Pearl Jam is not an alternative rock band in the vein of what is considered to be artists that typically are on the outside looking in.
Their music is anchored by a consciousness that offsets the bombast and hooky songwriting that made them an instant success in the wake of the passing of Andrew Wood.
Wood led the band Mother Love Bone which was on their way to stadium-sized glory and featured future Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard.
When the pair launched Mookie Blaylock they recruited guitarist Mike McCready singer Eddie Vedder and drummer Dave Krusen to jumpstart their careers.
After a name change and the recording of their debut LP 10, Pearl Jam was in full swing until Krusen’s alcohol addiction forced him out of the fold.
On Friday April 7 Pearl Jam will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with ELO, Journey, Tupac Shakur, Yes and Joan Baez.
As is often the case with bands that get inducted into the Hall, there is a controversy surrounding which PJ members will be inducted.
Krusen is being inducted as is long-term drummer Matt Cameron (who also performs in Soundgarden).
VS. /Vitaology-era drummer Dave Abbruzzese did not make the cut nor did Jack Irons who played and toured for the No Code and Yield
Sticksman-for-hire Matt Chamberlain popped up in the equation for a brief stint and he’s not on the menu either.
Fans being what they are have an opinion about who should share the stage with the current lineup.
Most notably fans that feel that Abbruzzese got dissed have started multiple petitions online.
“The members of Pearl Jam have got to know what’s the right thing to do. They can’t justify ignoring my contributions. Like me or not. If there is still a part of that band that remembers how hard we worked, how much blood and how much sweat … They will do the right thing. It’s just a fine opportunity to see what Pearl Jam has to say in response. Let’s see if they do the right thing. It’ll be interesting to see the spin that is put on it. That band and its management have never been ones to shy away when an injustice is done. Let’s see if they still have the courage to fight the good fight!”
The Hall’s Position is that they will only induct current members and those that were involved in a group’s most viable recording period.
This is most likely why Krusen got the nod for playing on 10 which is their best selling LP.
If everyone doesn’t not warrant and/or merit inductions then perhaps the band itself should decide who does or does not get the honors.
When asked by Rolling Stone if he felt that he would get a chance to play with PJ at the ceremony Krusen did not sound optimistic
“I don’t think it is likely, but I’m down,” was Krusen’s response.
It sounds like Krusen’s accolade may not be by the band’s choosing and ultimately that is the real travesty.
It may not be a popular opinion nor one that many share but ultimately outside of a plague or trophy that to the former members to acknowledge their contributions, those that remain standing or were chosen by those that remain standing should be the ones with their hands held high in victory.
Right, wrong or indifferent, these situations did not work out for any number of reasons and to force artists to share awkward time together for the sake of stiff jam sessions that only rekindle bad blood is not a good look.