Literature has been one of the great influences for music, not in vain Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016, and multiple artists have been inspired by books to compose their songs. “Scentless Apprentice” by Nirvana, “Killing an Arab” de The Cure o “Ramble On” de Led Zeppelin are some examples of how words can be turned into song.
In the case of Pearl Jam, writers like Charles Bukowski have inspired their songs, an example is “In Hiding”, a track that is part of the album Yield 1998. Eddie Vedder, vocalist of the group, was inspired by the figure of Bukowski to make the lyrics of this song when Sean PennAn actor, writer and politician, he passed on a quote from the renowned writer that inspired him to compose it in a self-referential way.
In addition to Bukowski, there are other writers who have influenced the work of Pearl JamFor this reason, each of the members of the American band, which is characterized by also talking about political, social and environmental issues, shared their favorite texts.
Eddie Vedder chose the path of poetry with Jimmy’s Blues and other poems (1983) from James BaldwinThis is the only book of poems by the American activist that in his work explored racial and social themes.
The first approach of Baldwin Poetry was when he was at DeWitt Clinton High School located in the Bronx, New York, where he worked in the school magazine and published poems, stories and plays.
Jeff Ament, founding member and bassist of Pearl Jam, chose the book The teacher and Margarita (1966) from Mikhail Bulgakov, one of the most important novels of the 20th century in the former USSR, a classic written in the Russian language, in which the Devil arrives in Moscow and bursts into their mediocre lives, unleashing a series of frenetic and crazy adventures that show an X-ray of the weaknesses of human nature.
Micke McCready, guitarist and founder of the group, asserted that his favorite book is the controversial novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939), the work that awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 to its author: John Steinbeck. It is the chronicle of an impoverished family on their journey to a land of promise, seeking work and better living conditions. Steinbeck knows how to transcend the purely propagandistic or moralizing when fictional characters full of depth and humanity, authentic fighters, do not hesitate to denounce the abuses of power and the ruthless cruelty and helplessness suffered by the weakest.
For Stone Gossard, Pearl Jam guitarist, the best book you’ve ever read is Mating (1991), a novel written by Norman Rush, is a first-person narrative by an anonymous American anthropology student in Botswana circa 1980. It focuses on her relationship with Nelson Denoon, a controversial American anthropologist, who founded an experimental matriarchal village in the Kalahari desert.
Choosing Matt Cameron, drummer of the group was The disappeared (America) (1927) of Franz Kafka, a book that describes the adventures of Karl Rossmann, who, forced by circumstances, leaves his father’s home and Europe and arrives in New York, where he leads a vagrant existence. The protagonist works as an elevator operator in a hotel, then as a waiter for a suspicious family and finally manages to make his way thanks to his honesty. It has an almost optimistic tone, which some of his biographers have attributed to the euphoria in which Franz lived as a result of his affair with the woman known as FB
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Pearl Jam shares her favorite books