The Beatles played a pivotal role in changing Eddie Vedder’s life as a youngster, and it opened his eyes to a whole new world that he found captivating. However, at first, Vedder found one particular album by the group “difficult”.
Vedder has covered the Fab Four on several occasions throughout his career and can also proudly say he was once punched in the face by Paul McCartney. Macca didn’t set out to hurt the Pearl Jam frontman, but when reenacting a previous physical altercation, the Beatle accidentally followed through and hit the singer.
The grunge icon later remembered in an interview with SiriusXM: “He hit me. He didn’t quite pull back the punch, you see. As I was listening, I was thinking, Paul McCartney just hit me in the face, and it hurt. I think I remember tasting a bit of blood. He got me right on the side […] he apologised quickly, so it wouldn’t get in the way of the story.”
The Pearl Jam vocalist referred to the occasion as “a great time in my life”, and he wears the scar with pride. After all, McCartney is a significant reason why he chose to dedicate his life to music and the catalyst for him carving out his stellar career.
Vedder once said about the band’s influences: “Our influences are who we are. It’s rare that anything is an absolutely pure vision; even Daniel Johnston sounds like the Beatles.” He added: “That’s the problem with the bands I’m always asked about, the ones derivative of the early Seattle sound. They don’t dilute their influences enough.”
His favourite album by the group is their eponymous album, which he once told Spin “is almost a textbook for someone born in 1964.” On the record, The Beatles show off their playful, childish side, which Vedder gravitated towards as a youngster.
While the aforementioned part of The Beatles’ sound attracted Vedder to the band, he soon moved on to the more “difficult” material, which was a rewarding experience as a listener.
He added: “I had a tape that was called ‘Revolver White Album.’ I didn’t find out they were two separate albums until years later. The White Album has songs that appeal to little kids, like ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,’ Then, if you get into it, you’re listening to ‘Revolution 9.’ I mean, that stuff opens you up. It’s where you first get comfortable with ‘difficult’ listening.”
Watch the footage below of Vedder paying tribute to The Beatles by covering ‘Rain’ with Pearl Jam.