Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No. 897 – Who You Are

Performer: Pearl Jam
Songwriters: Stone Gossard, Jack Irons, Eddie Vedder
Original Release: single, No Code
Year: 1996
Definitive Version: None

Unlike most people who got off the Pearl Jam bandwagon after the band decided they didn’t want to be huge and purposefully avoided doing the things that would keep them in the public eye, I stayed on board. The music was too good; I didn’t care about the rest. No singles, videos or interviews? Don’t care. Taking on Ticketbastard? How can you not support that?

And once the desired result was achieved, and everyone had moved on to Alanis Morrissette and Hootie and the Blowjobs, Pearl Jam started to relent a bit. They released this song as a single a month before the new album would hit the stores, and the alternative station in Columbus played it … to … death.

I liked it; it definitely had a summer feel to it. The summer of 1996, it was my turn to plan me and Debbie’s vacation. The year before, she had put together quite the California trip, which I will recount at a later date, so now I had to plot out the trip and make all the reservations and whatnot.

I had no doubt; it would be New England in early October. I’d been to Boston and upstate New York before then, of course, but nowhere else. And, unlike the Toronto jaunt, it definitely made sense to drive it to see the leaves and to get everywhere that we wanted to go.

So I got out the road atlas and started plotting plots based on miles and what was between point A and B. A few destinations were obvious: Cooperstown, Boston and Maine. I also wanted to swing down to Newport, R.I., and up to the White Mountains. This time, I booked everything in advance. I didn’t need any more late-night take-downs.

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