We look incredibly young," says Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, musing on the intimate pictures of his band's early days in 5×1, a new book from former official PJ photog Lance Mercer. The pictures range from a bedroom jam session (with Ament on clarinet) to shots of Eddie Vedder hanging with Gloria Steinem and sporting a yellow mod outfit. "People thought we took ourselves too seriously," says Ament. "But these pictures show there were a lot of lighter moments." The book also includes essays from famous pals, including Bruce Springsteen, who writes, "They felt like a band intent on meaning something to their audience . . . . They had soul."
This story is from the December 28th, 2006 issue of Rolling Stone.