Monthly Archives: July 2011

Highlights: PBS PJ20 Press Conference

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PBS TCA Press Conference. Photo Credit: Rahoul Ghose/PBS.

Cameron did a Q & A today as part of the Television Critics Association Press Event in Hollywood, CA. If you don’t mind spoilers, then you can find transcripts around the net. We are going to stay pretty spoiler free here, but I will share a few choice quotes from the event:

  • On the band’s reaction: “We showed [the film] to them in October and you could more than hear a pin drop,” laughed Crowe. “It was like all the oxygen disappeared from the room.”
  • Finally, said Crowe, one of the band members’ wives broke the silence: “It’s f—ing great! I wouldn’t touch a frame!” We went back to Kelly Curtis’ house and had a group discussion about the film and about their entire history. Amazing. Wish we’d filmed that too . . . they thanked us for holding a mirror up to their band. It was an emotional night.”
  • On PJ20: “It get’s under their skin a little bit. But if everything was perfect it would be like an EPK [electronic press kit]. If you rip the scab off a little bit and make people a little uncomfortable, you’re going to get something unique. I want to ask the stuff that a fan given a front row seat would ask, but be tough when I need to be tough.”
  •  “Nobody dies. Nobody O.D.’s.,” Crowe said of Pearl Jam’s evolution. That was a challenge in telling the band’s story. “How do you get from that early angst to this state of grace?”
  •  “We have a lot of extra pieces on the DVD. Some of it is about the band’s political history.”
  • Favorite Songs?: “I love Release,” “Rearviewmirror” and acoustic stuff like “Thumbing My Way.”  “If you’re a fan you know that your favorite song one year is then a different song in another year. That’s the great thing about a band with a lot of songs.”
  •  “They never stopped caring, even if you weren’t there,” Crowe says of the band’s efforts during their less commercially-successful periods.
  • Does he feel the band is still making significant music? “I do. You listen to a song like ‘The End’… and you can feel it. It’s real and it’s passionate.” “They continue to be worthy of our attention in a very rare and wonderful way.”
  • His goal with the film: “I wanted the whole movie to be like a box of collectibles you open years later.”


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Jul 31, 2011

Pearl Jam: Five Against The World

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As you know, it’s been a very active week with all the PJ20 news. I thought it might be a good time to revisit Cameron’s Rolling Stone cover story on the band from October, 1993 entitled “Five Against The World. The article focuses on the band’s turbulent year dealing with sudden fame, the recording of their 2nd album Vs. and much more.

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Jul 29, 2011

Pearl Jam Twenty – World Premiere at TIFF + Trailer!

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That’s right. Pearl Jam Twenty will have its world premiere at the 36th annual Toronto International Film Festival. TIFF lists the final running time at 120 minutes, but that’s not confirmed as of yet. Also, in addition to the previously announced Neil Young and Chris Cornell interviews, it seems that Kurt Cobain interview footage will also be present the film. It sounds like a great time to be in Toronto as Pearl Jam will be playing back to back concerts at the Air Canada Centre on September 11th and 12th.

Would you like to see the trailer too? Here you go. The trailer, screening info and much more can be found at


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Jul 26, 2011

Inquire Within: Missing “Mandalay Again”?

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Welcome to another edition of Inquire Within… Through your submissions, Cameron will answer your questions in his own words. The goal is to have a new question and answer posting every week or two leading up to the releases of Pearl Jam Twenty and We Bought a Zoo this fall and The Union early next year.

James Clark: Like your good-self, I am a huge Elton John fan and cannot wait to see your new documentary The Union.  I’m so grateful to you for giving fans like myself an opportunity to see Elton (and Leon) doing ‘their thing’ in the studio. Why was “Mandalay Again” left off the main release?  It’s such a beautiful song I actually think it’s one of Elton and Bernie’s best… ever!  I’m assuming here that you were privy to the conversations that lead to it being left off the album and was hoping that you may be able to shed some light.  I’d also love to hear your thoughts on the song.

Cameron: Like all of us who worked on the film, we loved “Mandalay Again.” LOVED the song.  It was a surprise to us when Elton John decided that it didn’t quite fit in the specific tone of The Union.  I think his reason was that it was a little too much in the “classic” vein of Bernie and Elton’s later work, and maybe not necessarily representative of the Union sessions as a whole.  Glad he decided to release it as part of the deluxe edition of the album.  We also loved the demos for many of the “Union” songs, and use “Never Too Old” in demo form quite liberally in the finished film.  Nice question.  To paraphrase Steely Dan, only a true fan could ask that.

The Union doc debuts on HBO in January.

Please send in your questions for Cameron and maybe yours will be part of a future installment of Inquire Within…


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Jul 25, 2011

MTV Heartbreakers Beach Party

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Some of you may not know that Cameron’s first directing gig was for a 1982 1983 MTV special about Tom Petty and the Hearbreakers. As Cameron recently tweeted, this was only aired a few times and MTV pulled it because of all the bootleg footage that was featured in the show. The program’s reputation has grown throughout the years, and it’s something that has been passed around by Petty fans via VHS and DVD conversions. Hopefully someday it will officially see the light of the day.

Above is a short clip I found on YouTube where Cameron and Tom are shooting a dart gun, looking through Tom’s box of archives and just hanging out. This footage was filmed at Tom’s house.

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Jul 22, 2011

PJ20: Final Mix!

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Cameron tweeted a pic last night as he worked on the final mix for Pearl Jam Twenty.Your chance to see the documentary is fast approaching.

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Jul 20, 2011

Exclusive: Cameron On Music – PJ20, We Bought A Zoo & More

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I’m very excited to share a recent interview that I conducted with Cameron on all things music entitled “Music Matters”. We chatted about a variety of musical topics including Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, Todd Rundgren, Led Zeppelin, the best guitarists he’s seen live and much more. Then the questions turned to the musical aspects of both Pearl Jam Twenty and We Bought A Zoo. Another in-depth interview will occur this Fall and cover more specifics around the films, but today’s interview is all about the music…


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Jul 19, 2011

Crowe’s Nest: Gossard Cameo, PJ Roots, Vedder, Citizen Dick

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Stone Gossard and the “Waiting for the Interurban” statue

The Crowe’s Nest is a feature that collects random tidbits, etc. in one blog post. Today’s edition focuses on PJ related items:

  • Like many other places, Washington State/Seattle is having major financial problems. It doesn’t look like they will be attracting any new film and TV productions anytime soon as they have cut all tax incentives. This article talks about Seattle’s film legacy and includs a great picture (above) of Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard (who was part of Mother Love Bone at the time) on the set of Say Anything… (in a scene that was cut from the final film).
  • The Seattle Times looks back at Pearl Jam’s 20 years with a strong focus on their local roots. There’s some great anecdotes (especially around Eddie Vedder “helping out”), so you’ll want to check it out.
  • The San Diego Union Tribune talks with Eddie Vedder during his recent Ukelele tour. Topics include early influences like Pete Townshend and Neil Young, along with the upcoming PJ20. Here’s what Eddie had to say about looking back:

“I think that, in order to keep progressing, there should be some benefits to looking back, to help you determine what your future course may be. But if they are (there), I don’t think they’ve been tangible for any of us… What we’ve learned is that we really do live in the present. And, to be honest, this looking back thing make me feel like I’m glad we have someone as astute and devoted to music as Cameron Crowe at the helm of putting something together that would represent us and tell a certain number of stories that happened over (the past) 20 years.. So I think we’re just happy we’ve survived it and are still friends and more than that, happy that we’re still a working group.

  • Finally, a great quote about Singles and Citizen Dick by former OK Hotel booker/Gits drummer Steve Moriarty for Mark Yarm’s upcoming book, Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge, which will be released on Sept. 6, 2011.
“I remember seeing fake posters on the poles for a show that the band in [Singles] was supposed to be playing. They’d filmed them, then left the posters up. We were like, ‘Is that show really going on at the OK Hotel? I don’t remember booking that.’ I was like, ‘Who the fuck are Citizen Dick?’”

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Jul 18, 2011

  • Almost Famous- Starz
  • Aloha- FX Now
  • E-Town- TubiTV
  • Fast Times- Cinemax
  • Jerry Maguire- Starz
  • Vanilla Sky- Hulu