“Seattle, I’m Still Alive! I Am Mine.” describes the epic journey of my best friend and his favorite band.
In 1991, over six hundred miles from where Derek was introducing himself to Eddie & his friends (and over 17 years from when we would first meet), I too was starting my journey of self-discovery with Pearl Jam. At Lollapalooza a year later, I ran into my brother’s best friend Tad at the World Music Theater in Chicago, at the time still in high school when I was in college at Purdue University. Tad would also become one of my best friends several years later. By the turn of the new millennium, Tad & Derek would also become the closest of friends in Los Angeles.
Derek and I actually had tickets to the Pearl Jam Wrigley Field show in Chicago 2014, but had to sell our tickets because that same brother and Tad had a bachelor party in Los Angeles that same weekend. The show we attended at Wrigley in the summer of 2016 was special for so many reasons (to be posted on my blog at another time), but one that immediately came to mind was that in addition to being with my best friend, we also got to hang out with the one and only DaveRisner, the only man we wanted to ride the Rickshaw Run earlier this year in India – quite possibly the most epic individual I’ve ever known. And two nights later, after 17+ years of talking about one to the other, Derek and Steve – my closest friend growing up in high school – finally met.
One band, spanning three decades, with the four best men I know and five cities. Pearl Jam. Epic indeed.
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“If nothing is everything, I’ll have it all.” (“Gone“)
– Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam)
The journey home to Los Angeles on the railroad tracks began in Vancouver at 6:30 AM. While the first leg to Seattle only occupied 4 hours of time, it occupied 25 years of total recall commencing when I was 17 & 18 years old. Epic guitar riffs and soul connecting lyrics played in my head. As the passing scene politely waved its ‘welcome’ hand and at the same time said its goodbye, tracks of a different kind hummed nostalgically. Life altering events flashed. Reconciling memories from concerts attended in rain, in arenas and stadiums across the US. to the sole reason I picked up an acoustic and learned guitar when I was in college. For me it began in Atlanta, it really all began right here. In Seattle’s sound. One band.
“Dream the dreams of other men…
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