Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pearl Jam's Ten and Other Stuff

The summer before my freshman year of high school I was invited by the high school basketball coach to try out for a summer league team. I ended up making the Varsity, which meant that I was significantly younger than most of my teammates. Coming from the small, parochial school that I did I had not been introduced to what is now some of my favorite music.

That summer, and actually for the next year into the following summer, we travelled all over playing in different tournaments, which meant we spent a lot of time in vans listening to a host of artists, popping one tape out of the deck (yes, a tape deck) and replacing it with the next. The album that probably got the most play was Pearl Jam's Ten, rivaled by Nirvana' Nevermind. I fell in love with it instantly. I listened to it so much that I wore it out and had to buy a new one. When CD's were the latest rage, Ten, was one of the first purchases I made.

Needless to say when I heard Pearl Jam was coming out with a remastered version of Ten I was very excited. I got to listen to it tonight(and subsequently ordered it) and was duly impressed. Somewhere during the first song all these memories from those days 17 years ago came flashing back. I remember listening to it on my walkman, standing in an elevator, in Vegas with a few of my teammates. I remember sitting with a few of my teammates listening to "Jeremy" over and over again in our hotel room alternating its play with Nirvana's album. I remembered rooming, in California, with our most "wild" of teammates who every morning would blast "Money" by Pink Floyd as she showered and got dressed. To this day I cannot hear the "Cha-Ching" of the intro without thinking of her....and fondly so. I remembered listening to Hunger Strike by Temple of the Dog over and over again, and being introduced to Phish by the eldest member of our team, someone I looked up to and respected greatly. Seriously sweet memories of some of my all-time favorite people.

It's amazing how just hearing songs can take you back to a different time, a different place, and provoke all these memories of a time since passed. I loved those days, love those people, and love the music I love today because of many of them. I simply cannot wait to listen to Ten again so many years later.


Joanne said...

I so agree, even just a few notes of a song brings back so many memories. There's such a connection between music and memory. Enjoyed reading this, and still enjoy listening to Nirvana. Their music has a timelessness to it, don't you think?

Nancy said...

Pearl Jam and Nirvana have NEVER been part of my musical listening genre. However, recently I was listening to a song that I liked and it was Nirvana so I went to Limewire and started downloading some songs and realized - I had already HEARD 3 quarters of them and already LIKED them!
May have to try Pearl Jam - the previously mentioned Rude Cactus (Chris) had reviewed the remastered 10 and approved it.

Moxymama said...

Joanne, I totally agree about the timelessness of Nirvana's music. In many respects they were ahead of their time musically.
Nancy, I think if you like Nirvana you will like Pearl Jam. They have distinctly different sounds, but they are both so powerful.