Eddie Vedder

Along with Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder reluctantly became a celebrity and an alt-rock spokesman when his band, Pearl Jam, hit the big time in the early '90s. But things didn't come easy for Vedder. With a tumultuous home life as a youngster, he turned to surfing and rock music as a teenager -- most notably such classic rockers as the Who, Neil Young, and the Doors -- as well as such punk bands as the Clash and Minor Threat. His residence alternated between Chicago and San Diego, as he formed his first real band in his twenties, Bad Radio. With the band not breaking out of local status, Vedder befriended ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons, who in turn gave Eddie a demo tape some of his friends had given him (in hopes of finding a singer). Vedder quickly put lyrics and vocals to the tape, and mailed it back to Seattle (it turned out the band consisted of ex-members of the Seattle-based Mother Love Bone, guitarist Stone Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament).

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