This is a self indulgent post, and is predominantly here for my memory.
A little background for those that don’t know: during the Pearl Jam show at Sydney Football Stadium in 2009, Ed Vedder dedicated the song Light Years to our son Sebastian who we lost before he was born (huge thanks go to MR for making this happen).
Anyway, on Friday night, 25th of March 2011 in Adelaide, I met Eddie Vedder. I bumbled on like an idiot, but it man it was an incredible experience. Meeting my musical idol, someone who i’ve imitated and drawn inspiration from for 20 years… who’s lyrics have gotten me through both the happiest and the most painful times in my life.
So I knew Ed was around, but I didn’t want to bother him (well I did, but I didn’t). I knew he was about to leave, and I this was my only opportunity.
Of course Pete was there (Ed’s bodyguard) maintaining a healthy radius around Ed. However, as he starting walking past us towards the exit, I cautiously grabbed Ed’s attention, to which he stopped and says “hey man” enthusiastically. I introduce myself, and then my wife Alison. He shakes my hand and Alison’s, with this big engaged grin on his face. Made some small talk etc which i’m sure from which I made no sense… I’m freaking talking to EV and am in shock.
I explained “I never thought I’d ever have the opportunity to do this, but in Sydney 2009, you dedicated Light Years to my son, and I’ve always wanted to thank you for this”.
Ed asks “Oh yeah? How’s that all going?”. Not quite sure what his question meant: “Oh… well… we lost him” (derp, that had to be obvious given the song choice). Ed grabs my arm and holds on tight, with this benevolent smile. He looks at me intensely again and says “And how are you guys holding up?”. Oh geez Ed. I responded with “Yeah… we’re good. We’re doin okay”. He lifts his other arm and pulls me in for a solid, firm hug.
ED VEDDER IS HUGGING ME.
He then reaches over and gives Alison, a firm embrace, then steps back again holding my shoulder. “You both look good together. You’re strong together”. I thank him and tell him how much I appreciate his words etc.
I thanked him for the incredible shows so far on the tour. He says “really? You’ve been to some already?”. I tell him that we’ve been to quite a few (wanted to mention it would be nine shows for the tour but I couldn’t bring myself to).
I tell him that tomorrow night is our last, but we can’t wait for our first Adelaide EV experience. He responds with something like “Wow, thanks for coming back, it means a lot”. We shake hands again and I thank him so much for his time etc. He leans in for another hug, then leans over and says goodbye to Alison, followed by something like “it’s ok darlin’” in that deep, reassuring baritone.
Anyway, that’s all I can remember. I’ve always wanted to thank him for the song dedication in 2009 without it being forced or trite. We got our opportunity and it was a moment I’ll always cherish.
Such a humble guy, who truly cares for his fans. Someone that i’m proud to have as my musical idol and roll-model.