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Watch: Eddie Vedder covers John Lennon’s “Imagine” for the first time ever

on July 20, 2014, 11:55am

This week, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder drew criticism for comments he made regarding the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza. “I swear to fucking God, there are people out there who are looking for a reason to kill!” Vedder proclaimed during the band’s recent concert in England. “They’re looking for a reason to go across borders and take over land that doesn’t belong to them. They should get the fuck out and mind their own fucking business.” While Vedder never made reference to a specific country, many Israeli news publications have since dubbed his comments as anti-Israel, as Rolling Stone reports.

In response to the criticism, Vedder recently published an open letter on the band’s website, in which he further reiterated his anti-war stance. “That’s not something I’m going to stop anytime soon,” Vedder wrote. Call me naïve. I’d rather be naïve, heartfelt and hopeful than resigned to say nothing for fear of misinterpretation and retribution.”

On Friday night during a solo show in Portugal, Vedder gave a soundtrack to his comments, as he covered John Lennon’s legendary anti-war song “Imagine” for the first time ever. “I think it is the most powerful song ever written,” Vedder said prior to the performance. “Which is why I have never played it. It seems like maybe there is a reason to play it. If you’d like join me or use your voices or hold a light there might be some people out there that need to know they are not alone.”

Watch fan-shot video below.

A transcript of Vedder’s full introduction of the song:

“You know if you are anti war, If your anti war it doesn’t mean you are pro one side or the other in a conflict. However it does make you pro many things We are not alone after all. Take this CNN, That’s good, that’s nice, or whomever.

“Well, so anti war make you pro many things. Pro peace, pro human, pro evolution, Makes you pro communication, pro diplomacy, pro love, pro understanding, pro forgiveness. You know some people don’t understand how you can be pro soldier. If you are anti war your pro soldier because you don’t want the soldier to be put in harms way. To sacrifice himself or herself for some reason that’s not…for no good reason. I have many, many…We have many, many friends of the group and through out our lives we’ve met incredible people and in the armed forces. We have an understanding and they listen our music and they get it so I’m not sure…You know sometimes if you speak out people are going to misunderstand and they take things a certain way or another. If you don’t speak out you don’t know..If someone doesn’t like it probably means it has some kind of meaning. It’s not just bullshit. It’s not just nothing. So this next song I always thought it was probably the most powerful song ever written. I think it is the most powerful song ever written. Which is why I have never played it. It seems like maybe there is a reason to play it. If you’d like join me or use your voices or hold a light there might be some people out there that need to know they are not alone.”

20 comments

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afeypscwds@gmail.com
October 19, 2014 at 9:13 pm

sadness that’s unfolding in our lives, it gets stronger and more real. We take an emotion that’s
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Anonymous
July 24, 2014 at 2:17 pm

First and foremost, please educate yourselves. You speak as idiots and I am most certain this is the case. Second, learn how to read and decipher(look it up if need be. I’ll wait. Go ahead) each and every point Eddie is making. You must have missed them ALL.Unlike the morons calling him out for “NOT LIKING WAR, WANTING OUR MILITARY TO REMAIN SAFE, BELIEVING ITS FKN STUPID TO KEEP FIGHTING OVER THE SAME CRAP OVER AND OVER REGARDLESS, STATING HE IS NOT NOT NOT PRO ONE SIDE NOR THE OTHER JUST BECAUSE HE DOES NOT LIKE TO SEE PEOPLE, INNOCENT CHILDREN DIE! HE ONLY WISHES FOR PEACE LIKE MOST OF US WITH A HEART DO. HE IS SICK OF IT, I AM SICK OF IT, THE WORLD IS SICK OF IT! WHO IN THE HELL WANTS TO HEAR ABOUT INNOCENT CHILDREN, BABIES, CIVILIANS BEING MURDERED EVERYDAY? YOU? THOSE OF YOU WHO COULD NOT COMPREHEND EDDIE’S MSSG YET SO BOLDLY JUST HAD TO PUT YOUR FOOT IN YOUR MOUTH? YOU?!? IF IT WERE YOUR MOM, GF, WIFE, SISTER, BABY NIECE, YOUR CHILD GETTING BLOWN TO PIECES OVER THE SAME CRAP THATS BEEN GOING ON FOREVER, ID BE WILLING TO BET YOU JUST MIGHT HAVE A CHANGE OF HEART ABOUT EDDIE’S WORDS. HE IS ANTI WAR NOT ANTI MILITARY! IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND THIS STILL AND YOU HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH INNOCENT PEOPLE AND CHILDREN BEING MURDERED…THEN MAYBE YOU SHOULD JOIN THEM BECAUSE THAT MAKES YOU NO BETTER THAN THE MURDERERS. :) OH AND YOU REALLY THINK EDDIE GIVES A DAMN ABOUT WHAT A FEW UNEDUCATED PUNKS THINK ABOUT HIS MUSIC NOW? HE DOESN’T NEED YOUR MONEY NOR APPROVAL SO…HERE IS A QUARTER IF YOU CAN FIND SOMEBODY WHO GIVES A DAMN. OR BETTER YET, YOU CAN ALL SIT AROUND A TABLE, DRINK YOUR BEER AND BITCH AT EACH OTHER BECAUSE TRULY NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR YOU WHINE! HAVE A GREAT LIFE!! ;)
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Anonymous
July 22, 2014 at 2:40 am

no shit butcher isnt eeven the word. u will never ever even hold john lennons jockstrap so leave his songs alone if u want to write your own anti war songs then do it dont butcher the best song writet singer of all times john lennons.

Richard Goodbad
July 22, 2014 at 1:03 am

Wow, and to think I was a fan of this guy. Not only did he talk about things better left unsaid, but then went on to butcher Lennon’s song. Quite a night, Ed.

Eric Saferstein
July 21, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Eddie Vedder should imagine telling his fans that venue emergency evac orders are not delivered via your personal cell phone. I believe in you — you could be the one to do this. agsaf.org

Daily good tunes
July 21, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Don’t care about the comments, I’m just here for the song.

While I do enjoy many Eddie and Pearl Jam’s pieces, I really do wish he recorded more covers such as this one and Blackbird, for instance. So many times his voice just gives new meaning to a melody. Also worth listening to: Comfortably numb with him singing the chorus.

Anonymous
July 22, 2014 at 2:41 am

eddie veddar should of stuck with what got him to where he is grunge seattle rock..

magus418
July 21, 2014 at 9:35 am

Reblogged this on sea-swoon and commented:
well said (and sung!) eddie!

Adriana Rooney
October 12, 2014 at 3:27 pm

I LOVE YOU, EDDIE!

yoavarden
July 21, 2014 at 7:02 am

my open letter to Pearl Jam –

http://wordsneverlisten.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/an-open-letter-to-pearl-jam/

Anonymous
July 22, 2014 at 1:06 am

Hi yoav,
Your letter touched my heart :)

Graziela Costa
July 20, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Here’s some pictures from Eddie Vedder show in Portugal http://www.ruadebaixo.com/galeria/fotografias/?gid=50676

Anonymous
July 20, 2014 at 7:07 pm

#EDDIEVEDDER @ #SBSR COVERS, JOHN LENNON’S “IMAGINE” – 2014-07-18 DOWNLOAD Mp3 + FLAC HERE… http://evolutionofthemommason.blogspot.ca/

Anonymous
July 20, 2014 at 2:33 pm

What did Roger Waters say to Eddie Vedder about Israel?

Matthis
July 20, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Eddie shot your pie hole! You have no idea of war or loss of lives. Have you ever served in the military. Stick with smoking and drinking. Your comments are such a reflection of intellectual capacity !!!!!!

filipe
July 20, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Did you even read the text!?

Syntax111 (@_ISyntaxI_)
July 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Follow your own advice, moron.

Joe
July 20, 2014 at 3:42 pm

What an asshole.

Patrick
July 20, 2014 at 3:58 pm

That last sentence was actually an unintended compliment due to the author’s own lack of intellectual capacity.

Richard Goodbad
July 22, 2014 at 1:06 am

Exactly. I will never hear a Pearl Jam song the same again. And his Lennon cover? Horrid. Come on man, John is turning over in his grave.

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