Eddie Vedder Explains How Pearl Jam Illness “Felt Like a Near-Death Experience”

While performing with several bands over the decades, Eddie Vedder found his home when he landed a spot in the rock band Pearl Jam. With a powerful voice, the singer not only explored a solo career with soundtracks for films like Into the Wild, but Rolling Stone placed him on the list of Best Lead Singers of All Time. And to make it even better, Vedder gained entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame thanks to Pearl Jam. Recently, with the band canceling a string of concerts due to illness, the singer explained how it felt like a “near-death experience.”

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On June 22, Pearl Jam released their latest album, Dark Matter. With fans praising the album, the band decided to go on tour. And set to play in London and Berlin, the group sadly canceled the shows due to illness. Eventually returning, Vedder explained how grueling it was. “Can I just say that the last week, it almost felt like a near-death experience. It was very uncomfortable, and it got frightening. It felt like chest bronchitis.” He continued, “It felt like maybe you couldn’t breathe, and maybe you wouldn’t make it through the night, and maybe you’d have to go to the hospital.”

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Eddie Vedder Won’t Forget How Illness Opened His Eyes

While battling the illness, Vedder noted how he realized how important life is. “You just realize how precious this life is. Wow lucky we are to have been living on a planet where we can go around and play to incredible people like the people in this room here tonight. So, it was a poignant experience. I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon.”

Again, having to cancel shows, Pearl Jam released their own statement and sadness over the decision. “The impacts of this decision are not lost on us. We feel deeply that so many people spend their time, money, and emotional energy to get tickets and then to come see the band and it is heart-wrenching to have to disappoint you.”

After completing the European leg of their tour, Pearl Jam will travel back to the United States to play in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and several other cities. 

(Daniel DeSlover/Shutterstock)

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