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Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" Has a Haunting Backstory

Old 11-20-18, 08:15 AM
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Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" Has a Haunting Backstory

On a personal note, it's kinda odd that the I came across this news piece done recently on a DFW news station. "Jeremy" is a song that I consider to be the greatest Pearl Jam tune and from an artistic and thematic perspective, I consider their music video for the song to be the greatest of all time! I recently had started listening to this song after many years, and it never gets old. Eddie Vedder's vocals alone take us on a journey of twists and turns with an incredible melodic buildup and finish.

But I've always wanted to know about the backstory of the song. I knew most of it was about a DFW teenage who killed himself in front of his classmates. The morbid part of me imagined what it would be like to see someone blow their brains out right in front of you. Did the kids sitting in the front row get blood splattered like the video suggested? And then out of the blue, I found this news piece last night which tells the true life story of Jeremy and the perspective from a woman who witnessed the thing. She remembers it like yesterday. One thing that struck me has particularly heart breaking is that this kid had a great artistic talent and lots of potential.

Also, there is another tragic side to the story of "Jeremy". The little boy, Trevor Wilson, in the video died fairly young last year in a freak drowning accident. The video played constantly on MTV back in the day, and immediately thrust him into a level of fame that he didn't enjoy and shunned.

The video remains just as powerful today as it did nearly 30 years ago! There is one scene where Eddie just has a sinster grin which just highlights the dark side of bullying. Another scene that stands out for me is where all the classmates are frozen in laughter and pointing at the troubled boy. Another thing I didn't know was that the uncensored video shows him sticking a gun in his mouth at the end. It was too graphic for MTV, and probably would still be today.
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Old 11-20-18, 10:19 AM
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Re: Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" Has a Haunting Backstory

Read this recently as well, very interesting and sad.

Speaking of Pearl Jam a couple of nights ago I randomly came across the MTV Unplugged they did on Youtube again. God what an amazing performance. Ended up watching the Nirvana and Alice in Chains episodes as well right after. Those were something special.
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Old 11-20-18, 10:53 AM
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Re: Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" Has a Haunting Backstory

Big fan of Pearl Jam. This has never been my favorite of their songs but itís a good one. Never really looked into the backstory of it, but obviously could tell itís about a kid whoís bullied pretty severely. Sad story.
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Old 11-29-18, 09:56 PM
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Re: Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" Has a Haunting Backstory

Originally Posted by dvdjunkie32 View Post

The video remains just as powerful today as it did nearly 30 years ago!
I had to stop and think for a minute. I cannot believe this record will be 30 years old in 2 years. I remember how huge it was when I was in 8th or 9th gr. It didnt blow up right after the release, I believe it took a year or so before people caught on. I think Even Flow was the first big single that got everyone's attention. After that, PJ was every where until the release of Vitology. After that their popularity died down.
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Old 11-29-18, 11:37 PM
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Re: Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" Has a Haunting Backstory

Almost three years. It came out in the late summer of ‘91. Still hard to believe it’s been almost thirty years, though.

I remember getting the album after seeing them on Headbanger’s Ball on MTV. Might have been release week or soon after.

The first video/single was “Alive,” and it got some modest attention; the second for “Even Flow” got a bit more. And then they exploded with “Jeremy.” That video got almost constant, round the clock play on MTV. Which I can sort of understand since junior high and high school kids probably found it deep, but it was always one of my least favorite tracks on “Ten,” — “Once,” “Alive,” and “Black” are probably my favorite somgs there.
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Old 11-30-18, 11:09 AM
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Re: Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" Has a Haunting Backstory

Ten is such a fucking solid debut. So many of their hits came right off the bat with that album.
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Old 11-30-18, 12:03 PM
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Re: Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" Has a Haunting Backstory

Growing up in DFW, I have no idea how I never knew this was a story about a kid from the area. Was it not publicized very much then? I feel like this would have been the talk of the school when that song came out.
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