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Pearl Jam Takes Over American Airwaves

The four-hour syndicated broadcast started with a live Atlanta concert and ended with a DJ set by Eddie Vedder himself

Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam
Foto Rob Verhorst
May 19, 1994

On April 3, six days after 2,000 ticketless fans tried to force their way into a sold-out Pearl Jam show in Miami, the band beamed an Atlanta concert via satellite to any radio station willing and able to air it. The commercial-free broadcast, which was sent out to a potential audience of 750 million listeners worldwide, began at 9:15 p.m. EST and ended four hours later after an impromptu record-listening session hosted by DJ Eddie Vedder. Unfortunately, not every station was able to tolerate the musical taste of Pearl Jam's frontman – which ran from Daniel Johnston to Henry Rollins. WNEW-FM in New York cut Vedder off midset, while KNAC in Long Beach, Calif., didn't air the DJ segment at all. "We're not upset," says Epic Records' vice president of promotion Harvey Leeds, who organized the broadcast. "There were no rules and no guidelines. Four hours is a lot of time for a radio station to give up."

This story is from the May 19th, 1994 issue of Rolling Stone.


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