We’re not far from Pearl Jam announcing their 10th album gremmies. My sources tell me it’s nearly done. The band has been recording the album piecemeal for some time which got me thinking: what would each band member do for a living if they’d never hit it big? Would Eddie still be pumping gas and singing in Bad Radio? Would Matt Cameron have leveraged his physical prowess and become a pit fighter? Would Jeff Ament still be an entitled doucher? Here’s the top 5 jobs Pearl Jam members would have if Pearl Jam never happened.

86542731_640Stone Gossard
Pro Bono Lawyer

Stone went back to school…eventually. Between 1990 and 1996 he was still trying to make it as a musician Seattle. He knocked on the doors of Skin Yard, then Mudhoney, then Candlebox, and then finally Hole. You know when Courtney Love doesn’t want you, you’re fucked. So he went back to school to become a pro bono lawyer in a Rodney Dangerfield type situation except there was no Billy Zabka or Robert Downey Jr. Stone’s father was a defense attorney but Stone was the rebellious sort, just not that rebellious. So he became a pro bono lawyer. This means he was a lawyer for gay men. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Wait. What’s that you say? Pro bono means “for free”? Right, ok.  Still he became a lawyer who works for free. That’s…something? Good for him. That he had a massive trust fund is probably inconsequential.

Pearl_Jam___Eddie_Vedder_by_kumaslide-1Eddie Vedder
Bankrupt Indie Record Store Owner

You saw this coming. Viva la vinyl! The rallying cry of the poor and misdirected. Eddie never made it to Seattle. He never met Jeff and Stone. But what he did meet was the windshield of a Mercedes while pumping gas in San Diego. A group of well-to-do Abercrombie and Fitchers were doing the old pump n’ run. That’s when you make some poor schlub pump your gas and floor it before paying. It’s the kind of thing Stone would have done with his private school friends on their way back from daisy chaining each other in woods. Eddie, ever the entrepreneur, sued the gas station and got a sizable settlement which he used to finance an Indie Record Store called – perhaps unsurprisingly – “Spin the Black Circle”.  By the late 90’s the store was struggling financially on account of Napster and the interwebs. Eddie took to drinking heavily (boxed wine) and drawing pencil sketches of himself “as a rock star” like you see to the left. By the 2000’s the store was bankrupt and Ed was dejected. He’s since spent his days surfing and giving handies under the boardwalk to make ends meet.

mikemccreadyMike McCready

What? Do they all have to be weird? Can you really picture Mike McCready doing anything else? Even though Pearl Jam never happened Mike continued to play guitar. For a while he became a guitar teacher, charging uppity yuppies and their awful children $200 an hour to learn bar chords. Eventually Mike meets Star Anna and they form a band called “Starburst”. Pearl Jam not existing can’t stop McCready from becoming a rock God. It was predestined, like Jason Bateman’s comeback. Starburst (named after the chewy candy, not the Marvel superhero) released 4 albums to critical acclaim they became a “medium deal” as in not a “big deal” but enough that they became a household name  in alternative household, like Sonic Youth. For a while Starburst had a Fleetwood Mac thing going, but that fizzled when McCready met Christina Hendricks on the set of Mad Men when McCready scored an episode. You think that’s unlikely? Have you seen the guy she’s married to?

bfb9d1b6-d8f3-53c6-937b-579a114b3cee.preview-300Jeff Ament
Assistant High School Basketball Coach

Did you know Jeff Ament played college basketball during college somewhere in Montana? I’d bother to google the detail but frankly I don’t give a shit. Why? Because Jeff Ament is a twat. He may have written Low Light and Other Side, but he also wears these on his head. What’s under there? No one knows, but modern science nerds have reconstructed it and their best guess it this. See? Twat. Jeff eventually leaves Seattle, returning to whatever podunk gopher hole he crawled out of, bitter his band never sold more than 100 records. He bums around town (again, somewhere in Montana) for a year, siphoning gas from cars and selling it back to stations until an old friend catches him in the act. The friend takes pity on him and offers him a job as a assistant coach on the high school basketball team. Now bitter from years of – as his dad later put it – “not amounting to shit”, Ament takes the job way too seriously. His only source of happiness is the 3 seconds of relief he gets from yelling at 16-year old boys before the crushing weight of  hopelessness creeps back in. At the faculty Christmas party colleagues could be overheard describing him as a bitter version of guy who Bruce Spingsteen sang about in “Glory Days“.

tumblr_lum3azsJ4w1r4nu8fo1_500Matt Cameron
Typecast Extra

Pearl Jam’s drummer reunites with Soundgarden for a few months before they implode on account of “creative differences“. A setback for everyone but the energetic Cameron, he looks the dissolution of Soundgarden as an opportunity to pursue his one true love, acting. His B-Level connections in Los Angeles land him on an episode of Law and Order SVU with 3 lines of dialogue as a methhead. Cameron’s naturally gaunt appearance, lanky limbs, and beaty eyes lead to 10 years of typecasting. The irony is that Cameron is straight-edge, a fact the former drummer constantly points out to fellow extras. It’s not long before he becomes the guy to avoid at the kraft services table. Unhappy he isn’t able to break into meatier roles, Cameron winds up moonlighting as a session drummer for children’s version of popular rock albums.


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