How Eddie Vedder’s Career Goals Frustrated U2’s Bono
In a recent interview with the New York Times, the Pearl Jam vocalist explained they’d talked about their albums in terms of breeding a race horse, but that he couldn’t agree with the Irishman’s perspective.
"Really all I can do is hope that other people appreciate the music that I like," Vedder said. "I’ve had conversations with Bono back in the day. He was suggesting that we needed to work harder and that you didn’t want rock ’n’ roll to become a niche. He said that when U2 makes a record, it’s like they’ve got a racehorse and they don’t just want the horse in the race, they want to win the race. I said we race the horse and then we let the horse run free. I wasn’t trying to be clever. That was the truth. He was frustrated with me. But the dream was to be in a group that toured and recorded, and we were OK with things being scaled down if that allowed the dream to survive."
Elsewhere in the interview he remembered witnessing concerts he didn’t enjoy in the late ‘80s, before Pearl Jam and their like changed the musical landscape with the grunge revolution. "I used to work in San Diego loading gear at a club,” he said. “I’d end up being at shows that I wouldn’t have chosen to go to… metal bands that – I’m trying to be nice – I despised. ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ and Motley Crue… I hated it. I hated how it made the fellas look. I hated how it made the women look. It felt so vacuous. Guns N’ Roses came out and, thank God, at least had some teeth."
He continued: "[I]n Seattle and the alternative crowd, the girls could wear their combat boots and sweaters, and their hair looked like Cat Power’s and not Heather Locklear’s – nothing against her. They weren’t selling themselves short. They could have an opinion and be respected. I think that’s a change that lasted. It sounds so trite, but before then it was bustiers. The only person who wore a bustier in the ’90s that I could appreciate was Perry Farrell."
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