Not for You: Pearl Jam and the Present Tense

Not for You: Pearl Jam and the Present Tense

by Ronen Givony


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There has never been a band like Pearl Jam. The Seattle quintet has recorded eleven studio albums; sold some 85 million records; played over a thousand shows, in fifty countries; and had five different albums reach number one. But Pearl Jam's story is about much more than music. Through resilience, integrity, and sheer force of will, they transcended several eras, and shaped the way a whole generation thought about art, entertainment, and commerce.

Not for You: Pearl Jam and the Present Tense is the first full-length biography of America's preeminent band, from Ten to Gigaton. A study of their role in history – from Operation Desert Storm to the Dixie Chicks; "Jeremy" to Columbine; Kurt Cobain to Chris Cornell; Ticketmaster to Trump – Not for You explores the band's origins and evolution over thirty years of American culture. It starts with their founding, and the eruption of grunge, in 1991; continues through their golden age (Vs., Vitalogy, No Code, and Yield); their middle period (Binaural, Riot Act); and the more divisive recent catalog. Along the way, it considers the band's activism, idealism, and impact, from “W.M.A.” to the Battle of Seattle and Body of War.

More than the first critical study, Not for You is a tribute to a famously obsessive fan base, in the spirit of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch. It's an old-fashioned – if, at times, ambivalent – appreciation; a reflection on pleasure, fandom, and guilt; and an essay on the nature of adolescence, nostalgia, and adulthood. Partly social history, partly autobiography, and entirely outspoken, discursive, and droll, Not for You is the first full-length treatment of Pearl Jam's odyssey and importance in the culture, from the '90s to the present.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501360688
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 10/15/2020
Pages: 440
Sales rank: 51,261
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Ronen Givony is the author of 24 Hour Revenge Therapy (or, The Strange Death of Selling Out), part of Bloomsbury's 33 1/3 series. He is the founder of New York's Wordless Music series and orchestra ( – which the Village Voice named the city's “Best Moderately Snooty Concert Series" – and a contributor of liner notes for Nonesuch, Constellation, Thrill Jockey, and Temporary Residence. A native of South Florida, he has worked as a producer for concert venues and music festivals in the US and abroad.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Introduction: A Personal Preface 1

1 The Cast 13

2 A Dozen Moments in the Prehistory of Pearl Jam 31

3 The Bacchanal, San Diego (November 21, 1989) 39

4 The Off Ramp, Seattle (October 22, 1990) 57

5 "Jeremy," "Garden," "Yellow Ledbetter" (1991) 67

6 J.C. Dobbs, Philadelphia (July 12, 1991) 79

7 The Palladium, Hollywood (October 6, 1991) 87

8 Cow Palace, San Francisco (December 31, 1991) 97

9 MTV Unplugged (March 16, 1992) 105

10 Pinkpop Festival, Holland (June 8, 1992) 113

11 The Singles Soundtrack (1992) 123

12 Stadio Flaminio, Rome (July 7, 1993) 133

13 Lakefront Arena, New Orleans (November 16, 1993) 153

14 Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid (1993-94) 169

15 Civic Center, Pensacola (March 9, 1994) 177

16 Bayfront Amphitheater, Miami (March 28, 1994) 195

17 Patriot Center, Fairfax, Virginia (April 8, 1994) 213

18 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC (June 30, 1994) 225

19 Dave (1994) 241

20 Self-Pollution Radio, Seattle (January 8, 1995) 249

21 Soldier Field, Chicago (July 11, 1995) 261

22 38th Annual Grammy Awards (February 28, 1996) 277

23 Cox Arena, San Diego (July 10, 1998) 285

24 Binaural and the Battle of Seattle (1999) 297

25 Roskilde Festival, Denmark (June 30, 2000) 309

26 Madison Square Garden, New York (October 13, 2000) 319

27 Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale (April 30, 2003) 331

28 Thin Air (2006-13) 351

29 Tomas Young and Body of War (2007-16) 361

30 Altice Arena, Lisbon (June 20, 2019) 379

Afterword 397

Acknowledgments 405

In Memoriam 405

Notes 406

Bibliography 410

About the Author 412

Index 413

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