In a moving performance and testimonial this evening, Eddie Vedder, an icon of alternative rock and lead singer for Pearl Jam was in my neck of the woods to give support to President Obama at a private residence fundraiser in west Florida. Here is the Tampa Bay Times account of the event. And here are President Obama's remarks.
I've been an Eddie Vedder fan since the 90's and was very disappointed when he strongly supported Nader in 2000. Well now Eddie, all is forgiven. I'm so happy and grateful for your support of President Obama.
Here are some of Eddie's moving remarks to introduce President Obama.
Eddie Vedder, strumming a mandolin, started with a Pearl Jam hit, "Rise." Next he traded the mandolin for ukelele from Hawaii ("It has a little birth certificate in there," he joked). Vedder then covered a James Taylor song (couldn't immediately name that tune) and Neil Young ("Rockin' in the Free World").This is an important endorsement for the President. Eddie has always been respected for his authenticity and character. Eddie and Pearl Jam have been unwavering vocal proponents for the middle and working class. Their music has been the voice of a generation that has seen many of their hopes vanish to the greed of the kleptocracy.
"I can't say I've ever played that many songs in a suit before," Vedder said.
He then referred Mitt Romney's 47 percent comments, offering a personal story. "I'm an example of someone who never made it to university," Vedder said. "I did have this dream to be a musician. I felt that this dream had an expiration date."
He recalled signing up for a government security guard training program. He was hired for the midnight shift, and later became the security supervisor at a petroleum company. "It was that job which he allowed me to keep affording to guitars and microphones," he said. "For me, it all began with that ability to get the proper training for a decent job."
"It's very upsetting to hear a presidential candidate be so easily dismissive of such a ginormous amount of the population," he said.
Here are a couple of songs Eddie sang at the Obama event.
"Rocking In The Free World"