Before he started slanging crystal meth and getting into all kind of other trouble on AMC’s Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul was just a typical kid living in Idaho, scrounging up money to buy his very first album at the local record store. That album happened to be Pearl Jam‘s debut Ten, which came out 25 years ago on Paul’s 12th birthday, August 27, 1991.
Paul recently posted a picture of himself with Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder on his Instagram account. In a message accompanying the post, he explained why that particular day meant so much to him and why Pearl Jam played a seminal role in his own coming-of-age story:
The very first album I bought was Ten. Pearl Jams first album. I bought it with loose change I collected around the house and it was the only record I owned. Well at least until the Nevermind album came out one month later but that’s besides the point. That month I will never forget. That was the one time I owned only one album and I cherished that damn thing. It was mine. It was my 12th birthday and I showed up to this small record store inside of our local mall with a sock full of change that I collected specifically to buy this album. I came home with my new birthday gift I had just bought myself and I was beaming. Could not wait to listen to it. I opened the door to my home and I could feel the silence in my bones. My house was empty.
Now you need to know that I come from a very large family and to walk inside of our home with nobody there was extremely rare. I mean it was my birthday after all and nobody was home. I was alone.
Where was everyone?
So then of course I took advantage of the situation and put the record on and turned it up. For hours and hours just listening to this record over and over again. But where was everyone? Seriously.
Eventually the house phone rang with this music blaring in the background and I ran to pick it up hoping it was my mother singing happy birthday to me.
It was my mother but she wasn’t singing…
She said…”Honey, we’re at the hospital”….
My heart sank and time stood still and all I could hear was Eddie singing in the background.
My mother then explained to me that my sister had just given birth. She had given birth to a little girl the same day pearl jams first album came out. On my birthday.
So many emotions went thru me on that day and this man was a huge part of that.
I love coming of age stories. Goonies, stand by me, wonder years. Kids just trying to figure it all out.
I will never forget the end of that summer. The summer where I turned 12, listening to my first record, alone inside of my house, on my birthday, wondering where the hell everyone was.
Paul must have been a pretty hip kid to have known about Pearl Jam on the day they released their debut — and in Idaho, no less. We should all aspire to be young Aaron Paul.