Eddie Vedder Saved My Life

“King Jeremy the Wicked”

I was 19 years old, living in the upper west side in this cramped apartment and schlepping back and forth to mid-town for a moderately boring internship. It was the first time I had the freedom to listen to my IPOD and travel without being disturbed (thank you Subway). So needless to say, I was downloading a lot of music, but even more so, RE-DISCOVERING music I hadn’t heard in a while.

On this particular afternoon, I downloaded “Ten” by Pearl Jam and just started walking around the apartment, rocking out. The IPOD must have been on shuffle, because I wasn’t listening to the songs in any particular order. However, the moment I heard the opening bass figure of “Jeremy” something happened to me. Something serious.

I just stood there, listening to Eddie tell this story of childhood suicide, and even as I write this now, I get the chills. The true moment came when the second verse started and I heard him sing “King Jeremy The Wicked.” I didn’t know what to do with myself. Never in my life had I heard four words sung in such a haunting manner, and it chilled me deep inside.

After rewinding that at least 20 times, I KNEW what I needed to do with my life. Don’t get me wrong, I always knew I was going to play music, but this was a serious concrete direction. I HAD to learn to sing like this. I HAD to play music like this. And the funny thing is, I hadn’t listened to this song since I was 9 years old sitting in my parent’s room and watching the music video with no idea as to what was going on. But I certainly did right then and there, because ever since, nothing has deterred me from trying to connect with people the way Eddie Vedder did with me.

Without that epiphany, I do not think my life would have so much purpose. Thanks Eddie.

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