Everybody Loves Our Outtakes, taking one for the team edition: Ex-Pearl Jam drummer Dave Abbruzzese gets smacked in the face over “Jeremy”
In the lead-up to next week’s release of the trade paperback edition of Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge (out March 13; order info here), I’ve been sharing some of the book’s better outtakes for my faithful blog readers. In order to avoid confusion, I excised the following story from ex-Pearl Jam drummer Dave Abbruzzese, which involves a woman upset by PJ’s classroom-shooting mega-hit “Jeremy.” Dave told me the shooting the woman said she’d witnessed occurred in the early- to mid-’80s in Richardson, Texas (he recalled hearing about the incident back when he was going to school in nearby Mesquite). That doesn’t sync up with what Eddie Vedder has said were the two incidents (the primary one in Richardson, but in 1991) that inspired “Jeremy.” In retrospect, I think I should have kept the story in the book, as it’s a good one:
DAVE ABBRUZZESE (Pearl Jam drummer) Around 1999, I went out and toured with the Harry Apes BMX. When we played in Dallas, this girl came up to me after the show and said, “I need to speak to you,” and she seemed distressed. We sat down at the table, and she just smacked the shit out of me—just whack, across the side of the face. She said, “How dare you?”
She was crying, and I come to find out that she was the girlfriend of Jeremy, the real kid. She was in the classroom when it happened. She told me that his family and friends and her, they tried so hard to deal with the grief and then, just as they’re moving on with their lives, it’s the No. 1 song and video. She basically expressed all those years of distress from having to replay this memory over and over. So I took one for the band.