[or, pearl jam fever pt. 2]
what really happened? read our update!
mtv and the real world respond!
It's a Friday night, I actually get out of work before 6pm, come home, turn on the stereo, open a beer. I'm going out with friends on Saturday, so tonight I have no more ambitious plans than to catch up on my email, wash some dishes, and watch Jerry Cantrell on "Politically Incorrect" at midnight.
That is, until I get this email, forwarded from Jean:Hey all you Seattle fans -Hmmm indeed. I sit there, watching the sunset, thinking. Could this happen? How could these fliers be around town and I haven't heard about this? My brain starts to process: well, they ARE truly "Mookie Blaylock" now, with the temporary addition of Matt Cameron; they ARE playing Letterman, with Matt, next week - surely they'd like a public debut first; this seems like a very low-key way to do it.
Has anyone else seen these flyers around the city??? It says Mookie Blaylock (incl. members of Green River and MLB) - 4/25 at 2815 Alaskan way - pier 70.
I think about going down to Pier 70 and check it out, and call my friend Andy and read the email to him. He says, "Well, did you eat dinner yet? Let's go have dinner and check it out, I'll be there in half an hour."
We drive down to the waterfront and find Pier 70. For those of you not from here, Pier 70 is currently infamous as the home of the latest MTV "Real World" cast. I was thinking it was an open pier space, which Pier 70 isn't, and Andy's insisting it's the place they have concerts in the summer. We continue driving down the waterfront, when all of a sudden he does a u-turn and says, "It IS Pier 70. They *do* have concerts there. That's where the MTV Nirvana/Pearl Jam thing was." We drive back & park.
We walk around the building for about half an hour; there's a bar in the back, but otherwise this seems an unlikely venue for a show. By the time we have dinner, we've kind of written it off; we had thought about looking for the fliers but we were hungry and tired and blew it off. I have to go downtown to the office on Saturday; I tell Andy I'll go scope it out before going to work the next day.
I'm downtown by noon; I decide to walk from Westlake Center down to the pier again, hoping to see these posters. In Belltown, I find a poster kiosk and score big time; no less than seven posters festooned across the top. I take some photos and start to get excited, and walk quickly down to the pier.
Still deserted. I walk around and around and around. Around 1pm I see some flannel-wearing dudes near the entrance to the bar, and I ask, "Are you looking for the same thing I am?" "Mookie Blaylock?" they reply, laughing. We keep walking around. More fans show up; we discuss the fliers (which most of us have seen). The club listed on the flier is a place called "The Machine," but no one in any of the Pier 70 stores has heard of such a club. One of the guys says that he looked in the phone book and there was a "Machine Entertainment" on Western Avenue, just a few blocks from the pier. We take a walk to check it out -- it's a theatre promoter. Walk back to the pier.
I start to wonder if this wasn't an old flier from an old show that someone had reprinted, and call Jean to ask her to look in the Concert Chronology. There's no show on this date (at least that we know of), but chronologically they were still Mookie Blaylock at this time. I call some other people in the area who might have a clue; call Andy and tell him what's up. He shows up around 3.
It then becomes a waiting game. People show up in small groups, many of whom were there the night before, checking things out; there isn't one inch of Pier 70 that hasn't been checked several times by a PJ fan. We decide that it HAS to be the bar, and go hang out by the entrance; it opens at four, and we'll know something then, surely.
Someone suggests we call the radio stations, since people say that they heard them discussing this last night. I call the sucky alterna-station KNDD, and explain the situation to the dj answering the phone. His response: "Well, I don't know why you're looking for Pearl Jam when it says 'Mookie Blaylock'" me: "Um, Mookie Blaylock WAS Pearl Jam in the early days." him: "Well, I guess you're one of 'those fans' who knows that kind of thing, I really don't care about Pearl Jam that much." (Yeah. And that's why your radio station SUCKS!)
To amuse ourselves, we observe the various cast members of the Real World being filmed doing such exciting things as walking down the street and getting into a car. A group of guys shows up, led by one very excited, out of breath person -- they were walking down the street a few minutes ago, he saw the poster, and just about fainted, and then lost no time booking down to the pier.
At 4pm, someone from the club arrives and is very surprised to find 15 people camped out in front of her door. We explain the situation to her, tell her there are fliers around town (and there were apparently fliers in every record store in Seattle). She is surprised, but agrees to call the owner of the club. We can tell she is not fucking around with us -- she was as confused as we were. No dice. They don't have live music, and there is no band playing there.
We move to the front of Pier 70 again, and find even more fans. Someone decides to walk back to Belltown and grab one of the fliers. We discuss the situation with the Real World crew, who also (claim) not to know anything. I call KISW (the 'classic rock' station) and explain the situation (again) to that dj (who at least knew that PJ used to be called Mookie Blaylock). He says that he doesn't know anything. I say, "Okay, I know you couldn't tell me where the secret show was if there was one, but can you at least tell me if there's a show?" He replies that the only show he knows of is in July.
We have, at this point, exhausted just about every single possibility we as a group can think of. People have called their friends, their roommates, their ex-boyfriends, their friend-of-a-friend-whose-sister's-brother's-roommate's-neighbor-who-used-to-work-at-Curtis-Management, I've run up the cellphone bill calling information looking for the club, the promoter, and anything else that crosses my mind. I call Jean and ask her to check email. Nothing is turning up.
So now it's five o'clock, I'm tired, I'm hungry, and this is looking pointless. None of my 'sources' have heard ANYTHING. Andy finally convinces me to leave; we stop by the poster kiosk on the way home so I can grab a poster, and drops me off. I come in, sit down, and go to check my email. As I'm sitting in front of the computer, something clicks; I say to myself, what the HELL are you doing here when that poster said "7 o'clock"???
So I get in my car and go back down to Pier 70. What the hell, I might as well wait it all out. All I've missed is the security guard for the Pier trying to clear the growing group off the sidewalk, and people convinced that at 7pm, a bus is going to pull up and load us all on it and take us to this secret gig location. Someone gives the security guard the flier, and he brings it to the owner of the pier, who comes down to tell us that there is no show scheduled for tonight. We are, at this point, beginning to lose hope.
7:15, and that's my limit. I'm tired, I'm cold, I'm still hungry, and I'm supposed to go out tonight. For all I know, PJ pulled up five minutes after we all left and is doing an impromptu Unplugged on the sidewalk, but I somehow don't think so.
Do I feel stupid? Yeah, maybe a little. I'm gonna have to go to work and scramble tomorrow to make up for what I didn't do today. I'm gonna be REALLY tired going out later with my friends (who I diss enough for PJ, not going to do it for a non-show). But don't tell me if you'd seen that poster that you wouldn't have done the same thing.
I wonder who is behind this stupid joke, and I wonder why there weren't MORE people down there -- there were maybe 30 people by the time 7pm rolled around. Sure, you had to have seen the flier, and most of the people were friends of other people there who had seen it (or heard about it), but everyone was surprised there weren't about a thousand people there.
And if I ever find out who was responsible for this, me and some other disgruntled fans are gonna pay them a little visit. =)
The fact that this all took place at Pier 70, the "Real World" headquarters, kept nagging at me; especially because, as I left at 5 o'clock, I saw one of the RW staffers with a nice, clean flier, shaking her head and laughing. And then today, we received this email [quoted with the permission of the author]:Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 18:54:10 EDTMTV and TRW Respond
From: [email address deleted]
Subject: mookie baylock...hmmm
i read the words from the "faithful" story then i got to thinkin. i thought that it was pretty strange that someone would go through all that trouble to have posters made up, put them around town and all that. i was thinking that it seemed rather elaborate, something more than just some kids goofin off could do. then it hit me.....you mentioned that the cast of the real world were down there at pier 70. coinceidence? i doubted it so i thought i would do a little investigating my self.
it turns out that my cousin is a pa (production assistant) for the real world show. so i gave her a call. i can't mention her name b/c she disclosed some info that could cost her her job, or even be sued. she had to sign a nondisclosure agreement and all that crap. at first she was even reluctant to give up the info, but she knows how much i love pearl jam. here is what she told me:
apparently there is on on going plot line this season where everyone is playing practical jokes on each other. one of the guys on the show set this girl up thinking that she was going to meet leonardo dicaprio, her idol. anyway, it turned out to be bogus. anyway, to get him back, he's a big pearl jam fan also, they were going to make him think pearl jam was going to be playing. of course she had help from the scum bags at mtv. they couldn't put up posters saying that pearl jam would be there b/c it would be a mob scene. so they used mookie blaylock. what was supposed to happen was she was going to go into town with him and see the posters. something backfired and he found out about it, that's why they never got to film anything. it's also being cut out of the show b/c people from pearl jam found out about this and were threatening to sue mtv for using mookie baylock on posters for a bogus show.
they make it seem like the kids are the ones who come up with the ideas but it's really the writers. i guess it's just like the real world.... everyone is phony!
Well, obviously a lot more of you than we expected shared your feelings with Bunim-Murray Productions, who are the folks responsible for "The Real World". We received this today, which we are posting at their behest; we are all for equal time:Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 12:35:02 -0700We're not so sure we believe this at all, but they were certainly entitled to state their case....
From: Chris [last name and email address deleted]
Subject: further update on the Mookie Blaylock fiasco
We've received a lot of email from viewers of your site, and we can certainly understand their frustration and anger, particularly if we had truly been involved in any way. The Real World cast and crew maintain their innocence, and since you've involved them in the matter, they'd like the opportunity to post an open letter to the community on your site, or for you to provide a link to the letter on ours.
An Open Letter Regarding Mookie Blaylock (Pearl Jam)
From the producers of The Real World, Seattle
We have received a flood of angry email from Pearl Jam fans who thought that we had some involvement in the staging of a non-existent Mookie Blaylock concert at Pier 70 in Seattle.
We became aware of this concert on Saturday, April 25th, as people began showing up at the pier, asking our crew members where the concert was. MTV, our cast, and crew had absolutely no involvement in this concert.
As a policy, we normally don't respond to press or internet postings during production, but we feel that it is necessary in this case, due to the large volume of email we received. We want to assure you that MTV, The Real World roommates, and our crew were in no way involved.
Thank you on advance, and please feel free to contact me if you need further information.
More on this as it develops.
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