Pearl Jam: Eddie Vedder Performs 'Black' at First Concerti in 1990 - Rolling Stone
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Flashback: Watch Pearl Jam Perform ‘Black’ at Their First Concert

The group was then billed as Mookie Blaylock

When the members of Mookie Blaylock took the stage at Seattle’s Off Ramp Cafe on October 22nd, 1990, they barely knew each other. Just weeks earlier they had hired drummer Jack Irons’ basketball buddy Eddie Vedder as their new singer, and early songwriting sessions were incredibly fruitful. Feeling a huge sense of momentum, they booked their first gig at the Off Ramp. Thankfully, someone had the foresight to run a camcorder during this historic show.

As you can see, Eddie Vedder wasn’t yet the confident frontman he soon morphed into — but they certainly had the songs. They wouldn’t start recording Ten until the following March, but the band already had “Alive,” “Once,” “Even Flow,” “Release,” “Black” and other songs they’d eventually cut for the album. The lyrics to “Black” aren’t quite done here, but it was pretty close. (Sadly, the beginning of the song is cut off.) Pretty soon Mookie Blaylock realized having the same name as a current New Jersey Net wasn’t the best plan and they changed it to Pearl Jam.

The band recently marked 25 years since their second album, ‘Vs.’ was released. Read 10 things you might not know about Pearl Jam’s hit 1993 LP. 

In This Article: Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam


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