The following Pearl Jam pearls of wisdom are curated by Travis Hay, founder of local music website Guerrilla Candy and co-host of Pearl Jam fan podcast The Anywhere Shows.
1. "Even Flow," one of the band's biggest hits, was written from the perspective of an illiterate homeless person who is struggling and wants to get his life back together. The song opens with the lines "Freezin', resting his head on a pillow made of concrete."
2. Philanthropy is in the band's DNA and they have a history of giving back to Seattle. Some of the band's biggest Seattle concerts have had charitable causes attached. Their two-night stand at Memorial Stadium in 1998 raised $500,000 for Seattle Public Schools, the Chicken Soup Brigade and the National Association for American Indian Children and Elder. At the time it was their biggest local fundraiser and the Seattle Center Foundation gave them the "Leading Edge Philanthropy Award" that year. And the band's only acoustic show in Seattle, which was held at Benaroya Hall in 2003, was a fundraiser for YouthCare, an organization that works to end youth homelessness.
3. The friendship between bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard is Pearl Jam's foundation. Their musical friendship started in 1984 with the band Green River, which also included Mudhoney members Mark Arm and Steve Turner. When Green River disbanded in 1987, Gossard and Ament joined Mother Love Bone, which was fronted by the charismatic Andrew Wood. Wood died of a drug overdose shortly before the release of Mother Love Bone's debut album. The recently opened MoPOP exhibit "Pearl Jam: Home & Away" featured a bronze statue of Wood that was commissioned by Ament and Pearl Jam often plays the Mother Love Bone songs "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns" to honor him.
4. The band has had serious issues with its popularity. It's known that Eddie Vedder and the rest of the band shunned popularity in the 90s, but that didn't stop fans from seeking out their music. Vedder has written songs about having problems with not having his privacy, including "Pry, To" from 1993's Vs. But one of the band's biggest songs about needing to be away from the public eye is "Lukin," from 1996's "No Code." The 56-second punk song is one of the shortest in the band's catalog and was written after a stalker crashed her car into the gates of Vedder's house. The song is named after former Mudhoney bassist Matt Lukin and features the lyrics "I've been goin' to Lukin's. I gotta spot that Lukin's." which is where Vedder would reportedly go to escape.
5. The group's debut album "Ten," received Diamond certification by the RIAA in 2013 when it became only the 22nd album to sell more than 10 million copies in the United States. "Ten isn't the only big seller in the band's catalog. The group's second album, "Vs," sold more than 950,000 albums during its first week and set a record for first-week sales at the time. In total, the band has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide.