Pearl Jam fans are the worst, but also they’re the best. For every fan who complains about their favorite show not being let out of the vault, there’s ten more willing to pick up a poster for you because you got boxed out in the ticket lottery. We wrote an article about the top 7 worst Pearl Jam fans which you can find here; this is the flipside to that weathered coin. Here’s the top 5 best Pearl Jam fans you know.
1. Pre-Show Volunteers: Pearl Jam fans have started numerous 501-c-3 (not for profit) organizations throughout the years. Among them, the Wishlist Foundation is the most prominent. You may have attended one of their excellent pre-show parties which raise money for various social causes. These events are normally staffed by a member of the organization, but the remainder are volunteers. If you’ve ever been to one, you know that it’s a good cause. But can you imagine helping out?
Think about how excited you are before a Pearl Jam show. For most of us, we only get to see the band perform once or twice every few years. The hours leading up to the show are the culmination of years worth of anticipation and excitement. Isn’t setting up a table at a nearby bar in an effort to raise peanuts for a charity the last thing you want to do? But people do it; and they’re some of the best Pearl Jam fans you’ll ever know because they sacrifice a chunk of that pre-show excitement to selflessly help those in need.
2. Merch Camels: the thing about merch tables is that you don’t always have to have a ticket to get to them. For example, at MSG there are always two big merch tables just beyond security guards but before the ticket ushers, i.e. you don’t need to be have paid for a ticket to buy merch. Or perhaps more to the point, eBay flippers are just as qualified to buy merch as the most senior Ten Club member. Not all venues are setup this way mind you, but enough are to make a dent in available merch. But what if you don’t have a ticket, can’t get to the venue, or the eBayers bought all the cool stuff?
Merch Camels are Pearl Jam fans who buy posters, t-shirts, etc. for other fans who aren’t able to attend a show. And if you know what a pain in the ass it is to watch a single ticket tube for the duration of a Pearl Jam show, imagine looking after five, 3-t-shirts, and 10 stickers. This is what Merch Camels will put up with because they’re good people who understand what it’s like to covet merch they’d otherwise have no chance of buying for themselves. And not only will they shoulder the merch burden for others, they’ll gladly ship it to whatever backwater town those less fortunate fans live in.
3. Gratis Ticketers: say what you want about the Ten Club’s new ticket lottery, it’s hard to argue it’s more cumbersome than the previous iteration. Don’t get me wrong, there was a distinct romanticism in hitting F5 for 7 hours, trying to outlast other fans who gave up after hour 4. Still, under the new regime you might get boxed out of Ten Club tickets, especially if you live in the Northeast or Seattle where the amount of Pearl Jam fans per square mile is higher than anywhere in the world. So what’s a gremmie to do? Enter the Gratis Ticketer.
A good Pearl Jam fan is a giving one. Gratis Ticketers are the kind souls who happen to have an extra ticket, by Ten Club, public onsale, or through other illicit means, and will gladly give it to you for face value or free. The method in connecting with this type of fan varies widely. You may hook up with one in the Pit, or maybe on Two Feet Thick’s facebook page, or maybe you’ll find one on the Red Mosquito bulletin board. Stop. Backup. There’s no chance those twats will help anyone out who aren’t themselves. Gratis Ticketers sympathize with ticketless Pearl Jam fans because they realize it could have just as easily been them. Maybe the Ten Club’s selection algorithm was choosing odd member numbers instead of even ones that day. Maybe you had to work when the public onsale happened. Whatever the reason, it’s comforting to know the Gratis Ticketer is out there and willing to lend a hand to his fellow Pearl Jam fan.
4. Parents: this is a hard cake to cut. On the one hand I’ve seen Pearl Jam parents who incessantly talk about their stupid kids, how smart they are, ignoring social cues that you’re completely disinterested. On the other hand, I’ve seen parents at shows with their kids where the kids know the words better than the parents do. That’s the tits.
It may shock you that I don’t have kids. SHOCKED! Goof has one. I don’t dislike kids, I love them (not like that) There’s a good chance, in fact I’ll be a parent in the next couple years. What I’m getting at is there are annoying Pearl Jam parents and there are incredibly cool ones. The cool ones gently beat the ethos and melodies of the band into their children’s head and hope it sticks. And if it doesn’t stick, it’s ok as long as they don’t like Justin Bieber.
5. Fansite Proprietors: you may have seen this coming. The following gremmies put blood, sweat, and tears into their websites for the sole benefit of other fans:
In no particular order:
- CometothePorch: Joe Little
- TheSkyIScrape: B and Stip
- pearljamonline.it: Luca and Daria
- Two Feet Thick: JR, Kathy, and Jessica
- pjcollectors.com: Victor and the gang
- thecolorsblend.com: Luke? Chris? I forget.
- fivehorizons.com: Caryn Rose, Jean Bruns, Andrew Dunn, Carl Sylvester, Chris Mansfield.
- wishlistfoundation.org: too many to mention.
So what you run a fansite? What is this a circle jerk? Do you think you’re better than me? The short answer is, “I know I’m better than you.” Kidding. But it’s true these gremmies are some of the best Pearl Jam fans because it takes a herculean effort to not only host a great Pearl Jam fansite, but to keep it updated and relevant. And there’s the inevitable criticism Fansite Proprietors have to weather from cynical fans. And trust me that shit never ends. But we do it because we love to make Pearl Jam fans happy and provide them with things they might not be able to get elsewhere, whether that’s an eclectic database of every Pearl Jam release, or an op-ed on Ed’s solo shows, we do it because Pearl Jam inspires us, and we seek to share and trade that inspiration with you.
We’re not better looking (see: JR), nor are we special, just – to borrow from JR – “impassioned”. If we’re anything, it’s probably just a little nuttier than your average fan. Blame it on how we were raised (in B’s case, a barn). Blame it on having no life and too much free time (Luca). Hell, blame it all on chemical intercourse (goof and gremmie). At the end of the day, we’re here because there’s nothing more important than sharing our common love for this great band.