Hanging From The Rafters:
The Meteoric Rise of Pearl Jam, A Brief History

What up yo.
The above is a photograph of Eddie Vedder by Lance Mercer, hanging from the rafters of a stage in Seattle, WA during Pearl Jam’s “Drop In The Park” concert in 1992.

Eddie risked his life, hanging from the rafters and scaffolding during the band’s early shows many times.

He got crazier than that though.

For example, see the below footage of Pearl Jam performing at the Pinkpop Festival In the Netherlands in 1992.
Wait for it

Pearl Jam

Pinkpop Festival, 1992

After show interview with Ed & Jeff and Ed and the Camera Operator 30 years later discussing those 5 minutes of Pearl Jam history…Below:

Most of my favorite images of the band were taken by world-renowned photographer, Lance Mercer   

Lance Mercer shot many of the most iconic Pearl Jam images ever taken from early 1991 when the band formed and began touring and recording, to when they broke and became an overnight success.

Among these are the jaw-dropping photographs Mercer took from Pearl Jam’s “Drop In the Park” concert.

Allow me to explain…

Pearl Jam’s Drop In The Park was a free concert they played in Seattle on September 20, 1992, at the end of a mammoth world tour.

They left Seattle as unknowns.
“Ten” dropped in 1991 but wasn’t moving at all.

They toured the world tirelessly… Ten had been out for 8 months.

A video for Pearl Jam’s ”Evenflow” had been out, but the band didn’t want to have their music associated with music videos, and they were not happy with the video or the way Ten had been mixed and produced (they had longtime producer Brendan O’Brien remix the entire album to their liking in 2009 for a new Ten deluxe remaster release along with a remastered version of the original mix of Ten, a DVD of their previously unreleased MTV Unplugged show and a vinyl release of the Drop In The Park show).

They insisted on releasing live concert videos for their singles instead as opposed to the “concept” videos which were popular at the time on MTV.

A new video for the band’s “Evenflow” was shot.

Then scrapped

Had to be live…a new video was shot.


“Evenflow”, 1991

With that decision, a video for Alive was released showing the band playing live again.

“Alive“, 1991
Pearl Jam

Showcasing the ferocious energy, capturing the spirit…
The experience of being at a live Pearl Jam show, in addition to the release of

“Porch”, 1992

Pearl Jam

MTV Unplugged

Pearl Jam’s “Ten” began to explode after sitting on shelves quietly for eight months.

They were still touring when the album suddenly broke in 1992 and took off up the charts.

The sleeping elephant had awoken. The Alternative Music Movement had begun.

Thank the gods.

They returned home to Seattle in 1992 as a new rock music phenomenon and performed a fierce show for free to a loving and devoted crowd in their hometown of Seattle, Washington.

The photographs taken by Lance Mercer below are from this show.

Below that is a clip from Cameron Crowe’s 2009 Documentary ”Pearl Jam: Twenty”.

Eddie, Stone & Mike discuss fearing the death of Eddie Vedder as he literally risked his life to entertain…and because he was so damn happy to be exactly where he was.

Fills me with electricity just looking at these images.

Here are some other jewels I couldn’t help but include.

“Animal”, 1993
Pearl Jam

”Not For You”,1993,
Pearl Jam








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