Let’s get into a little grunge now shall we? As y’all already know by know, I pretty much am a firm believer of the fact that the 90’s was the best decade for a music aficionado (read nerdy geek with lard protruding out from all the wrong places) to grow up in . Although I’ve nurtured all kindsa music from the 40’s to the ’10’s inside of me, listening and literally devouring everything from Lena Horne to Otis Redding to Billie Holiday to Nina Simone to Diana Ross to Stevie Wonder to The Beatles to Michael Jackson to Marvin Gaye to Madonna to Nirvana to Janet Jackson to Eminem to Lady Gaga, the 90’s probably was the most diverse of all decades in music.
And today’s Throwback Tuesday features a song that was the epitome (along with Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’) of the early 90’s grunge/alternative-rock boom that had taken the world by storm.
I was exposed to Pearl Jam’s ‘Jeremy’ when I was about 10 (and morbidly obese), and back in the day MTV used to actually show videos instead of these reality shows being shoved down our throats at illegally gigantic amounts.
And I still remember feeling a chill after watching the video for the first time. Although I was barely a neophyte, I didn’t really need rocket science to understand that a school kid was just about to shoot himself in the video.
Pearl Jam’s ‘Jeremy’ was probably one of the most prolific video’s of all time, based on the true incident of 15-year-old Jeremy Wade Delle who shot himself in front of his classmates in Richardson High School in Texas, in 1991. The video went on heavy rotation on MTV in 1992, and was the third single from Pearl Jam’s début album ‘Ten’, released in 1991.
Controversy was inevitable, and MTV played a censored version of the video, where the final scene which shows the character playing Jeremy shooting himself with a gun, was omitted. ‘Jeremy’ went on to win 4 MTV Video Music Awards at the 1993 MTV VMA’s, including the coveted Video Of The Year Award. Since the single was not officially released as a CD Single, the song was not eligible to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, cuz back in the day, a single had to be available commercially to chart. Irrespective of that, ‘Ten’ went on to become one of the biggest selling albums of all time, selling over 9.9 million units in the US alone.
To this day, lead singer Eddie Vedder’s booming vocals singing ‘Jeremy Spoke In Class Today’ makes me feel that same chill I felt almost 2 decades ago when I saw the video for the first time. A classic song and a truly path-breaking video that has galvanized Pearl Jam’s position as a part of Rock-n-Roll Royalty.