20 Years Ago Today: Pearl Jam Gets Its First Piece of National Press (in the New York Times Sports Section!)
On Feb. 11, 1991, the New York Times sports section published the following piece on the band Mookie Blaylock, soon to be known as Pearl Jam. “That was the ultimate,” frontman Eddie Vedder later told writer Kim Neely. “I mean, to be in the New York Times was great, but to be in the sports section! …It was totally amazing.”
SIDELINES: THE NAME GAME; And Mookie Plays On …
By Jack Curry
MOOKIE BLAYLOCK has a concert tonight in Los Angeles. Huh? Mookie Blaylock’s sound is often compared to the rock band, U2. Double huh?
The Nets’ unassuming point guard is a rock star? Not quite. Believe it or not, there are two Mookie Blaylocks. One plays for New Jersey and the other is the name of a new Seattle band. But why did they choose Mookie Blaylock?
“We needed a name to tour and it sounded cool,” said Jeff Ament, the bassist for Mookie Blaylock and a former all-state point guard in high school. “We tried being different by going for the underdog. If we were Magic Johnson, it would be too typical.”
Bad news. Mookie Blaylock is an interim name. The band has an album due out in June and is deciding on a new name. Ament said it won’t be Daron O’Shea Blaylock. That’s Mookie’s real name and it’s not cool enough.