c/o Ten Club
October 17, 2012
Dear Mr. Vedder,
Firstly, I am a big fan of all of your music and have been since you played the Avalon in Boston in 1992.
Secondly, I am a fan of the integrity you and the band have maintained throughout your career. Truly a model for any new band . . . and person.
Thirdly, while I have not always liked the artistic choices you and the band have made, I have always appreciated your willingness to explore.
Lastly, the loyalty that Pearl Jam has shown to each other and their fans over the past 20+ years is nothing short of exemplary. For all of those and more, I thank you.
Mr. Vedder, I simply have only one request.
Please for the love of all things holy, do not EVER decide to write an autobiography. I just finished reading the Rolling Stone excerpt from Rod Stewart’s autobiography. Pure fucking dreck (which is not to say yours would be).
This follows the excerpt in the last issue from Pete Townsend’s autobiography. Only marginally better (sorry, I know you are a fan). Now you may ask “Why are you reading Rolling Stone at all?” Fair question. Writers like Matt Tiabbi and Mikel Gilmore keep me coming back.
Nonetheless, in back to back issues, I read excerpts from two of the 20th centuries biggest rock and roll stars. My choice to be sure and while both were marginally interesting, ultimately, who cares?
Do I really need to know that Rod Stewart stayed up all night on a cocaine bender arguing with Elton John about who had more money in the bank? No, I don’t need to know that. And now I can never erase that knowledge and the contempt that comes along with it. I know they are both very well off, and I would argue, deservedly so. They work hard and deserve to be compensated for that. But these silly and indulgent stories? Please.
In addition to the two already mentioned, Keith Richards, and Neil Young have written their stories. Why? Did they really need the scratch? A new summer home? Is this the new form of “Behind the Music”? They’re all basically the same story: I came from this, achieved that, struggled creatively, did a ton of drugs, banged a bunch of broads, made a ton of money and now I’m relatively clean. Hope you enjoyed my story. The end.
I beg of you Mr. Vedder, as you continue on your creative and life journey, please never give pause to writing your story. As an artist, let your artistry tell the story and maintain a degree of mystery. As Marshall McLuhan would say “Control the media, control the message.”
All I am asking is that no matter how much they offer you, please don’t. Or at least contact me to counter offer. Of course, my counter offer will always be one U.S. dollar. Not because I don’t think your story is worth more, its simply all I can really afford.
Now look, I don’t think too much less of any of those guys who wrote their books. Their music is what matters the most and it is what will truly stand the test of time. But to me, and I am sure others, their legacy and reputation is now somewhat tarnished. Mr. Stewart obliterated his credibility with those fucking “standards” albums, but the autobiography certainly didn’t help matters. Which then begs the question, what is the price on tarnishing one’s creative legacy?
Anyway, this is probably nowhere near your mind at the moment and I hope this little letter serves to keep any desire to write your autobiography at bay. Forever.
Thank you for your time.
Keith R. Higgons