On Monday, I published a story on Alternative Nation about Eddie Vedder dedicating Pearl Jam’s cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” in Rio de Janeiro last night to a fan named Pierre-Antoine Henry, who was tragically killed at Eagles of Death Metal’s show in Paris nearly two weeks ago by ISIS terrorists. Our story had video of Pearl Jam’s performance of “Imagine,” but not Vedder’s speech we had a transcription of. A friend of Pierre-Antoine reached out to me asking for audio of Vedder’s speech, so it could be played at his funeral to dedicate “Imagine” to him.
I reached out to Pearl Jam fans on Twitter and the Ten Club boards searching for the audio, and then I e-mailed a contact in Pearl Jam’s organization, and despite the band being on tour in South America, they managed to quickly pull the professional audio of the speech and get it sent to Pierre-Antoine’s friends and family in time for the funeral. It was a total class act move on the part of the Pearl Jam Ten Club organization, and it made me quite emotional when I was told that they had sent it. A crowdfunding campaign has been set up for Pierre-Antoine. Read Eddie Vedder’s tribute below, as transcribed by Sea on the PearlJam.com forums.
“I wanted to say…I wanted to send out a message. Playing these shows it feels like family. A really, really big family. And of course we are always concerned about safety. For yours, for ours, for the crew, for everybody. You know music can bring joy. It also can help you deal with anger. It can also help you with sadness. And when you get a gathering of people at a show all these things become more powerful because you are sharing them with all these other people at the same time.
And it makes the senseless, senseless tragedy that occurred last week in Paris even more upsetting and the fact that it happened during concert with a great band and great Parisian fans it hurts us and breaks our hearts to the core and it broke our hearts even more when we and more deeply when we heard that someone, a really good man, a father of two, a great husband, great brother, a great son and he was always in the front row of the shows when we played in Europe. And we found out recently that he lost his life, when like all the others he deserved very much to still be living…so tonight we would like to ask…(Ed begins speaking Portuguese. I think he is saying that he wants to play the song for the family of Pierre-Antoine Henry)”
I didn’t know Pierre-Antoine, but just from the pictures I’ve seen, he had an infectious smile. Rest in peace.