The chain of moments that led to Ten are wild. Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard were previously in Green River, and when that broke up, they launched the psych-garage band Mother Love Bone with singer Andrew Wood. Unfortunately, Wood passed away right before their first album was released. To honor their fallen bandmate, Ament and Gossard joined a few members of Soundgarden for a tribute album under the Temple of the Dog moniker. Former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons recommended Temple tap a singer he’d heard about out of San Diego for the project.
To test out this unknown vocalist, Ament and Gossard passed along a couple of demos they had been working on. The tapes were returned with new lyrics and vocals, and the guys were so impressed they hired him to front their new band.
That singer was Eddie Vedder, and that new band was Pearl Jam. And that’s not even mentioning Mike McCready and Dave Krusen.
This is all only scratching the surface of the strange series of events that had to occur for Ten to come into existence. In this debut episode of The Opus: Pearl Jam’s Ten, host Jill Hopkins is joined by The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon, AllMusic’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine, and Museum of Pop Culture curator Jacob McMurray to trace the unlikely origins of one of the biggest bands of all time.
Take a listen above, and subscribe now so you can check out all episodes of Season 16 of The Opus. Also, grab yourself an official Opus hoodie or T-Shirt at the Consequence Shop or using the buy-now buttons below. Also, enter our Pearl Jam Ten giveaway to win a Fender Player Stratocaster electric guitar, the Pearl jam Funko Pop! set, and Ten and No Code on vinyl.
Original music by Tony Piazza.