When the legend is born in a pack of basketball cards


 

Eddie was born in Evanston, a suburb of Chicago. Jeff, however, was born in Havre, Montana. One sings, the other plays the bass. Incidentally they love both basketball. Eddie, to tell the truth, is quite a fan of the Cubs. Baseball, then. But this does not matter. It happens that Jeff, along with Stone and Mark, has decided to create a band and asks Eddie to be part of it. Eddie accepts. As well as Dave, the drummer. The group is made and even endowed with a manager. Who buys for them special things. No, no drugs or alcohol. Only packs of basketball cards. The game is very simple: everyone opens their pack and wins whoever finds the strongest player. So it happens that Jeff finds the image of Daron Oshay Blaylock, play maker of the New Jersey Nets. A discussion is immediately started on the real domain of the player compared to those found by the other members of the group. Mookie (this is the nickname of the number ten of the Nets) had an excellent university career with Oklahoma and was a twelfth overall draft in 1989. His talent is not discussed, indeed. Jeff, however, is particularly attracted by his name that seems immediately musical in pronouncing it. And so why not choose it as the name of the band? Also because the guys in question had recently been summoned by Alice in Chains (group already known on the grunge scene of those years) to open their concerts and had not yet decided what to call! The Mookie Blaylock make their debut on October 22, 1990 at the Off Ramp Café in Seattle and, still in the same club, they perform a kind of warm up before the Alice in Chains on February 1, 1991. Six days later they officially start at the Florentine Gardens in Los Angeles the American tour that will end after fifteen days of concerts. The Mookie Blaylock like a lot and are contracted by Epic Records in New York with whom they record their first album at the London Bridge Studios in Seattle. They decide to give the above album a title that is a further tribute to the player who gave him the name. Yeah, the name. The problem is born here. Calling yourself as a truly existing person could create quite a few problems on a legal level. The five, then, are forced to invent something else. Eddie says he remembers his great-grandmother married to a native American and says that this great-grandmother used to make a jam with the hallucinogen peyote. The thing is liked by the other four and so a name is born that will become pure legend in the world music scene: Pearl Jam. And the title of their first album? Ten, like Mookie Blaylock's shirt number. 

P.S. years later Eddie Vedder will say that the history of peyote jam was a bull-shit. But we never let the truth ruin a good story. ;-)