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I’m Trying to Imagine Eddie Vedder’s Headspace Right Now.

First, it was Kurt, dead of a shotgun blast to the head. Then it was Layne Staley, who turned into a drug-addicted hermit, eventually dying alone of an overdose, his body not found for two weeks. This past week, it was Chris Cornell. The only frontman of the Big Four of Grunge still left alive is Eddie Vedder.

And if you want to go back just a little further, we can include Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone–Cornell’s friend and bandmate–who died of an overdose just as his band was poised to become the first grunge (or at least proto-grunge) band to break out of Seattle.

There was a time shortly after Kurt died that Eddie Vedder’s name was at the top of the dead pool standings. A macabre as it sounds today, he was considered to be too intense, too conflicted, too angry to last much longer. But Eddie, whatever his issues were at the time, worked through it all and grew into a well-adjusted middle-aged rock dude. Anyone who’s seen him in person over the last decade or so would describe him as happy, something that definitely wouldn’t have been the case in, say, the summer of 1994.

Today he’s the only one left. I wonder how he’s feeling this week now that Cornell, his longtime friend, is dead by his own hand? Not to mention that he also knew Kurt and Layne very well.

Actually, it’s worse that it seems.

  • Stephanie Sargent, 7 Year Bitch: Heroin overdose, 1992
  • Kristen Pfaff, Hole: Drug overdose, 1994
  • John Baker Saunders, Mad Season: Heroin overdose, 1999
  • Mike Starr, Alice in Chains: Drug overdose, 2011
  • And although he wasn’t from Seattle, STP was lumped in with the grunge crowd. Scott Weiland, of course, died of a drug overdose in 2015

“We need someone to wrap Eddie in bubble wrap,” someone wrote me. Another said “Eddie is now the Betty White of grunge.” Dark humour, maybe, but we need some kind of coping mechanism.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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7 thoughts on “I’m Trying to Imagine Eddie Vedder’s Headspace Right Now.

  • Eddie Vedder does not stand alone, there’s also Jerry Cantrell, you all seem to forget about him … You can’t mention Layne without him, he is a back up and main vocalist, a grunge icon … He deserves mention as much as anyone else , please show the guy the respect he deserves and stop snubbing him.

    • This article is bullshit. Mark Arm, Mudhoney. Seattle music scene does not exist without him.

      • Mark Lanegan always gets forgotten too. Also from the PNW and a great songwriter.

  • It is a terrible loss that we don’t have Chris Cornell with us any more .but I don’t believe god would take Eddy from us too I pray that doesn’t happen I love them both rip Chris

  • Mia Zapata-murdered 1993

  • Not to mention Shannon from Blind Melon.

  • Please not to forget Shannon Hoon…


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