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If you ask Southern Pearl Jam fans how many shows PJ has played in their neck of woods recently, you might be met with a face like this. An inside joke amongst fans, Pearl Jam is not fond of playing the South. There are numerous threads on Synergy with literally tens of thousands of posts begging them to play the South. Here are the top 5 reasons it won’t happen.
They’ve got the Brain of JFK
When Ed sings, “Who’s got the brain of JFK?” in the lead-off track, Brain of J, on Yield, it’s less a question and more of an indictment; as if you already knew the answer. Who has the brain of JFK? The Southern conscience. JFK was assassinated in Dallas, Texas by a guy from New Orleans, Louisiana who himself was shot by a Texan two days later. Regardless of who you believe, certain inalienable facts can’t be ignored. Clearly, Pearl Jam has not yet forgiven the South for their lack of proper security. I mean, would you want to be a liberal public figure on an open stage smack-dab in the middle of Bush country?
Selection of Super Organic™ food is limited
If you’ve ever driven South down I-95 through any state below New Jersey, you’d know that every 5 miles there’s a rest stop with either a Hardees, Chick-fil-A, or Steak-‘n-Shake; sometimes all three. Sometimes you get lucky and find a Wawa. Sometimes you keep driving because it’s the dreaded Nathan’s/ Roy Rogers combo. Clearly the South loves fast food. Whatever the foodstuff, it needs to be battered, deep fried, and covered in gravy. In Issue 2 of Deep Magazine Pearl Jam gave us a glimpse into their eating habits by providing us gremmies with their favorite recipes (as prepared by their in-house chef). In brief, the items more closely resemble the cabbage patch than the hen-house. Even with their chef, Pearl Jam just can’t get the super organic, just-fell-out-of-a-cow’s-ass grains and soybeans their enlightened diets require. Not in the South leastways.
Every member of Pearl Jam owns a dog or two. So far as we know; it’s entirely possible Jeff owns stables full of exotic animals on his compound in Missoula. According to an issue of Deep Magazine where readers were asked to match photos of dogs to their respective, band-member, owners – Pearl Jam loves their dogs. So much so that gremmie.net surmises they often take the mutts on tour (see also: Boom Gaspar). Click that link, the Boom-Canine resemblance is uncanny. Since Dog Fighting is the South’s second favorite past-time behind Leprechaun spotting, the band fears their dogs will be kidnapped (see Brain of JFK, lax security above) and forced to fight for their lives. Why risk it? Skip the South.
I’m not sure this one needs much explanation. It’s Florida! You know, Florida. This Florida. Sure there’s a gaggle of odd facts which – if inebriated – might count as merit. But people have written books about the oddities that continuously pour out of the Swamp State. Sure they played here twice during the 2008 switch, but that’s only because Ed lost a bet to Birdman. See, Ed thought the Jacksonville Jaguars were going to go all the way during the 2007 season. Much like his Cubs premonition. Birdman bet they wouldn’t. See here for who was right.
Jeff Ament got jacked in Hotlanta
Remember this story? On April 27th, 2009 Jeff Ament was pulling into Southern Tracks Recording, a recording studio favored by Brendan O’ Brien during the Backspacer sessions when he was accosted by 3 masked men waving knives. They pilfered more than $7,000 in cash and other valuables from Jeff and his driver. Jeff suffered lacerations on his head after being chased and knocked to the ground. Where is this studio? Atlanta. Georgia. See also: The South. Getting jacked by the three stooges leaves an imprint, not only on your head but in your memory.