Pearl Jam Discussed Never Playing Again After Roskilde Tragedy
Eddie Vedder revealed that one member of Pearl Jam felt the band should never perform again after nine people died and 26 were injured during a crowd surge in Roskilde, Denmark.
The incident unfolded in June 2000 and left the band struggling to recover. In an excerpt from Vedder’s Audible Original title I Am Mine (audio clip below) – recorded before the recent Astroworld tragedy – the frontman said he’d “disappeared into Europe” as he dealt with his emotions.
“[I] had my own way of getting through it, which was taking Spanish guitar lessons from people who didn’t speak English,” he recalled. “That was just a way to focus and be around people that I couldn’t understand for the most part. That way I was able to be around people, but since I didn’t really know what they were saying, it felt very peaceful and calm.”
He continued: “There was at least one person in the band, I remember, that thought that maybe we should never play again, and if that’s something the rest of us didn’t feel, it still was not something that could be easily dismissed. We all had to process something that we all went through as individuals, but also with the help of each other.”
They returned to the stage in August of that year, having previously committed to the show, although Vedder admitted it was a “hard decision to get to.” He added: “Our nerves were pretty heightened the night before,. We had a brief soundcheck and it felt a little strange, looking out at empty seats… it had a different meaning.… There was so much emotion going on, I thought, ‘I can harness this; I gotta do something.’ I had a small tape recorder, and that’s when I recorded and figured out the song ‘I Am Mine.’ It was all about getting ready for that first show, and hoping we’d all be safe the next night.”
Eddie Vedder Recalls Roskilde Aftermath