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(Credit: Danny Clinch)

Music

Eddie Vedder reveals to Bruce Springsteen that 'Earthling' contains a secret tribute to Tom Petty

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder revealed to Bruce Springsteen that there is a “secret tribute” to Tom Petty on his new solo album, Earthling. The two titans of rock sat down for a discussion about music, politics, and some of the songs on Vedder’s new album for a new Amazon Music special.  

Talking specifically about the track ‘Long Way’, Springsteen felt that he could hear the “ghost of Tom” in it. 

“Somebody acquired for me a Guild four-string tenor (bass) – it almost looks like a Hofner in a way,” Vedder answered. “So I started playing some little things and had my guy record it and then I put drums on it and put some vocals on it and it all happened in an afternoon. But I didn’t know what the chords were because I’m playing a Tenor – I’m just making shapes and sounds and all that.”

Vedder explained: “I got to be fairly close to Tom and maybe subconsciously you start writing songs or you write songs that you need to hear. We thought we should put some B3 (organ) on it and we know Benmont (Tench) from The Heartbreakers, so we called Benmont and he came down. I think it was the first time he had pulled the organ out of storage since the last show. It was very, very powerful.”

“Wow, I didn’t know that,” Springsteen replied in awe. “It’s a beautiful sort of secret tribute there.” The whole conversation was originally streamed on Amazon, but has now been uploaded to Vedder’s YouTube channel. 

It’s been a busy period for Eddie Vedder. He was recently pulled into a brief feud with Nikki Sixx, the bassist of Mötley Crüe, after he labelled the hair metal outfit “vacuous” in an interview. Sixx took to Twitter to respond and said that Pearl Jam are “one of the most boring bands in history”. Vedder then returned another blow during a live show.

Watch the discussion between Vedder and Springsteen below.