Today in 1991, Pearl Jam released their first album, called Ten, which was the number of NBA player Mookie Blaylock. The album sold over 10 million copies. That’s a lot. To compare, the top album of 2006 was Carrie Underwood’s which sold 3.7 million.
The band was orginally called Mookie Blaylock, but Eddie Vedder came up with the name Pearl Jam in honor of his Aunt Pearl’s homemade jam which supposedly is a natural aphrodisiac and contains peyote. (more band names explained here)
The album contains two-thirds of Eddie Vedder’s little known “Mamasan Trilogy.” In the spirit of rock opera, Vedder lays out a tale of a twisted life in the songs Alive and Once. The third song of the trilogy, “Footsteps/Times of Trouble” is on the Temple of Dog album. The story goes…the trilogy starts with “Alive” in which a young man’s Father has died and allows himself to be seduced by a older woman Mrs. Robinson type who also happens to be…err…umm…how to say this, well let’s just say maternally-related of the first order. This traumatic experience eventually causes the kid to go on a rampage falling down the ill-fated path of taking up serial homicide as a profession as told about in the song “Once” Vedder growls, “Once upon a time I could control myself.” And it all ends as our forlorn character is caught and lands on death row. “Footsteps,” finishes the trilogy off with reminisces of a doomed delinquent dallying his last days and lost in deep thought, regret, and denial from behind the bars of a jail cell.