Eddie Vedder is the last man standing when it come to frontmen from the 1990s grunge rock era. In the aftermath of the shocking and unexpected death of Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell, fans are sending positive thoughts Eddie Vedder’s way. Never before has Vedder’s Pearl Jam song, “Alive,” resonated with fans as much as it does now.
Eddie Vedder has not yet released an official statement on the death of his longtime friend and musical collaborator, who was found dead at age 52 just hours after playing a Soundgarden show in Detroit, according to Rolling Stone. But there is no doubt that Vedder is taking this loss very hard, as are Pearl Jam’s fans.
Many fans have noted that Eddie Vedder is the last living grunge rock king. Distraught music fans took to social media to remember the long list of early ’90s rock legends that died way before their time, and also to appeal to Eddie to take care of himself.
Besides Dave Grohl, Eddie Vedder is now the only big name grunge lead singer left after the tragic deaths of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley, Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon, Stone Temple Pilots’ original singer Scott Weiland, and the earliest casualty, Mother Love Bone’s Andrew Wood. Some of Vedder’s Pearl Jam bandmates started out in Mother Love Bone.
Eddie Vedder is like the last great grunge singer. We must protect him at all costs
— Kyler Alvarez (@KyMan360) May 18, 2017
Someone put Eddie Vedder in a bubble. He's all I have left. #90sForever
— Leah (@BeautySupreme) May 18, 2017
Nirvana, then Alice in Chains, then Stone Temple Pilots lost their "voice". Now Soundgarden too. 4/5 Kings of Grunge. Eddie Vedder stay safe
— Quaranj (@Quaranj) May 18, 2017
Chris Cornell, Layne Staley, Scott Weiland, and Kurt Cobain are all reunited again. Please leave Eddie Vedder alone.
— Tien Shinhan (@Cuhlissa) May 18, 2017
Kurt Cobain. Layne Staley. Scott Weiland. Chris Cornell.
Grunge icons all gone. Eddie Vedder, may you live a long healthy life
— Shpend Ahmeti (@ShpendA) May 18, 2017
Eddie Vedder just became the Betty White of grunge.
— lisa urich (@LisauRN) May 18, 2017
Seattle: let's built a moat around Eddie Vedder.
— Matthew Inman (@Oatmeal) May 18, 2017
Eddie Vedder’s friendship with the late Soundgarden frontman dates back to the early days of grunge when the two worked together as part of Temple of the Dog, a spinoff Seattle-based band formed in honor of their late friend Andrew Wood. Eddie appeared as a guest on the one-off, self-titled album. Eddie and Chris also both made cameos in the 1992 Cameron Crowe movie Singles, which was set in Seattle during the onset of the grunge era.
The two singers formed such a tight friendship that Eddie was later photographed holding Chris’s daughter Lily when she was a newborn baby. In a caption to the photo posted by Pearl Jam Online, Eddie Vedder is quoted as saying right before he went on stage at the infamous Roskilde concert (nine fans died after being crushed in a rampage at the 2000 Danish musical festival), he got a call with happy news about his Temple of the Dog bandmate.
“I never really spoke with anybody about Roskilde,” Vedder reportedly said.
“It’s the most brutal experience we ever had. I’m still trying to come to grips with it. Right before we went on that night, we got a phone call. Chris Cornell and his wife, Susan, had a daughter that day. And also a sound guy left a day early, ’cause he was going to have a child. It brought me to tears, I was so happy. We were walking out onstage that night with two new names in our heads. And in 45 minutes everything changed.”
According to Variety, in 2014, Cornell joined Eddie Vedder at Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit to perform the Temple of the Dog single “Hunger Strike,” which features both Eddie and Chris on lead vocals. In 2016, Vedder’s Pearl Jam bandmates Mike McCready, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, and Matt Cameron marked Temple of the Dogs’ 25th anniversary by hitting the road for a five-city tour.
Vedder cited family commitments as the reason why he was unable to play the shows, which concluded with a gig at the Paramount in Seattle, according to the Seattle Times.
Eddie Vedder was recently inducted in at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to mark Pearl Jam’s 25 years in the music industry.
Take a look at the video below to see Eddie Vedder performing the song “Hunger Strike” with Temple of the Dog.
[Featured Image by AP Images/Scott Eklund]