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Soundgarden Drummer Joins Pearl Jam for Tour

April 17, 1998 12:00 AM ET

In the future, everyone will be the drummer of Pearl Jam for fifteen minutes. Now, it's Matt Cameron's turn to take a ride on the group's drumming carousel. The former Soundgarden percussionist will replace Jack Irons, Pearl Jam's third drummer, effective immediately. He'll make his debut with the grunge denizens beginning June 13 or 14 at the Tibetan Freedom Concert in Washington, D.C., and continue on as the band's skinsman indefinitely, according to a source close to the band. According to another source, Cameron is *not* an official member of Pearl Jam. "He's not joined the band, he's touring with the band," said the source.

During Pearl Jam's infancy, Cameron played drums on early demo versions of classics, like "Alive," "Evenflow" and "Animal." He was also the man behind the drumkit for the Seattle side project Temple of the Dog, which featured members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.

According to sources, Irons is simply fed up with touring. He apparently got his fill of the road during the band's recent one-month jaunt through New Zealand and Australia and was dreading an extensive U.S. tour, which begins June 20 in Missoula, Mont. and ends September 18 in Washington, D.C.

The seminal grunge band rotates drummers like Van Halen does vocalists. First drummer Dave Krusen, who played on the band's debut, Ten, was replaced by Dave Abbruzzese before the band even toured. In 1994, just before the release of Vitalogy, Abbruzzese was booted and replaced by Irons, whose first show with the band was the now-fabled "Self Pollution Radio" broadcast on January 8, 1995.

Abbruzzese now records with Green Romance Orchestra and has been mentioned as a possible replacement for on-again, off-again Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum. Krusen recently replaced Scott Mercado as the drummer for Candlebox.

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Song Stories

“Don't Dream It's Over”

Crowded House | 1986

Early in the sessions for Crowded House's debut album, the band and producer Mitchell Froom were still feeling each other out, and at one point Froom substituted session musicians for the band's Paul Hester and Nick Seymour. "At the time it was a quite threatening thing," Neil Finn told Rolling Stone. "The next day we recorded 'Don't Dream It's Over,' and it had a particularly sad groove to it — I think because Paul and Nick had faced their own mortality." As for the song itself, "It was just about on the one hand feeling kind of lost, and on the other hand sort of urging myself on — don't dream it's over," Finn explained.

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