Eddie Vedder made a surprise appearance at Seattle’s Easy Street Records Saturday when he joined reunited proto-punk group the Sonics for that band’s Record Store Day performance. The Sonics’ gig, which benefitted Seattle’s public radio station KEXP, promised “very special guests,” and it delivered when the Pearl Jam singer hopped on the mic for “Leaving Here.” The track features on the Sonics’ new LP This Is the Sonics, their first studio album since 1967.
The legendary Motown songwriting trio Holland-Dozier-Holland originally wrote the oft-covered “Leaving Here” in 1963, when it was recorded by Eddie Holland. The single was later interpreted by artists like the Birds, Motörhead and the Who; it was the latter’s version that inspired Pearl Jam to cover “Leaving Here” for the 1996 benefit compilation Home Alive. Pearl Jam’s rendition later resurfaced on the band’s b-side and rarities collection Lost Dogs, and the track remains a fixture at Pearl Jam live shows.
According to Easy Street’s Instagram, while Vedder was celebrating Record Store Day, he also picked up a copy of Citizen Dick’s “Touch Me I’m Sick” 7″. The special release was inspired by Cameron Crowe’s 1991 film Singles; in the film, actor Matt Dillon fronts the fictional band that features the members of Pearl Jam, including Vedder on drums.
In addition to rocking with the Sonics, Vedder will also join his idol Pete Townshend to celebrate the music of the Who at a special charity concert at Chicago’s Rosemont Theatre on May 14th. The gig, which will also feature guitarist Simon Townshend, drummer Zak Starkey and bassist Pino Palladino, will help raise money to help teens with cancer at the University of Chicago Medicine, as well as other local children’s charities.