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wash my love

Song X, April 1997

Just in time for those spring showers, this month Five Horizons features an amazing, unique rendition of "Wash," performed on New Year's Eve, 1992 at the Academy in New York City. PJ were the opening band for Keith Richards and the X-Pensive Winos, and the show was broadcast live outside in Times Square on the huge video screen (the same screen featured at the beginning of David Letterman). The band was in a edgy, feisty mood, probably from a combination of playing on New Year's Eve to a bunch of drunk people and the added charge of opening for one of Mike's heros, Keith Richards.

"Neither as weird as Nirvana nor as unpleasant as Guns N' Roses, Pearl Jam is being groomed by rock's aging pantheon to inherit their kingdom. That's why Vedder got to stand in for Jim Morrison when the Doors were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and why the band made sense opening for Keith Richards as part of CBS's festivities last New Year's Eve. "If it weren't for Keith we wouldn't be here tonight," Vedder mumbled before launching into 'Alive.'" -- Spin magazine

The only existing video of this show is unfortunately poor quality, but it doesn't matter: this is one of those shows where the music and the energy tell the whole story. Still, it's interesting to watch. Eddie has his hair defiantly stuffed up into a wool cap emblazoned with "OG" (from Ice-T); later on during the show he duct tapes the hat to his head because this is PJ circa '92 and Ed is flailing around the stage as much as ever and the hat just won't stay on.

Ed in cap Ed singing
Ed Ed

The band appear to feel they're performing to a tough crowd, inside and out, and Eddie is as obstreperous and outspoken as ever. It seems as though they are playing for the crowds outside more than inside (though the crowd inside appears to be incredibly enthusiastic and genuinely into the band's performance, surprising considering the headliner they were there to see). Addressing the gigantic Calvin Klein underwear billboard, featuring Marky Mark, outside in Times Square, Eddie says, "I want all of New York to give Marky Mark the fucking finger... Anybody can drop their pants, take their clothes off in the middle of the room and get attention. Are you a fucking musician? Are you a singer? Let's see some fucking talent," he tirades, incensed.

Ed flipping Ed
.wav "...give Marky Mark the fucking finger!"

Another notable moment in the show occurs when the Eddie introduces "Oceans," counts off the song and gets as far as the first line, acapella, only to be interrupted by an evilly grinning Stone Gossard slamming into one of the rare live performances of "Dirty Frank." It's raw, dirty, funky and downright sizzles. (And so we say, "bullshit" to the statement that they don't play it live because they can't get the rhythm right or whatever crap he usually feeds us. ;->)

At this show, the band chose to open with "Wash," which is already a pretty damn special opener. But to make it even more amazing, this is a thunderous, driving, rhythmal, dare I say hard rock version of the song, complete with wild, soaring slide guitar courtesy of the great Mike McCready. Be prepared: it's nothing at all like you expect.

guitar close-up

Wash revisited

"Wash" is one of the tracks sadly missing from PJ's live sets; only performed three times in 1994 and never during the 1995 tour, it re-emerged to our utter delight in 1996. Performed at the Showbox, at the soundcheck in Toronto, and finally surfacing due to request (read: a large sign held by a fan front and center) at the 9/24/96 show, where it was as powerful as ever. It then showed up several times in Europe as well.
.wav "...some people are holding up signs for super-rare songs..."
Intro to "Wash", 9/24/96

Studio wash

The studio version of "Wash" is found on the European version of Ten as well as on the import/domestic re-release of the "Alive" single.

April's Song of the Month

To hear it, you'll need:

a copy of "Wash" in MP3 format (mp3 -- 3,632K). Note: This is a new file generated from a much better quality copy of the show that has recently surfaced.

If you are unfamiliar with the MP3 audio format, please visit our helper applications page, which includes specific assistance for MP3 players and downloading tips.


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