Most people would agree that one of the most wince-inducing acts in bar entertainment can be the “guy performing Pearl Jam". I don't usually perform Eddie Vedder songs, I love them too much to butcher in front of an audience. But his songs are just beautiful, and I can’t help but play them to myself. I totally admit to having copped a feel of Eddie in my basement studio, many times.
Once, a late night solo gig was going great guns… every song worked, the room was packed, faces were smiling, or singing; dancing happened, people were drunk, tips were good, requests were honored. There was a guy stomping the stage in time to make me a bass drum beat. One table shouted out "Pearl Jam"!
Funny… this month a friend of mine had been saying how much he wanted to hear me do "Black". This song, as well as being the heartbreak anthem of my generation, also has a great piano theme at the end. So, what the fuck, making no promises but for "let's do this together", pulled it off, covering all the bases in reasonable roadhouse, if not quality, fashion.
At the set break, this very rakish fellow from South America, with a name like “Zorro” or something, the same guy who was stomping the stage to keep the beat, introduced me to his fiance, Beth. She told me she was in a band, that she played metal. She was cute, confident, nice, wearing a stylin' white fleecy coat. Zorro then said to me, "It was amazing that you did the song "Black", because my fiances' ex-husband wrote that song for her. About her."
Oh. HIS Beth. Eddie's Beth. And now, Zorro's Beth. Well, fuck me runnin'. She rolled her eyes as I looked at her and comprehended, I understood that it was really her, and it was cool. Regarding Eddie, she used the phrase, "pain in my ass for years". More coincidence... her girlfriend sitting at their table was "Why Go Home". She was "Black". Strange but true, no doubt. Why make it up? They were a rocking cool couple, Zorro and the Ex-Mrs. P. Jam. They were traveling across the country on their way to New York.