Pearl Jam – 2 Decades of Opus Part II

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11. Immortality (Vitalogy, 1994)

For Lyrics and Video: Immortality, Pearl Jam Lyrics.

Another metaphoric delivery from the quintet would be Immortality. True to its meaning, Immortality stands as a proof to Pearl Jam’s sight and sounds making them the band who was always destined for big things.

12. Corduroy (Vitalogy, 1994) 

For Lyrics and Video:  Corduroy, Pearl Jam Lyric.

Above anything else, Pearl Jam transcends through their precision, intensity and ferocity and Corduroy is one of the many standing testimony to the fact.  It has all the concept and principles of Pearl Jam and would remind you of their early days when they use to take the stage for live shows –  those were the days man, those were the days! How you wished you were there to catch Eddie Vedder doing his iconic stage dive, we beg to be transported to the early 90s!

13. Ocean (Ten, 1991) 

For Lyrics and Video:  Oceans, Pearl Jam Lyrics.

Still very much stuck at PJ’s sophomore efforts, Ten would always be one of the best albums from the Seattle-based punk-rock band of the early 90s. You won’t believe that Ocean was some of their earliest work as Pearl Jam because of the strength that each song demonstrates, they appeared to have been doing this for a very long time. Here’s the valour of PJ, through the times when they first won over a militant of army.

14. Indifference (VS, 1993)

For Lyrics and Video: Indifference, Pearl Jam Lyric.

Indifference conveys a message of sheer confidence and pure honesty. There’s not a moment where you can capture their flaw for here is the exceptional truth, PJ is flawlessly flawed and no matter how goofy they tried to be while they were young and carefree, they went on inducting some of rock’s most delicate and beautiful tunes to date. Almost everything in this song is pure goosebumps!

15. Rearview Mirror (VS, 1993) 

For Lyrics and Video: Rearviewmirror, Pearl Jam Lyric.

Rearview Mirror would show you that there’s far more at play than just the simple contract. It’s beneath the surface much of the enchantment lies and to speed things up, here’s a sonic soundscape production that would guarantee you bouncing in no time at all.

16. The Fixer (Backspacers, 2009) 

For Lyricss: The Fixer, Pearl Jam Lyrics.

The Fixer is a quick fix with staying power. Fun, fast and energetic with melodic roots.

17. Nothing As It Seems (Binaural, 2000)

For Lyrics : Nothing As It Seems, Pearl Jam Lyrics.

The sweeping melodies and the crushing tune laced with soft whispering vocals in the beginning of the song only goes to show what PJ can do and how much they can drive that energy to a soaring conclusion. Another personal best.

18. Present Tense (No Code, 1996) 

For Lyrics:  Present Tense, Pearl Jam Lyrics.

It’s a bitter sweet tale of great forces who delivers everything with such passion that the music wraps around your head and stays inside your mind hollering for an encore every passing minute.

19.  Given To Fly (Yield, 1998)

For Lyrics:  Given To Fly, Pearl Jam Lyrics.

Genuinely ear-snagging, raw, angry, raging, melodic, beautiful and brilliant.

20. I Am Mine (Riot Act, 2002)

For Lyrics:  I Am Mine, Pearl Jam Lyrics.

Eddie’s golden baritone stands at its highest and most sublime moment in this song. There’s the same execution but there’s a little more shift in the trembling and breaks between the chords that many singers would find it hard to execute with such perfection but then who are we kidding, this is Eddie Vedder and even when we don’t expect him to be the messiah, we can’t help to worship the man to some extend. Perhaps its just due to the fact that in recent century, you will never find an effort as majestic as this.

Bonus: Mine Your Manners (Lightning Bolt, 2013)

For Lyrics:  Mind Your Manners, Pearl Jam’s Lyrics.

Ever had the feeling of wanting to return to the 90s or just back to the days when Seattle was brooding with its effortless talents out of the domestic punk circa? Well, here it is, Mind Your Manners will take you there to a time when music was honest and pure. The song takes on the fundamental base of punk and Eddie’s soaring grandeur in the execution just reminds us back to the days when music was high on the agenda, hearts were young and concerts were thrown day in day out. This is it, after a short hiatus, Pearl Jam returns just to show you that after over 2 decades of historical touchstones, they are still very much the young guns at heart.

Others Must Check Out:

If we could, we would have placed all the songs in one long list that would have taken us days to finish since we are listening in between. Each song has a story to tell, weather its about love, life, lost or just the experience of living through the world of music, it touches the core of your soul and that’s why Pearl Jam is probably the most authentic band of recent century. We are preaching the truth and practising it just the same. Here are some of the tracks that came in high in votes that we thought should not miss the list.

So here goes another 30!

1. Once (Ten, 1991)
2. Animal (VS, 1993)
3. Spin The Black Circle (Vitalogy, 1994)
4. Smile (No Code, 1996)
5. Brain Of J (Yield, 1998)
6. Parting Ways (Binaural, 2000)
7. Sad (Lost Dogs, 2002)
8. Come Back (Pearl Jam, 2008)
9. Just Breath (Backspacer, 2009)
10. Sirens (Lightning Thunderbolt, 2013)
11. Why Go (Ten, 1991)
12. Glorified G (Vs, 1993)
13. Not For You (Vitalogy, 1994)
14.  Do The Evolution (Yield, 1996)
15. Fatal (Lost Dogs, 2003)
16. Worldwide Suicide (Pearl Jam, 2008)
17. Go (Vs, 1993)
18.  Breath (Lightning Bolt, 2013)
19. Porch (Ten, 1991)
20. Dissident (Vs, 1993)
21. The End (Backspacer, 2009)
22.  Release (Ten, 1991)
23.  W.M.A (Vs, 1993)
24. Unthought Known (Backspacer, 2009)
25. Come Back (Pearl Jam, 2008)
26.  In Hiding (Yield, 1998)
27.  Rats (Vs, 1993)
28.  Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town (Vs, 1993)
29.  Man of The Hour (Lightning Bolt, 2013 – Big Fish Soundtrack)
30.  State Of Love And Trust (Live On Ten Legs Album)

Enjoy!

Chills Of Addiction – Hillel Slovak, The Lost Guitarist Of Chili Pepper

Hillel Slovak

Hillel Slovak

Hillel Slovak (הלל סלובק) also known as Slim/ Pan Handle Slim/ The Israeli Cowboy
Born: April 13, 1962, Haifa, Israel – Died June 25, 1988 (aged 26), Hollywood, California, USA
Instruments: Guitar, vocals, talk box, sitar (1980–1988) Fender Stratocaster/ Gibson Les Paul
Red Hot Chili Peppers, What Is This?, Addie Brik

There’s no doubt how beautifully RHCP has developed over the years and despite their eccentric demonstrations and vile behaviours, they’ve had some treasures brewing within their extensive dome, which till today still stands as part of their exclusive attributions to the music scene for over 2 decades now. In spite of ringing out the culture that was so often laced with addiction, they have somehow managed to arrive in 2013 – and alive! Sadly though, not all of them made it. John Frusciante may have played a signifying role in RHCP‘s backtrack catalog but before Frusciante, there was Hillel Slovak.

Hillel who was born on April 13, 1962 in Acre, Israel was the founding member and original guitarist of RHCP, a famous California based rock band that was formed back in 1983 with drummer, Jack Irons. Slovak and Irons had known each other since childhood and had developed a close bond very early in their lives.

Hillel developed his musical talent early in his life when he started playing the guitar at 13 years old shortly after receiving it as a birthday present from his uncle. Both Hillel and Irons were a big fan of the band KISS and would often dress up like their favourite band members with heavy make-up and do miming to all their songs. Hillel was extremely serious in learning how to play the guitar and since he was also a big fan of Jimi Hendrix, he would practise hard at perfecting his art. He spent much of his time listening, studying, working and copying Hendrix‘s style to perfection thus opening a career path in music.

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Hillel met Anthony Kiedis when he spotted Kiedis wearing ‘Anthym‘ pin badge (which was one of Hillel’s previous band) and invited Kiedis to hang out and through Kiedis, he eventually met Flea. Now, Flea could be one of the greatest bassist in the music industry today but he was formerly a trumpet player with no prior training or even interest towards playing the bass. Hillel was the one who taught Flea how to play bass. At the time RHCP was formed, Hillel and Irons were still with ‘What is Hits‘ so when both group was offered recording deals, Hillel decided to go with What Is Hits instead of RHCP as he found the former to be a more serious band and better career choice between the two. RHCP who was also offered a recording deal at the same time however decided to proceed the recording by replacing both Slovak and Irons position and role in the group.

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What It Hits failed to reached the success that the group hoped for and Hillel started having doubts over his decisions of joining What Is Hits and expressed his desires to return to RHCP to Anthony Kiedis. He came back to RHCP in time for their second album ‘Freaky Styley’, which was released in August 1985 and Jack Irons returned to RHCP the following year as the band released their 3rd album, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan released in 1986.

Hillel’s return to RHCP also marked the time where he got heavily involved with drugs and together with Kiedis who shared similar passion with Hillel in using dope, the whole debauchery started to effect their performance. Kiedis took off to the rehab several times to kick off the habit and somehow the band managed to work through their problems to see the issue of ‘Me And My Friends’ – a track that was mainly about their friendship, which marked Slovak’s name in the lyrics. This significant moment and track marked as one of Hillel‘s happiest time in RHCP. 

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While Kiedis has sought help for his addiction on multiple occasion, he somehow always returned to the same path. From there onwards, the focus was heavily placed on him as his addiction became worst and everyone was afraid that he was just going to die one of these days. He was taking heroin in huge volumes and his addiction demanded frequent usage so almost everyone knew and was clear about his misadventures. Hillel on the other hand was more astute in his addiction and was far more crafty at covering his tracks. It could also be said that he made a mistake into believing that he had his addiction under control and created an ambience, in which he was in total control of his escapade that soon turned out to be a form of denial.

“They were all afraid that I was going to die because I would just take too much too often for too long a period of time,” Kiedis would confess. “Hillel was much more subtle and much more cunning in his disguise. He had everyone believing he had it under control…He was just more in denial. Hillel thought he had power over the dark side.”

From Jeff Apter’s book: Fornication: The Red Hot Chili Peppers Story’

Not too long after that Hillel’s overall stature started to deteriorate and the band finally realised that he was in far more malady than Kiedis. Hillel‘s condition worsened at the time the band embarked on their The Uplift Mofo Party Plan tour and he appeared to be falling dangerously off track. Hillel almost got fired from the band and his brother was notified about his worsening condition. Angelo Moore managed to talk Kiedis out doing so telling him that Hillel needed all the support he could get from his friend throughout the treacherous times. The band continued to tour and both Hillel and Kiedis vowed to stop using drugs throughout the tour since there was lack of dealer’s contacts abroad and the excuse was a befitting bargaining chip.

Like every other addict who is stuck far in the web of heroin addiction, Hillel and Kiedis made many attempts at taking the final vow of quitting the drug forever and like it’s always bound to happen, whenever the line was clear and the dealer was near, that’s the first place they headed to and that’s exactly what happened when they arrived back in LA. Having stopped doing heroin for a notable period of time, upon arriving in LA the urge to start using again and the yearning for another hit started to nest in their minds. So Hillel took the shortest route of committing to his addiction as he went straight to his dealers and scored some stash. Weather the heroin was just too strong or the result in the gap of usage, the final hit somehow contributed to his final breath in this world. Hillel died while trying to finish his final painting hunched over it while the heat of his cigarette painted a hole into the canvas. The art became the final witness to his end. He was found 2 days after his initial death.

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Hillel’s final painting with a cigarette butt hole visible on the canvas

As the Jewish custom had it, Hillel went through an autopsy on the 29 June 1988 and was buried the following day at the Jewish section (Mount Sinai Memorial Park) of Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles. He was only 26 years old. All members of RHCP was present at his memorial with the exception of Anthony Kiedis who fled to Mexico on a drugs binge for being unable to cope with Hillel‘s death. Most people only found out about the young guitarist death from the obituary section in L.A Times.

Jack Irons also left the band after as he became extremely depressed with Hillel‘s passing and wasn’t able to cope with it and became clinically depressed. Kiedis and Flea continued RHCP to honour Hillel‘s legacy since the band was formed by him and it would be a tribute for his honorary contribution to the music scene.

Josh Frusciante who replaced Hillel as the band’s new guitarist also stated that he learned the ways Hillel played guitar for the band and had converse with Hillel a few months before his death.

Kiedis eventually visited Hillel’s grave sometime later after much persuasion from his councelor, Bob Timmons so Kiedis can move on from the melancholic phase of loosing a good friend, a brother and beloved band member.   Kiedis who at first had no desire to be there, eventually opened up and within minutes was crying at the sight as he bid his final goodbye to one of music’s most promising guitarist and the original member of RHCP.

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Hillel’s artwork, diaries and letters were published by his brother in 1999 to honour the memories of the young and talented guitarist, ‘Behind the Sun: The Diary and Art of Hillel Slovak.’

Andy Wood – Love Lost In Seattle (1990)

AWMotherLoveBoneECGAs the late 80s started to sign a brighter hope in Seattle‘s morbid hemisphere (remember – it always rains in Seattle?) the music industry quivered with the prospect that Seattle has finally found its next star product following the ever so magnetic Jimi Hendrix and the man was none other than Mother Love Bone’s front man, Andrew Wood. The acceptance towards Mother Love Bone as the succeeding historical touchstones of the city’s sullied almanac has reached fever pitched and there was no longer a doubt that once their album hits the dawn of the daylight, the band will carry the crown home. There was no better time for Mother Love Bone to finally make their lush debut, as they have shined at predominantly at creating an impression while Wood’s self-imposed British glam-rock benchmark cemented him as one of Seattle’s finest products to date. Unfortunately for Seattle, Wood jumped of to the deep end when he died from an alleged heroin overdose just a few months before the album, Apple was due to change his live and the entire demographic structure of Seattle’s underground music archives, was scheduled to hit the stores thus ending  Seattle’s hopes and dreams for the aspiring young idol.

Andrew Patrick Wood, the youngest of 3 brothers was born in January 8, 1966 in Columbus, Mississippi and started experimenting music at a very young age. In 1980, Wood‘s who was 14 formed Malfunkshun with his brother, Kevin and the band’s lush debut instantly established Malfunkshun as the scene’s firm favourites ultimately uplifting their names in the Seattle alternative music show ground. Malfunkshun recorded its first demo in April 1980 and in the following years as they started to open for Seattle’s subversive bands such as Soundgarden, The U-Men, and Skin Yard, the pressure of spotlight fell greatly on Wood for a number of reasons.

Often referred to as a startling composition between the legendary front man of the The Door’s, Jim Morrison and Marc Bolan of T-Rex, musically Wood was more aligned to the early 70s British rock personified bands such as Queen and T-Rex while adapting to the comically obscene glam-rock fashion that was widely popularised by British acts such as T-Rex and David Bowie among others and Lou Reed, The New York Dolls and Jobriath in US. Although facing decline halfway through the mid 70s, glam rock was occasionally revived  throughout 90s and has since influenced punk, gothic rock and more.

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Still early in his inception, Wood was already causing quit the stir in the industry and in doing so managed to turn some heads in his way. Andy Wood’s was blessed with the whole hermaphrodite visage, spunk and charisma of his former antecedents; the ever so flawless lions of hard rock such as Robert Plant and Jimmy Page from the Led’s, Patti Smith, David Bowie, Mick Jagger and the rest that was hardly seen in the new and upcoming band of the mid to late 80s. Taking the spirit of fashion to the heart, Andrew Wood  would often take the stage dolled up in heavy make up and daring plus outrages clothes through his stage alter-ego, Landrew The Love Child. 

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Andrew+Wood+Andy

Andrew+Wood+Andy+Bass

In 1985, while the music was slowly picking up the speed and flair of the mainstream arena, it also somehow ignited the cultural shift in the opium trade as Seattle started to witness a rise in the heroin transaction while  youth turned to the substance as the ultimate drugs of choice. Andy Wood became one of the many youth who started falling into the heroin trapping but managed to steer off the path when he got himself admitted to a rehab in the same year. After cleaning up his act, Wood and Malfunkshun continued performing around Seattle picking up a steady flow of partisans who were growing in volumes by then. Andy Wood and Green River are still upheld as the real forefathers of grunge in the early Seattle underground movement.

Although Malfunkshun recorded a hefty stash of demos throughout their reign, they never officially released an album and were also turned down by Sub Pop, a famous Seattle-based record label who would continue to sign Nirvana as they found Malfunkshun not grunge enough to grace their map of existing artists since the record label was highly committed in fronting bands that were inclined to the soaring trends of grunge. Even without a proper record label to fluctuate Malfunkshun’s talents further into stardom, two of Malfunkshun’s songs ‘With Yo’ Heart (Not Yo’ Hands) and Stars-n-You were compiled in the legendary Deep Six Compilation Album released by C/Z Records in 1986. That served as the last credits to the Mulfunkshun’s catalog as the band disbanded two years later in 1988.

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Shortly after Malfunkshun pulled the plug on the band, Wood and Hagar started jamming with Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament of the Green River, which also met its end in the same year. Together, they started performing under the pseudonym Lords of the Wasteland until former Green River guitarist Bruce Fairweather joined the band followed by Skin Yard’s drummer Greg Gilmore replacing  Hagar. The band was later baptised as Mother Love Bone. The formation of Mother Love Bone saw a heavy collision of two power pack band members who had equal fame, talents and cult in the scene and this further upheld the band’s reputation than anyone could have dared to comprehend. In 1989, the band signed a deal with Polygram and issued a six-song EP, Shine through their sub label, Stardog.

Mother+Love+Bone+-+Shine+-+Sealed+-+12-+RECORD-MAXI+SINGLE-424109https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/shine-ep/id339270183#

1. Thru Fade Away                                   2. Mindshaker Meltdown                                     3. Half Ass Monkey Boy
4. Chloe Dancer / Crown of Thorns    5. Capricorn Sister

mother_love_boneMother Love Bone newly released EP, Shine was later cited as a form of dedication to the whole Seattle music hubbub by John Book. In 1989, the band started recording their debut album while simultaneously going on tours and supporting bands like the The Dogs D’Amour. With such high hopes and expectations placed on Mother Love Bone’s upcoming album (later called Apple), Wood started to acknowledge his struggles with the heightening need and desire for heroin addiction, he once again checked into a rehab in 1989 hoping to kick the habit before the album release staying there till the end of the year.

In the dawn of 1990, the band continued to play gigs in Seattle while they waited for the release of their first studio album, Apple.

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       https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/apple/id377470077

1. This Is Shrangila                     2. Stardog Champion                  3. Holy Roller                               4. Bone China                       5. Come Bite the Apple               6. Stargazer                                    7. Heartshine                             8. Captain Hi-Top (Hi Top)
9. Man of Golden Words           10. Capricorn Sister                    11. Gentle Groove                      12. Mr. Danny Boy
13. Crown of Thorns

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However, Seattle’s exceptional jewel of the year did not live long to enjoy the kind of reception that the band’s album would live to harbour when his girlfriend found him in a state of comatose (where casualties falls into a deep sleep and looses all sense of response to touch or sometimes having no or little ability to response thus diminishing any signs of brain activities) after overdosing on an alleged lethal dose of heroin. Wood was immediately rushed to the Harborview Hospital and placed on life support. Wood suffered a haemorrhage aneurysm and despite of being responsive he had lost all brain functions. Andrew Wood was removed from life support on the 19 March 1990 following the physician’s suggestion thus marking his biological time of death. It also marked the day where Seattle was shaken to the core of its very foundation for having to loose yet another of its star studded son who was destined for greater things in life.

Apple may be one of the first great hard-rock records of the 90s and Andrew Wood could have been the first of the big-league Seattle rock starsDavid Browne of The New York Times

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Apple opened to an overall positive review from the critics and was well received by fans.

All members of Mother Love Bone broke up shortly after Wood’s death and went their separate ways. However, Gossard and Ament reconcile after much persuasion from Mike McCready and set out to form a new band that would later be known as Pearl Jam with Eddie Vedder of Broken Radio as the band’s front man.

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In the following year, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, a long time friend of Wood’s who was also a former roommate erected Temple Of The Dog as homage for the fallen hero. Cornell who already wrote two songs, ‘Reach Down’ and ‘Say hello 2 heaven’ approached Gossard, Ament (who were Mother Love Bone’s former members) and McCready to record the songs as singles before all of them reached to an agreement of releasing a full album dedicated to Wood. Mat Cameron joins Temple as the drummer and the San Diego based musician and surfer, Eddie Vedder who came down for an audition for the future Pearl Jam would also end up as a contributing vocalist with a duet between Cornell and Vedder on ‘Hunger Strike’ on Temple of The Dog’s self titled one and only debut album released in 1991.

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Temple disband after the album release and all existing members returned to their respective bands, which later sees the formation of Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam first and major debut, Ten would open to international stardom shortly after Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ breaks the barrier of the Seattle’s underground movement simultaneously uplifting it to the shiny pop spectrum of the mainstream arena. Pearl Jam’s newfound fame saw Temple’s previous work coming back to the spotlight that it so richly deserved.

Alice in Chains members debuted ‘Would?’ to Wood’s memories also including other fallen hero’s of the music society who died as a result of heroin addiction in their second album Dirt.  

I was thinking a lot about Andrew Wood at the time. We always had a great time when we did hang out, much like Chris Cornell and I do. There was never really a serious moment or conversation, it was all fun. Andy was a hilarious guy, full of life and it was really sad to lose him. But I always hate people who judge the decisions others make. So it was also directed towards people who pass judgments. Jerry Cantrell

Both Shine and Apple were reissued by PolyGram in 1992 as part of the Mother Love Bone compilation album while Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns was included on the soundtrack to the film Singles.

Faster Pussycat, an LA-based band also wrote a song in tribute to Wood’s called Mr. Lovedog from the album Whipped!  Allmusic’s, Bradley Torreano, described the song as a sad requiem to the passing of yet another charismatic figure in the metal world.

Continuing the tradition in the memory of the late Andrew Wood, another Seattle grunge band, Candlebox released their self-title debut featuring the single Far Behind, which was made to his name in 1993 followed by former band mate Stone Gossard who compiled all of Malfunkshun’s early recordings and releasing it as a compilation album, Return to Olympus.

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A documentary was finally made in commemorating Andrew Wood’s musical career in 2005 by director Scot Barbour entitled, Malfunkshun: The Andrew Wood Story. The film premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival followed by FAIF Film Festival in Hollywood, California in the same year. The film was released in 2011 on DVD as part of a 2CD+DVD set entitled Malfunkshun: The Andrew Wood Story including the Return to Olympus album, a bonus CD including many interviews and demos and the movie on the DVD disc.

Kurt Cobain & Eddie Vedder: The Grunge Battle

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Kurt Cobain did not hate Eddie Vedder neither did Eddie hated Cobain. Hate is such a strong word to describe what seemed to be a temporary brawl or dispute of interest that happens awfully a lot in the industry. Thus, our cyber Einstein’s had made it their mission to further pursue the subject into the modern century as they drool over the issue for years if not decades. While that is extremely admirable if the intentions are purely focused on keeping the memories alive, but most often than not, the information supplied to the thesis are usually untrue and in some cases are exaggerated beyond the whole biblical truth.

Remember that we have all gone through a phase of ‘devil-may-care’ attitude and some of us has even been beaten for the fortitude. Just like that 23 years ago our dear grunge prince Kurt Cobain and our favourite grunge ambassador Eddie Vedder were kids and that will further testify to the whole ‘life begins at 40s’ ideology. Even if we believe that Vedder grew up way ahead of his years for amassing such a graceful and professional attitude over the whole dispute that was truly nothing to begin with, sometimes some childish behaviour are totally unavoidable.

1991 was the year where Nirvana drove punk in simultaneously pushing the claustrophobic envelope further into the pop shiny spectrum by breaking the barriers of Seattle’s inner layers of subversive music and the lateral universe of rock stardom. The achievement was reached in such biblical ways that it broke out as a pandemonium that was beyond words. But to say that the late frontman of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain was the forefather of Grunge or Punk would truly be an overstatement to the actual thesis for neither, he nor Eddie was the forefather of Grunge. Punk was already there, its seed was already planted, and the ones who planted this would stretch way back in history so for now let’s just stick to the subterranean facts of Seattle underground culture and its propellers who were none other than Andy Wood (January 8, 1966 – March 19, 1990)  Mother Love Bone, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Mudhoney among others.

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This was evident through their earliest work such as Apple, which was released 3 months (July 1990) after Mother Love Bone’s frontman decease. Mother Love Bone in its inception was predicted to become one of the greatest bands in due time and Andy Wood as the first of the big-league Seattle rock star.

The truth could be that Pearl Jam were one of the first representative of punk rock in its purest form but that does not cut of Nirvana from the scheme as Bleach was the proof to Nirvana’s notability as a very functional band that will lead the whole underground pandemonium to such exceptional heights. While ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ earned its keep in the Nirvana’s vault, Ten did it for Pearl Jam as they continued to uplift the culture forward. However, to the British media’s dismay, NME published an article stating that Pearl Jam was just trying to steal money from young alternative kid’s pockets and  Cobain further instigated the statement with his own version of: Pearl Jam being commercial sellouts and argued that Ten was not a true alternative album because it had to many prominent guitar lead.

Oh well, the so called commercial sell out who were trying to steal money from the young alternative kids pockets actually retreated from limelight and would rather not earn a single keep as long as their fans were being cheated by Ticketmaster who subjected fans to an extra fee for service charges. So yeah, so much for being the commercial sell-out they weren’t.

The publicity shy Eddie Vedder who almost quit music in 1993 due to the intense pressure the band had to face at their prime stated that none of them would be here if it wasn’t for Nirvana. It was to Vedder’s mastery that he took the negative and converted it into such positive vibes that the two finally came into an agreement and the dispute was forever lost.

In a 1992 Interview Kurt Cobain finally stated:

I’m bowing down gracefully and taking off my crown and I’m giving it over to Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. He’s now the representative of the youth of America – October 30, 1992

When asked if he was doing so in favour of his newfound role as a father and husband, he replied:

‘Because Eddie Vedder stole my looks, and wears it better than I’

Oh well, we were all jealous of Eddie Vedder at one point that we could and would all die for his ‘Greek-God’ looks and Golden Baritones as much as his overall charismatic and humble poise. So we can relate to Cobain and his tiny little pang of jealousy towards Vedder when they were both still too young to notice anything below the music they were so engulfed with.

Kurt Cobain on the other hand was just living up to his own words of:

I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not.

That seems admirable but he would later come out and say that Eddie was the nicest person in the industry. Thanks Cobain for making us confuse just like you. But as we all know, there was no love lost between the two. It was the kindred spirits kind of dispute that even passes through the relationships of blood brothers. And the story ended well for the two with a solid slow dance and watching the beautiful moment the two shared backstage, we were almost flinching on our seats thinking that even Cobain would end up smooching Eddie that day the was Kiedis did. Poor Eddie got ‘French-ed’ earlier in the day when Anthony Kiedis grabbed him for a lovey-dovey Frenchy’

Eddie Vedder further quotes to the moments below:

You see Kurt looking over and go like this (puts finger to lips) and it’s not saying, ‘Don’t tell anybody’ or ‘Keep the lid on this little private moment.’ It was actually because on the stage above us, Eric Clapton was playing ‘Tears In Heaven’.

Remember Our Band? We So Wanted To Be Nirvana

* You will find this post utterly irrelevant with the title. If you are looking to read about Nirvana, there’s nothing much about the post punk-rock group, this is more than just Nirvana*

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Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) & Chris Cornnel (Soundgarden/Audioslave)

This is a crime towards humanity! Somebody should have told them that it was a sin to look this good and sing the way they did or still do – oh my apocalyptic desires. But brace yourselves coz I’m not here to drool over the beauty’s of these Greek-God lookalikes (not that I know how Greek-God looks like – it’s just an appropriate term to be used) coz I’m here to tell you why music is not lost. (Coming from a misanthrope who once hated rock for a very good reason – you might wanna stay and see what this idiot -me has to say)

Musically I am more inclined to the electronic dance music pandemonium, which is like the new wave for the generation Z and mainly because it leaves behind a good trip. I have come to love music without lyrics because it seems to be like an unbolted boulevard; you can easily stop anywhere you like and make an unexpected turn anytime you want without having rules to tie you down. It’s just the plain flow of  thubp-thubp-thubp-  (tectonically) and that’s it. No hangovers over how sad the lyrics were or how dark it was because it’s simple and there’s no need to freight over the unparalleled promises of trying to break the whole ‘Da Vinci’s’ code in the lyrics.

Once in awhile, should the need arise, then Korn, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Deftones, Disturbed, Jim Gordon, David Draimen and stuff like that does it for me. The dark undertone of the musical base is far easier to comprehend and the amount of screaming blurbs out the whole lyrical density. It’s plain and straight to the point, they tell you ‘Dead Bodies Lying Everywhere’, and you get dead bodies everywhere and take that straight up your mind and don’t expect prince charming coming to dig their graves because he has such a good heart. No, it does not happen here because it’s outwardly rebellious type of music and I like it.  And yes I dig Manson as well due the sheer power of his vocal tones and not the overall package. Even darkness needs effort and can’t be forced on an individual if they don’t want to. Giving where credit is due, I don’t care if he wants to be the angel or demon of this inferior world. In a democratic sense of thoughts, it’s his wish and I don’t give a flying pink pig about that. Man is grown up he knows what is right and what is wrong and I’m not gonna face God on behalf of him. What I know is that there’s a certain power in his voice and an intense gravity that would even chase the wolves back into the woods. So there is that much-deserved praises for the vocal ability he possess.

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My deteriorating interest in rock music was due to the fact that it kept a touchstone of poignant melancholy and the tragic tales of a superior past that sometimes tend to break your heart all over again and this is why it’s just so hard to go back and listen to certain notable groups such as Nirvana. Here I am, someone who was all alone growing up, constantly described as a dark child with dark mind and a package that would not live pass 25. I was rotting in the solid chambers of my own peculiar dreams for having such a distorted providence, no friends, just the whole fucking imaginary existence where the devil drops by to have a cup of evening tea. As the story goes, when that happens, you tend to always resort to drugs to find that momentary peace but I found Nirvana.

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Remember Our Band, We So Wanted To Be Nirvana But We Had To Many Rhythm Guitars – Andy Esoteric (*sad face*) 

This is what my dead vocalist said before we found him lifeless in the bath tub of some opulent mansion we rented for the week for surfing purposes and if we could find some inspiration while watching the sun set and enjoying the zephyr of the late evening.

Cold in the final phase of his withering propensity of a life, which by the way was brutally ended by heroin addiction; took away my childhood friend who once understood the whole life in the dark enigma of my existence; so much bullshit for quitting, such a beautiful love story in the making. We were a bunch of outcast, sad delinquents who supposedly found some kind of hope and life in music. Dear dead vocalist uncle was our prime time hero since he was from the dungeons of Seattle, growing up in that scene; he knew everything, even all the dealers in Aurora. That was the lifestyle. Dude’s uncle introduced us to Nirvana and Bleach was the very first record I had the pleasure of owning. I never knew how Kurt Cobain looked like, how Krist and Dave looked like, hell I didn’t even know how Vedder and Cornnel looked like or else I would have died a very long time ago and went to heaven. Such innocent and beautiful faces but then I am glad coz I’m not someone who listened to their craft because I admired their faces. Na-ah, that’s not how you appreciate music.

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Bleach

Bleach was on heavy rotation when we were together, high on multiple substance, never once thinking how we are going to die in this place, all alone till our rotting flesh attracts the flies that would call a good Samaritans attention so our dead bodies could be discovered. Dark, isn’t it? Oh please, Macbeth is even darker; don’t hear you complaining about that.

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Ten – Pearl Jam

Not long after that, came ‘Nevermind’, ‘Ten’ and so much more and suddenly the loneliness faded, strange it was because I dint understand how songs that was fuelled with sheer poignancy had the ability to strike a chord in our minds until we raised these 90s lords into God’s of the new punk era. There was this connection that was beyond words, it traveled through universal ‘kalams’ and brought back a certain hope that allowed us to continue living, not die in our teens because maybe just maybe, this is not the wasted life, this is not how it’s suppose to be. Well, Kurt Cobain died. So yah, so much for that.

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I remember how upset I was when I first heard the news that I OD’d (I survived) because it was wrong for me to build hope on music. No one cared, no one will, not even music. All alone again, in this space where no sound could change the devastation that has made a settlement in the heart, I threw away all of Nirvana’s records even the ones that I bought after going on a hungers strike because I was just a kid still in school and my parents would not allow me to listen to rock music. Everything had to go and everything went down the bin that day. I totally went Jimmy Page, never picked up the guitar again, never played another record and just went into an isolated state of mind. You think friends would be kind, yah.. I thought as well but there they were not feeling an inch of guilt or sadness and made fun of me day in day out for being extremely upset about something that no human could avoid. Ok, i understand that but what i don’t understand is the concept of committing suicide? (which now, i don’t believe he did but I also don’t believe Love killed him, i don’t think she’s capable of all that. She needs to apply her mascara properly first than only we can talk)  Jeez.. Witness the prejudice in me. Truth is we are all suicidal everyday of our lives and truth is stranger than fiction so it’s harder to look at ourselves in that spectrum. The pack with death comes through the usage of illegal substance, speeding on the road, fighting with unknown stranger, alcohol bender, committing felony and endless bla..bla… bla. But it’s ok, we are the clandestine decadents and our lives do not end up on TV, so we can judge.

I came from a household that imposed strict regulations and demanded rigorous adherence so we could render our utmost dedication towards our educations so we could becomes the Prime Ministers of some imaginary country on the outskirts of Africa. So much for that could I ended up eating my homework’s. We only watch TV at certain times, which by the way was cut short to like just an hour a day, strict no music policy in the system plus having to down celery sticks everyday in life as part of a healthy diet. My mind was so full of acid, a thousand celery sticks won’t do it justice.  I believe their intentions were good but they were never around and never had time and so the usual happened. The obsessive rules made me a nihilist and pushed me back to a place where I found souls that were similar to me; the friends who I believe didn’t really care but would accept me nonetheless. At least here i was not alone.

I Found them jamming to Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Alice In Chains and Temple Of The Dog. It was so funny because it’s quite impossible to sing Jeremy or Alive or Hunger Strike, because the songs took a different tone in one structure. Trying to imitate the singer was like sitting through Macbeth in a totally confused era while desperately hoping that Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck will just appear in time to rescue you before you are eternally consumed by the demons that made the Macbeth’s tragedy.  The songs were made in ways that only the virtuosos could bring these songs to life. But we tried anyway, where hope is lost, we need to find something to hold on to and here we found Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. Slowly the devastation took a hiatus as we started rehearsing to these songs as if we had a done-deal record deal happening in 2 days time that would guarantee our own futures as the future rock stars. We were playing tribute to Nirvana since I loved Love Buzz from Bleach. I found Cobain to be at the core of his efforts in Bleach. The voice was there, no doubt, but if you listen carefully you can also hear, that he haven’t yet developed a full grip on his baritone. So the efforts were not forced into him, he had time to established his capabilities in due time. The drums however were extremely annoying but please note it wasn’t Chad Channing‘s on the drums at that specific recording time.

Despite all the vile rumours, I always found ‘In Utero’ as a final effort; like a farewell album. True, the artist always says that the lyrics means nothing and despite his words, there’s always something in between and when the time is right, you would know. You would be able to reach to the principle core of that structure and find that cryptogram in the song. In Utero was a desperate attempt to break the barrier from Nevermind and in just 3 short years, the group has gone through a lot to understand the expectations of the masses. It was to break the tie of teenage angst since all of them were not all that young anymore and that label somehow had to go. He even declared the teenage divorce was such a bore and told his dad that he wasn’t angry with him anymore, so there’s that to comprehend. Let the little cyber Einstein’s break the code, all the best.

Kurt Cobain was the master of his own games, he left a subtle ambience in a theatrical surrounding so he could bait you into digging, deeper than life, deeper than anything else. There was your Hansel in the Gretel story and the hints dropped through music. Regardless,  I chose two songs out of that album and All Apologies became our permanent anthem whenever we were jamming and pretending to play at some imaginary concert or just Lollapalooza.  However it wasn’t ‘All Apologies’ that hit close to home it was Would? from Alice In Chains. This song brought us places and the whole band felt it. There was a strong connection of life and lost that was closer to our own state of dementia, it was a production of an artist at his highest and lowest crux, laced in melancholy and forewarnings, it was the beautiful mystification of Layne Staley. His ability of reaching out and bear his soul to his audience. It vibrated the nerves that feel into submission and this song became a personal favourite for years and years and years and maybe until the day I’m no more. Layne’s passing hit me hard, so hard that I lost hope in music. I never wanted to go back to rock or punk-rock the way our inception had it. Never again would I look back with a simple smile of ecstasy or utmost delirium at the 90s because all of my hopes were broken and sealed with tragedies.

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The thoughts of Layne Staley would bring tears to my eyes, and I felt worst because I wasn’t able to curse him and fuck him to the core for leaving us behind. People would kill to have the rare kind of voice he did, hell people have tried to imitate him without success. To me, Layne Staley was the last one standing.

He left with this and even when Cantrell was the one was writing this with Layne, I guess we all knew Layne’s direction back then, we just didn’t expect that the tragedy would have such an impact that it will leave us with emotional desertion. It was exhausting to carry such heavy burden at that time knowing there won’t be anything to look forward to anymore:

Know me, broken by my master
Teach thee, on child of love hereafter
Into the floods again,
same old trip it was back then,
So I made a big mistake,
Try to see it once my way

(oh hold on, I need to grab some tissues!!)

Now, it feels like a different lifetime, as if I have slept throughout centuries just to be awoken from cascading thoughts in a superior dream. I came back to where I belonged, to a place where I first saw the light of life despite the darkness of overwhelming need to end life once and for all. I returned to music, to the golden era where music held no boundaries as I search for the pick of destiny that I have lost in between. (A year before, I met Scorpion at the immigration and the lead singer gave me a guitar pick, which I so admirably lost coz I’m great at loosing things. Perhaps it awoken my senses, I wouldn’t know)

It was in the year 2000 I finally knew how Cobain looked like, and how the rest looked like in their prime. The stupor and the pristine vibes, they all looked like million dollar babies, all too glamorous without anything that extravagant but plain T’s, ripped denims, shorts, shirtless or jackets while trying hard not to be the rock stars they already were. It was that simplicity that made those times all the more exciting. Wealth was in the heart and not from the clothes they had on.

Music was truly beautiful back then, so much energy and so much youth, there it was ready for the taking, a virgin at the edge of her seat, waiting for the love from her exuberant dreams, pure, honest and unprecedented commitment to the one holy thing; MUSIC.

Punk-rock was not freedom. Punk-rock was honest, when rock stars were not trying to be rock stars, when music build a connection; from the artist voice straight into the fans heart. It was the times when we could relate to them without feeling low in our own little existent and that’s what they gave us; the principle core of chords, sounds, deliverance and performance. Music was at its highest zenith in the 90s, not before and not after. You don’t get to see that anymore. (The only person I wouldn’t dare compare music with is Elvis, he would remain as the genuine art of our recent history)

When I first saw this picture shown by an enthusiastic fan, I almost suffered a cardiac arrest and went into an epileptic speech of ‘fuck, no way, you gotta to be kidding me,fuck no way man, na-ah, fuck’ and another 100 fucks before saying, ‘you mean to tell me that this dude sang Jeremy? That voice came from this dude?’

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After this we went on a You Tube bender (MTV, your 1 mil view could have come from me alone, so that’s all) Watching Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains at that time, after about 7 years my love for rock died, I couldn’t believe that I left my first love astray. How did I give up on music so easily when I still had the likes of Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell who kept the spirit going since 1991 or before.

When I saw how Cornell looked like in his youth, I had a series of epileptic seizures. I have been listening to them since I was a child and never once knew how these virtuosos looked like coz I never needed to. Their music alone send me to cathartic fury, let alone knowing they looked like this, I would have died a million times and come back just to die again. (I do mention die a lot don’t I? don’t worry I have no interest in dying so soon, and I hope my feeling are mutual with God. Life aint that straight yet, but since I’ve passed 25, I might just repair some open valves as I pay my dues)

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Hmm.. really? hmmm… is there a time machine? I would like to have one please, I wanna go back to the 90s and not in my school uniform but as a grown up teenager who could actually go to rock concerts and __________. (fill in the blanks with anything that comes to you mind and I believe that would start with an S..)

So this article was meant to tell you that: EDDIE VEDDER AND CHRIS CORNELL IS THE ONLY HOPE I HAD LEFT IN MUSIC, AND A VESSEL TO THE PRIMITIVE PAST, THE GLORIOUS ERA OF THE 90S WHERE PUNK FIRST TOOK ITS INCEPTION!!

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They are here, they are alive and they’re still rocking it in the true spirits of 1991. It’s been a true honour and such a huge privilege to know and see Eddie Vedder together with Pearl Jam and Chris Cornell together with Soundgarden evolve throughout times. They are the testament of true musical ecstasy that keeps reminding you that there is something good left in music. Of course there’s other bands like ‘Foo Fighters’ but I was angry that Dave would start a band so soon in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s death but dude got eat yo! That’s one reason to why I never truly digested FF and the image of Dave Grohl was forever tarnished in my heart. But I don’t feel like that anymore. I came in terms with that too. I guess when we are young it’s easier to blame everyone and even the universe than to take responsibility for our own actions and misguided attentions.

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Out of my acid mind, I am a writer for both EDM and rock music, former editor, freelance photographer, former flight attendant, director of one independent movie, a graphic designer, and on my way in publishing my first book through my own misgivings and dyslexic state of existence. Today I have the music of the past to remind me, not all of us die young from our misadventures because God was kind enough to give us another shot at life so we can live to pay our dues. Today I get excited looking at how Eddie Vedder was rock n’ roll’s very own stuntman, this boy back then had no sense of fear as he confronted danger heads on and hit the bulls eye every single fucking time. Thank God the live shows were recorded so at least memories wont be lost in time. All the stage diving and intensity, the whole climbing was the very edge that made rock so fucking exciting. My nerves have erections when I watch all those videos and I’m not even a dude.

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I see Cornell on the stage thumping his way around, stretching to the end of the spectrum to deliver his art and here is the testament to the very core of what would never die. Chris is the lyrical poet to me in the shadows of the The Doors late front man, Jim Morrison minus the hanky-panky stuff. (Oh you know, the constant black outs, the fainting on the stage and etc)  Jim Morrison was a Titanic of emotions and with only one song, he could deliver up to thousands of bottled emotions that come exploding like comets, unicorns, fireworks into the universe and Chris is the next best thing to that ethos.

Chris Cornnel is one of the greatest songwriters in the world and in the recent century. The stage was like a sonic battleground for him where all his gutsy rampage came out in volumes. He made rock so damn cool with his overbearing swagger. (Sorry Jagger!)

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I have avoided naming pure mortals God’s for years now just because sometimes the pressure can be intense and we never know that our expectations could kill them instead of building them. Of course they are icons and embellished with extraordinary gifts but as humans, they are also prone to making mistakes like the rest of us. There must be space and we must allow mistakes to be done just so we could learn, not that I’ve seen any mistakes from them because their personal interest me not at all.

So to not dip below the surface, here are the Mozarts and Beethovens of the new generation who kept music pure and honest. There was no pretentions, no dramatic overvalue, no barriers but just pure fun and good vibes all around. They gave us music during our own adolescent and for that I have come to acknowledge the pure bile and charisma and the very reason rock is still pretty much alive today.

As for my other heroes, Cobain and Staley, who are we to judge if heaven is too heavy for anyone, that’s not our task neither it is within rights. How do we know that heaven is not heavy for us? How do we know the true stories of their minds throughout their own loneliness and isolations and what brought them to where they were. So for the lack of appreciation thrown in the way of the very people who build the holy foundation of post punk-rock, thank you for having the courage to face this world of idiots and imbeciles who were never content, who gave little and expected much, because in between them, there were us, who appreciated you not for the way you looked or because the trend demanded us to uplift you as the god’s of the new generation but we were the ones who appreciated you because of what you brought to the melody that left us with hope so we could arrive ever so fashionably into this century thanking God for the privilege of being the 90s children.

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It’s easy to get lost in this world; life is fashioned to work that way. It’s hard to understand it when you are a child, harder when you have no one there but always remind yourself tomorrow might end up better than today and pause for awhile so you can gather your thoughts and just hit play. Run through an extremely generous greatest set that revisits every chapter of their legacy because when the 90s arrived, the hearts were wild, minds were young and music was the only thing high on the agenda.

RIP

Andy Woods (Mother Love Bone)
Hillel Slovak (RHCP)
Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)
Doug Hopkins (Gin Blossom)
Kristen Pfaff (Hole)
Kent Montgomrey (D.O.A)
Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon)
Bradley Nowell (Sublime)
Jonathan Melvoin (Smashing Pumpkins)
John Baker Saunders (Mad Season)
Layne Staley (Alice in Chains)

… and all that was left unmentioned. Thank you for the music.

Yours truly – Acid Tongue

Even Rock Stars Gets Lonely Sometimes

The status ‘rock star’  itself can bring an earth shattering stroke to it largely due to the fact that it is a hard-earned and well received prestige. It’s like the triumph after a long race, the final trophy of success and most importantly a sign of security and relief. Every musician starts by trying to sell his art, share his talents and hope for some gratitude in return. It becomes a long and painful journey to arrive at a place where they feel comfortable in their own skin and once that is achieved, they have to dig deeper into their creative minds and produce an effort that they can only hope would match or stamp out  their earlier provisions. That falls in the line of maintenance, which in its own form is another kind of art, harder to tame and  even harder to manage.

They perform to thousands of spectators, endure endless of tours, insinuate their heart and soul to their craft to satisfy their fans and in doing so sometimes loose something in between without realising it. When they take a stage for performances, they adapt to the atmosphere and give themselves away in a sense of pure ecstasy fuelled by animated fans that are always hoping for a great show. No one knows what they are going through at that particular time or what they are hiding behind their smiles but the show must go on and for that reason alone, whatever problems they may be facing are cast aside.

They may or may not return to their world after the night has ended and the stadium has been cleared, but every once in awhile a friction of the sadness they carry within gets caught on camera. A moment of loneliness appears humble in their frames, like the cursory gush of an unexpected wind, a passing thread in the path of the luminous spotlights and most often than not disappears in a blink of an eye. We might not be able to catch it but at times, their appearances, eyes and body languages tends to tell a very different story. Here are some of the loneliest pictures caught on camera that somehow managed to capture a moment of sheer reality of the performer’s pain in the landscape of technology, freezing the moment of a subjective melancholy that has been projected into the atmosphere without them realising it. We list some of the most memorable and beautiful relics of the past when an artistic genius is caught in his momentary loneliness or maybe just a sense of despair.

1. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana 

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So remember, it’s better to burn out than fade away.

At just 24, Nirvana’s frontman Kurt Cobain became the biggest star in the world, a spokes person for an entire generation, managed to change the rule book of radio bangers and in just 3 short years of his musical majesty, lost his life at 27. Exploding out of the Seattle underground scene where many of the early 90s seminal punk-rock band first took their stance, Nirvana erupted on the mainstream arena through their breakthrough lead single ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’  from their most notable second studio album, Nevermind in 1991. However the fame and vast attention that was placed on the band especially on its founding member and principle song writer, Kurt Cobain deposited him in an uncomfortable position. He become more reclusive and started denying his new-found fame through the display of certain careless antics. Following an endless struggle with media and addiction, which was heavily accompanied by chronic sickness that brutally engulfed his fragile state every now and then throughout his short life, the journey for the Nirvana’s vocalist ended on the unfaithful day of 5 April 1994, when Kurt Cobain took a bullet to his name. The public’s interest towards Cobain sparks a huge debate until today and it just goes to show how the candles are still burning bright in his name.

2. Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols

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I got this feeling I’m gonna die before I get old. I don’t know why. I just have this feeling.

The forefather of grunge passed away sometime in 1979 only a year after his Juliet, Nancy Spungen’s death in early 1978. Nancy was the life of 21-year-old Sid as he was to the late Nancy. Sid Vicious, the infamous bassist of The Sex Pistols’ does not need any further introduction, one look at the mass exploitation of his 3 decade old images would be able to conclude major parts of his life. The creator of the exalted ‘pogo dance’, Sid made his lush debut with Sex Pistols in the era that was ruled by the Iron Lady. Rising to the occasion with aplomb, The Sex Pistols created their own little nihilists who ran around causing mass destruction as intended. Sid took the stage spotting self mutilated wounds, heavily plastered arms trying to conceal heroin marks and would often engage in vicious fights at every gig the boys had the pleasure of gracing through their short reign. More famously known for the hype than the talent, his schizophrenic junkie American girlfriend was found dead from a stab wound in Chelsea Hotel where they have been staying since they arrived in The States. Sid was held as the prime suspect to her murder pending an investigation that was never completed following his own death within a year, which was the courtesy of his own mother, Anne Beverly. Their twisted love story would have made an encompassing theatrical trade should Shakespeare still be alive today for their love was as fascinating as it was dangerous. Was he truly the bad boy of punk? Or just a boy who got lost in the chaotic side of his own existence, desperate to love and be loved and at the end of time met another lost soul just like him. Indeed, our very own twisted love story that 3 decades after today will still be told by the new and future generation.

3. JIM MORRISON OF THE DOORS

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Love cannot save you from your own fate.

Hey Lizard King, wake up! Put on some show for us, we want the ‘riders on the storm’ to show us what is so wrong with this life and what is it that you have been searching for all your life. Another casualty at 27 years old tells a very odd story of life laced with an otherwise enigma. Fronting The Doors as lead vocalist, Jim boy has also famously been noted as an extraordinary poet since his poetries has been immortalised in books becoming best sellers for modern day mystery seekers. Morrison left for Paris with wife/girlfriend Pamela and was spotted looking for a spot where he intended to be buried when he dies. Strange enough that a man who is unsure of his destiny to know exactly where he would die. So, did he truly die that day? If yes, why was the news kept private through a media blackout? No one saw his body, not his tour manager, not his band member and close buddy, the late Ray Manzarek or even his parents but only his late wife who also died at the age of 27 from an alleged heroin overdose and a doctor who refused to be interviewed until the day he too met his maker. Many tales has been told about our beautiful Mojo Raisin, another moniker he had assumed during his wild days. Took a hiatus from the band, left for Paris and now eternally resting at a famous shrine in the city of love and romance. One thing is for sure, trust the man for a theatrical show and a fully-loaded emotional deliverance. ‘Celebration Of The Lizard’ is enough of a testament to Morrison’s ability in placing his magnifying curse on his spectators. A  goose-bumps, and hair-raising listen, definitely.

4. JOHN FRUSCIANTE OF RED HOT CHILLI PEPPER 

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Something like trying to protect yourself all the time, things like trying to outwit fate. Those things can be the worst thing you can do for yourself.

Remember him? Let us jump start your memory a little bit. By now you must know Red Hot Chilli Peppers who had a vast catalog of hits during their time of supremacy. With initial members, Hillel Slovak (guitarist) passing from an alleged heroin overdose and Jack Iron’s founding member of RHCP leaving the band for not being able to cope with Slovak’s untimely death, Frusciante took over the guitar duties from his previous ‘guru’, Slovak. Frusciante was the cute, adorable and sexy looking punk with skinhead cut spotting a pink ponytail who was definitely a fresh addition to the group and fresher disposition to the fans. But Frusciante playing style was somehow unlike Slovak, which drove the group to incorporate with the heavy sounds he was able to produce and perhaps that was how some brilliant tunes came out from the group’s unprecedented archives. Too much happened too fast and RHCP’s fame and popularity skyrocketed in such a short time that they lost the grip on the time vehicle. Frusciante became depressed with all the attention and committed to Heroin bender, so bad till his veins collapsed as seen through many of his previous images. Here he is spotting a melancholy so deep that the pain could almost be felt deep in our hearts. He had that deep set of eyes, the windows to his soul that often dance and flirted with the camera but never to strong, just mild enough to steal your heart and question your mind about why was there such a sadness in his beautiful persona. Oh well, right now, he has gone on to producing solo materials and we are just glad to know, that we did not loose another celebrated artist to the shameless predator who has killed many of our beloved talents.

5. JOHN LENNON OF THE BEATLES 

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Guilt for being rich, and guilt thinking that perhaps love and peace isn’t enough and you have to go and get shot or something.

John Lennon once said that The Beatles were bigger than Jesus, while this was way back in the days when The Beatles were truly bigger than Rock n’ Roll as manifested by some, it seems Lennon lived long enough to pay the price of his so called words. Beatles are commemorated in the history as legends and it’s a suiting stature for the lads who broke the barriers between two cultures ultimately creating the ‘British Invasion’ pandemonium along the way. In the rock doctrine Beatles easily falls at number two below Elvis of course, but where cultural collision is concerned than they are at the top of the game in this recent century – a status that has not been defeated and never will.  What Beatles’s created was something that was never before seen for the American audience and at the time they left Heathrow, which was their second entry into the American soil, a few hundred fans gathered to bid them goodbye and good luck in taking over the Eagle of the universe. And true enough, they took over in such style that they left every Tom, Dick and Harry getting the Arthur’s hair cut. But as legends has it, they parted ways and it all happened after Yoko’s entry into the Beatle’s legendary front man’s life. Unfortunately, Lennon got shot in 1980 and left this world with a historical touchstones that will forever go on in his name and legacy. We are not the one to preach about religion but if only Lennon has put it in some other ways, The Beatles being the Jesus of Rock n’ Roll would make a far more composing title for the Beatles.  

6. LAYNE STALEY OF ALICE IN CHAINS 

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I’ve always looked for the perfect life to step into. I’ve taken all the paths to get where I wanted.But no matter where I go, I still come home to me.

Layne was the frontman of the 90s seminal punk-rock band, Alice In Chains, which he started with Jerry Cantrel in Seattle during the ultimate grunge era. Layne left us in 2002 at the age of 32 after his decomposing remains was discovered at his condominium courtesy of a tip-off from his accountant that noticed he hasn’t withdrawn any money from his account for two weeks. Layne Staley’s death was fixed on the 5th of April giving Seattle more than one artistic genius to mourn over since it was the same day that Kurt Cobain passed away in 1994. It left many fans feeling devastated and the heartbreak was so intense, we almost gave up hope in music. Layne had that punk-rock bile and charisma that was extremely contagious and a voice that was superlative, transcending and incomparable. The prince of grunge carried style like poise for film score and emotions that could echo until the end of time. Unfortunately, he was too lonely in this world that he created for himself and for a boy who spent all his magnificent talent searching for his father, he made the ultimate wish in meeting the devil himself.

7. EDDIE VEDDER OF PEARL JAM 

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At a certain point, you realize you have a responsibility more behind yourself and your need for adrenaline. I’m glad I did things in my 20s that were more reckless.

Eddie Vedder is the front man of Pearl Jam, ever so stunning in his youth as he is now continues to deliver extraordinary momentum in everything he produces, which reminds us, here is a living legend of our own teenage prime times. Exploding on the mainstream circuit with their first album, Ten, Eddie Vedder was one that would and could not miss the sight. Pearl Jam however became extremely remorse towards the attention that was bestowed upon them shortly after they became overly well known in their own respect. The pressure however was far more intense on Vedder as his golden baritones and exotically good-looks came into focus raising him as the new God of punk-rock. First of all let us stress this again and again because once is never enough, he was and still is painstakingly beautiful and second you would not believe that the voice came from the boy you saw (like, did you listen to Jeremy and Alive and all of Pearls Jam’s songs?). And while you were trying to digest that fact, he shocked you again and again by becoming rock n’ roll’s very own stuntman. Taking a dive into the mob like a super hero, Vedder was a tornado of movement and buoyancy and his frequent jumping and flying around constantly placed him in a risk of decapitation (wires on stage are dangerous). But for those who has seen him throughout his live performances, would not argue that he gave us a mindless act of raw emotions that was packed with thrilling intensity. He was never for the fame but always for the people, music and fans.

8. JIMI HENDRIX OF THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE 

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It’s funny how most people love the dead, once you’re dead your made for life.

Another son of Seattle that succumb to an early death and became a resident member of the infamous Club 27 was Jimi Hendrix. Born Johnny Allen Hendrix, the 27 year old is hailed as the greatest musician and the principal guitarist of our time. Jimi found his fame and footing in the UK and honourable mention should go to Paul McCartney of the Beatles who first saw Jimi performing and other celebrated UK rock stars who stood in Jimi’s favour. Even before the big interference and overwhelming support from his contemporaries, the British media already gave Jimi Hendrix a solid review up to an extend of quoting him as the ‘Black Elvis’ and ‘Wild Man Of Borneo’. If you must know (we believe you already do), he could play guitar with his tongue, his teeth, back wards, upwards and in any position you wish he would plus he had the niche of setting his guitar in flames on stage as a demonstration of sacrifice. On McCartney’s insistent, Jimi was added to the Monterey International Pop Festival as the Beatle’s former suggested that the festival would not be complete if Jimi was not part of the line up. Jimi became the highest paid musician in the world in 1969, a year before his death in 1970.  Jimi had his fair share of brushes with the law but one that comes in focus is when he was apprehended at the airport for hashish and heroin possession. Jimi however denied that the illicit drugs belonged to him and cited that a fan might have placed it in his luggage without him realising it but the whole scenario was brought to the court nevertheless.  Jimi was later found not guilty and was released from the charges by a panel of juries. Besides that, Jimi was also often caught in the middle of violent streaks and many suggested that it was a result of his excessive drinking. The celebrated genius was found dead by his then girlfriend, Monika Dannemann with whom he was living with in the UK at the time. Dannemann killed herself several years later, a day before she was scheduled to appear in court for chargers brought on to her by another previous girlfriend of Jimi. 

9. JANIS JOPLIN @ PEARL 

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On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone.

The late 1970s received not only one huge blow but two in less than 1 month frame. Shortly after Jimi Hendrix was declared dead in his UK apartment, our rock princess followed him at the age of 27 fundamentally making her yet another member of the 27 Club. Janis or Pearl as she was famously known among close friends was a Texas-born singer, painter and music arranger who rose to prominence through her solo career by charting 5 singles and a few other songs in the 1960s. She became well-known for her on stage persona that was electrifying, giving all out as she took the audience into a psychedelic end and leaving them hollering for an encore at the end of every performance. Janis during her time was noted as ‘The Queen of Psychedelic Soul’; a befitting title for her star charisma. Janis’s heroin addiction wasn’t anything new as she has also once took the stage in Woodstock while she was heavily influenced by dope that she had shot prior to the show. Even when she was strung out and having difficulties on focusing on the performance, she managed to leave the audience gasping for more. Janis was found dead in her hotel room after she failed to show up for a recording session and her cause of death was ruled out as alleged heroin overdose. Her death was announced exactly 16 days after Jimi Hendrix and there were reasons to believe that the heroin purity that was supplied to Janis was much more powerful than the one she was used to since a few other customers of the same dealer also overdosed in the same week. The Foxy psychedelic queen left $2,500 in her will for a wake party in the event of her demise.

10. ELVIS PRESLEY

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Until we meet again, may God bless you as he has blessed me.

What’s lonely about this picture, it’s just Elvis with some elderly woman? Yes, the elderly woman in this picture is his mother and what we are missing is that moments of intimacy like this has become fundamentally rare these days. Like John Lennon once said; as usual, behind every idiot there’s a woman and for Elvis this was the woman in his life, was and will always be. In the history of rock n’ roll, we often forget to thank this woman for giving birth to a legend and the reason behind our rock n roll king’s first step to stardom. Elvis that we came to know was always so posh and extravagant, throwing money at his fans, giving them diamond ring, buying Cadillac’s for his staff but he wasn’t always the rich boy that we had the pleasure of knowing. Our legend started of with such poverty, that it would hurt those who knew how his childhood was. But he was blessed for having a mother and father who loved him so much and made a decent man out of him. You will never find another rock star like Elvis in this century, he was made only once in this lifetime and many of his sadness, depression and frustration started after the passing of the only woman he had love dearly in his life. May both mother and son have found each other in the ulterior universe. We remember one thing so fondly, the first time Elvis set out to become a musician, he was actually looking to record a song he has previously written for his mother. In his was to present a gift for the woman who went through thick and thin to raise him as the future superstar, she led him to his ultimate destiny. 

From The: Compilation Of Acid-Tounge Desk

Grunge Personified: The Many Faces Of Eddie Vedder

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For the generation-X, the 90s was an ultimate musical era, priceless experience, great music and good vibes all around. Seattle became a veritable conveyor belt to some of world’s finest musical exports such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and more. The cultural influences help shaped the early grunge era into the international platform simultaneously making it one of the most celebrated genres of recent history. While the world was craving for a musical conversion, Seattle underground music scene was already budding with a new music dimension while witnessing the birth of the modern day rock stars and the imposing resurgence of the grunge culture. Names like Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder, Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley and more were already building a fortress of tunes ready to take over the world at the first light of the day. While Nirvana became the first all-imposing grunge band to rise to fame, they succeeded in pushing the claustrophobic envelope further and opened up the doors for their fellow contemporaries to push the marks of grunge culture further into the lustrous rock spectrum. One of the most memorable band of the early 90s circa that came from the Seattle underground scene was Pearl Jam and no doubt is still one of the biggest name in the rock dominion

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Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament of Green River together with Malfunkshun’s vocalist, Andrew Wood or most commonly known as Andy Wood were the founding members of the early Seattle punk-rock band, Mother Love Bone in 1987. They quickly established themselves as firm favourites of the Seattle underground scene and became an attractive package to further push the subterranean sounds to the mainstream arena. However the band only managed to release one album, Apple and was disbanded following Andy Wood‘s death from heroin overdose in 1990 at the age of 23. Apple is sometimes regarded as the early influences of the punk-rock initial emergence in the Seattle underground and Andy Wood as the forefather of the grunge movement.

Andy Wood – Landrew The Seattle’s Sweetheart.

 

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Gossard and Ament were devastated by Wood’s death and parted ways but got back together after Mike McCready persuaded Gossard to do so. The three boys eventually got together and were looking to complete the band as soon as they found a drummer and vocalist. They made a demo tape and passed it to Jack Irons, the founding member of Red Hot Chili Pepper hoping that Irons would be interested to join them as the drummer. Iron who left Red Hot Chili Pepper following the death of band member, Hillel Slovak from a heroin overdose in 1988 passed on the offer but handed the demo tape over to his basketball buddy, a Californian-based musician and vocalist from the band Bad Radio, Eddie Vedder. Vedder recorded his vocals on three songs Alive, Once and Footsteps on the demo tape and sent it back. Gossard, Ament and McCready were impressed with Vedder‘s vocals and flew him down to Seattle for an audition that became the start of Vedder‘s successful career as one of rock n roll’s golden child. The band initially took the name Mookie Blaylock but settled on Pearl Jam.

While waiting for the band to be completed, Chris Cornell of  Soundgarden  invited the trio to become a part of Temple Of The Dog that was form as a tribute to Andy Wood who was Cornell’s room mate. The boys started to practise songs written by Cornell as well as some existing materials written by Gossard and Ament. The band was completed once Matt Cameron joined as the drummer. Temple Of The Dog released a self-title effort in 1991 with Eddie Vedder singing a duet with Chriss Cornell on Hunger Strike and providing backing vocals for some other songs.

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Following the release of Temple Of The Dog’s album, all members  went back to their  respective bands and Pearl Jam entered the studio to start recording their own materials. Pearl Jam first came to its lush debut in 1991 following the success of their first studio album, Ten. Some of Ten singles became the early testaments of Pearl Jam‘s capability as a rock band and further propelled its creators to the mainstream success. The group became one of the most highly regarded bands of the 90s simultaneously securing them as one of the most ferocious and top contenders of the punk-rock dominion.

However, the band’s initial debut was heavily latched with controversies, which first started with being criticised by British media NME as the band who was stealing money from their fans while highly acclaimed rivals and fellow contemporary band member Kurt Cobain from Nirvana claimed that Pearl Jam was sell outs and Ten wasn’t an alternative band for having too many guitar leads. The dispute between the two Seattle based grunge bands was just a drop in the bucket as the dispute faded as the band’s notoriety became more established. Pearl Jam embarked on an extensive tour in support of Ten, which further integrated the band’s success mostly due to the band’s infectious energy and onstage persona during live performances.

With no attention in settling the core, the band once again provoked publicity following their 1992 MTV award wins for the track Jeremy that secured Pearl Jam as the winners of Video Of The Year and Best Group Video. Pearl Jam refused to make a video for the track ‘Black’ despite the heavy pressure from the record label. Following ‘Jeremy‘s’ success, the band opted for fewer interviews and television appearances, which was one of the major contributing factors in band’s success at that time. It was a ballsy move to let your record to do all the talking but with the band’s extensive craftsmanship and deliverance, it could be classified as a heroic move.

The band’s outstanding success, fame and popularity placed them in a discomforting position with the pressure falling intensely on the band’s front man, Eddie Vedder. The band’s frontman was often compared to his former contemporaries such as Jim Morrison and Pete Townshend who carried the band’s vigour through his theatrical impact and fascinating persona. In 1994, the band started a waging war with Ticketmasters after finding out that the ticket vendor has overcharged Pearl Jam‘s concert goers by indicting a service charge to the ticket prices. Pearl Jam aimed to keep the ticket prices low for their fans and was unhappy towards Ticketmasters and eventually started a denunciation act towards the ticket vendor. The vendor however refused to changed its policy to waive the service change that resulted in concert cancellation by Pearl Jam and further refusal to play at any venue that had a partnership with Ticketmaster.

For a band whose initial emergence in the music network was often regarded as rip-offs, Pearl Jam was willing to bend over backwards so their fans were not being ripped off by some irresponsible vendors. For a band that was so fond in doing extensive tours and live shows, the band went up to the level of cancelling concerts in protest to the injustice it sighted against its followers.

In 1993, Pearl Jam released its second studio album, Vs. and set the record for most copies of an album sold in its first week of release ultimately surpassing all other entrees on Billboard’s Top 10 list that week combined. Vs managed to hold the forth for 5 years until it was exceeded in 1998.

It has been a long and endless fight for Pearl Jam and for a band that has hit every stumbling block over the last 2 decades, it’s extremely impressive to witness the history of Pearl Jam as the masters of ceremony still reigns heigh on the map. The band’s front man Eddie Vedder has remained as one of the reasons why we continued believing in music and became our vessel to the past, where great times were build, music was angry but undeniably beautiful and the sincerity in musicians made everything far more enjoyable. Even through endless streak of tragedies that has overcast the rock n roll books, Eddie has outlived all the stigmata and together with Pearl Jam has been our very own source of survival.

We take a trip back to the magnificent era of post-punk, where Pearl Jam first took the stance in the popular punk medium and became one of the seminal bands of the 90s circa. Through Eddie Vedder‘s golden baritone, ferocious energy and venomous flair, Pearl Jam’s status sky-rocketed into the mainstream arena and won them a militant of fans worldwide.

Emotional Powerhouse And The Vocal God; Eddie Vedder

With Chris Cornell of Soundgarden for Temple Of The Dog

With Pearl Jam

Eddie Vedder throughout the 90s

Ready-Steady-Eddie!

Eddie On Stage Swagger

We Would Totally Do That Too!!