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Old 04-03-2003, 01:38 PM   #1
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Eddie Vedder Tirade

Concert-goers head to exits after anti-Bush display
By Mark Brown, Rocky Mountain News
April 3, 2003

Incensed fans walked out of Pearl Jam's concert Tuesday after lead singer Eddie Vedder impaled a mask of President Bush on a microphone stand, then slammed it to the stage.

Most of Vedder's antiwar remarks earlier in the Pepsi Center show were greeted with mixed cheers and scattered boos. But dozens of angry fans walked out during the encore because of the macabre display with the Bush mask, which he wore for the song Bushleaguer, a Bush- taunting song from the band's latest album, Riot Act.

"When he was sharing his political views in a fairly benign manner - supporting our troops, opposing policy - that's OK," said Keith Zimmerman, of Denver.

"When he takes what looks like the head of George Bush on a stick, then throws it to the stage and stomps on it, that's just unacceptable. I love Pearl Jam, but that was just way over the edge. We literally got up and left."

Others joined Zimmerman, some complaining about the lyrics of Bushleaguer, which in part call Bush "a confidence man" and say, "He's not a leader / he's a Texas leaguer."

"I wasn't sure if it was really happening," said Kim Mueller. "We looked at each other and realized he really did have George Bush's head on a stick and was waving it in the air, then slam-med it to the ground and step-ped on it."

"It was like he decapitated someone in a primal ritual and stuck their head on a stick," Zimmerman said. "It kinda blows away the Dixie Chicks."

The Dixie Chicks were the target of boycotts and bannings after making an anti-Bush statement on a London stage in March. (On Wednesday, the Marshall Tucker Band announced it would play a May 1 concert in Spartanburg, S.C., as an alternative to the U.S. tour-opening show in nearby Greenville by the Dixie Chicks that same day.)

Vedder has used the Bush mask in previous shows in Australia and Japan, but Denver's U.S. tour opener was the first show since war broke out in Iraq.

Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis couldn't be reached for comment. The Seattle band plays Oklahoma City tonight.

Before Do the Evolution, Vedder told the crowd the tale of a Vietnam vet who expressed severe reservations about war in Iraq to Vedder. The singer was incensed when someone in the crowd yelled, "Shut up!"

"Did someone just say, 'Shut up'? I don't know if you heard about this thing called freedom of speech, man. It's worth thinking about it, because it's going away," Vedder said. "In the last year of being able to use it, we're sure as (expletive) going to use it and I'm not gonna apologize."

Later in the show, he added to that.

"Just to clarify . . . we support the troops," Vedder said to cheers. "Our problem is certainly not with anybody over there doing something that not too many of us would do right now, not for these reasons.

"So to the families and those people who know those folks and are related to those folks and are married to those folks, we send our support. We're just confused on how wanting to bring them back safely all of a sudden becomes nonsupport. We love them, we support them. They're not the ones who make the foreign policy. . . . Let's hope for the best and speak our opinions."

It was after that when Vedder put on the Bush mask and a sparkling silver jacket. He took off the mask, mounted it on the mike stand, then slammed it to the floor.
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Old 04-03-2003, 02:11 PM   #2
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So what exactly is the story here? Or what are you trying to put across, that people walked out so it must have been wrong? I wonder what percentage of the audience walked out. Dozens of people compared to how many hundreds and/or thousands in the audience? Yeah, his method may have been a little extreme, but Pearl Jam is a rock band, and last I recalled most rock bands have at least a tiny flair for the melodramatic. Besides the impaling, Vedder made some good points.

And LMAO @ "It kinda blows away the Dixie Chicks." I find it both hilarious and sad that people are being boycotted and banned simply because they don't agree with our president and aren't afraid to voice that opinion.

Free speech indeed.
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Old 04-03-2003, 02:13 PM   #3
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he is an ass

I do not like Bush, but I would not do that in front of thousands of paying Americans.
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Old 04-03-2003, 02:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Diemen
So what exactly is the story here? Yeah, his method may have been a little extreme, but Pearl Jam is a rock band, and last I recalled most rock bands have at least a tiny flair for the melodramatic. Besides the impaling, Vedder made some good points.
The story IS the impaling. That's sick, and evidently even people who paid good money to go one of his concerts agree.
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Old 04-03-2003, 03:36 PM   #5
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I don't see what the big deal is...Vedder has a right to say what he feels, and the people who disagreed with him had the right to leave. At least it was better that they left quietly in disgust, than started some kind of riot where people got hurt or killed.
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Old 04-03-2003, 03:50 PM   #6
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I am reading this great book - very current stuff - and the most enlightening thing is how the rest of the free world views the actions of the Bush administration. The same country that spent 2 years concerned about Clinton's sex life [and were ready to impeach him for it] are oblivious to the hypocrisy of not being as concerned about the current administrations' immoral [in my opinion] policies.

excerpt:

"the primary response . . as voiced in the media . . [is] a ready made accusation of 'Anti-Americanism' employed to silence anyone who questions the views of the current administration. . . virtually everyone to whom I spoke [in the foreign media] . . .took offense at 'the extraordinary, almost staggering moral self-righteousness of this administration' toward the good opinion of the democratic world."

-Eric Alterman from What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News
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Old 04-03-2003, 07:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
When he takes what looks like the head of George Bush on a stick, then throws it to the stage and stomps on it, that's just unacceptable. I love Pearl Jam, but that was just way over the edge. We literally got up and left."
I have to agree here. That is over the top, beyond the boundaries of normal free expression. He may be able to 'say' anything he wants, but doing this is on another level. I don't care who it is, doing that to the head of an effigy of a living human being is sick.

Quote:
It was like he decapitated someone in a primal ritual and stuck their head on a stick," Zimmerman said. "It kinda blows away the Dixie Chicks."
Yeah, really. That's where the extreme shit comes in. That is WEIRD, even scary. I always heard if you even jokingly threatened the president's life- ANY president, so don't blame this administration- you would be taken away and held for investigation by the FBI! He's probably being watched now or something. Oh, and I see he's grown his hair out some too. I thought he was going to keep the mohawk until the US left Afghanistan or whatever Now I guess he's gonna make an ass of himself in public until they leave Iraq

I hope I have made this point very clear, the difference between 'free speech' and wackiness, so please don't lecture on that. 80sU2isBest's post explains it all, read it again.
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Old 04-03-2003, 08:09 PM   #8
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Vedder can do what he wants, people can criticize him if they want, etc., etc.
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Old 04-04-2003, 02:10 AM   #9
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Bushleager is a joke. It's a pathetically written song that speaks more to the current sad state of PJ's musical creativity than anything else.


I still have my University Park tix, though....
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Old 04-04-2003, 05:02 AM   #10
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Has anyone considered the possibility that he's angry about the war and was expressing that anger on stage? I think most anti-war activists will have felt that kind of anger when they see pictures of innocent Iraqis being murdered.
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Old 04-04-2003, 06:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
Has anyone considered the possibility that he's angry about the war and was expressing that anger on stage? I think most anti-war activists will have felt that kind of anger when they see pictures of innocent Iraqis being murdered.
Oh, duh, of course. But if you can't control yourself any better than that you belong in an asylum, not on stage in front of thousands of people. It's 'activists' like that who hurt their cause with their outrageous behavior and off the wall extremism. I could site other examples, but they would be off-topic.

So you care about all the 'innocent' Iraqis huh? Well none of them are being puposely 'murdered.' Guess you don't care about our POWs who were tortured and shot through the face, is that not 'murder?' No, I'm not talking about battlefield casualties, I mean the ones who were taken prisoner, then tortured, shot and displayed on TV. But you probably think they deserved it for being Bush's evil stormtroopers out to kill all those poor little Iraqi babies! Activists with that attitude make me very ill. I oppose the war, because it was unecessary at this time and far too expensive in money and lives. But I care about our troops and value their lives and want them brought home safely.
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Old 04-04-2003, 07:21 AM   #12
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I don't think there is really any need for people to become so heated over this. Nor is it fair to put words in other people's mouths.

I think it is safe to say that everyone is concerned for the welfare of our troops.

I think it is also safe to say that not every Iraqi is an evil warmongering monster.
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Old 04-04-2003, 07:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tabby
So you care about all the 'innocent' Iraqis huh? Well none of them are being puposely 'murdered.' Guess you don't care about our POWs who were tortured and shot through the face, is that not 'murder?' No, I'm not talking about battlefield casualties, I mean the ones who were taken prisoner, then tortured, shot and displayed on TV. But you probably think they deserved it for being Bush's evil stormtroopers out to kill all those poor little Iraqi babies! Activists with that attitude make me very ill. I oppose the war, because it was unecessary at this time and far too expensive in money and lives. But I care about our troops and value their lives and want them brought home safely.
Please don't make silly assumptions about my political beliefs based on one statement. Where did I say I don't care if POWs are murdered? Where did I describe them as "Bush's evil stormtroopers"? Where did I say I don't value the troops' lives and don't want them to come home safe?

I support the British and US troops in Iraq. I support them because it was not their decision to fight this war. The people I do not support are those who made the decision to fight this illegal and immoral war. I don't ever advocate murder, whether it's of Iraqis, Britons or Americans. A life is a life and a person's nationality does not make their life worth more or less: every death is a tragedy.
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Old 04-04-2003, 07:32 AM   #14
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Look at the difference between Bono and Vedder. We saw on that Mtv video clip, which someone posted, that Bono disagrees that we should be at war. But what he does is provide intellectual discussion on why he thinks it's wrong, and than gives alternative forms of action. And I think everybody could respect that whether you agreed or disagreed with him. That's a little more constructive than impaling the head of Bush and then smashing it on the ground, I mean come on, what is that, freedom of speech? Please.

This coming from a Pearl Jam fan.
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Old 04-04-2003, 07:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by daisybean


I don't think there is really any need for people to become so heated over this. Nor is it fair to put words in other people's mouths.

I think it is safe to say that everyone is concerned for the welfare of our troops.

I think it is also safe to say that not every Iraqi is an evil warmongering monster.
Well said . Now let's get back to the original subject of this thread.
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