Prior to forming Pearl Jam, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament were members of Seattle grunge band Mother Love Bone alongside frontman Andrew Wood. The band was together for only two short years before Wood tragically died of a drug overdose just days before the release of their debut album. However, in the years since, Gossard and Ament have kept alive the spirit of Mother Love Bone, as they’ve frequently performed “Crown of Thorns” with Pearl Jam, and reunited with the other surviving members for a benefit concert in 2010.
Recently, Gossard and Ament got wind of the dire living conditions experienced by Wood’s 70-year-old mother, Toni, and launched a fundraising campaign on her behalf. Together, the band and their fans raised over $75,000 for Toni, which she’ll put towards replacing her house and landscaping for a garden.
“Toni is such a magical woman. Her spirit is so close to Andy’s, to whom she gave so much love, humor and spark. If you’d ever seen Andy and Toni together, you’d see the connection,” Pearl Jam wrote on its website. “Toni is now in her 70’s and living in a leaky, dilapidated trailer with bad wiring, while still being a part time caregiver. The more Jeff and I learned about her situation, the more we felt we couldn’t ignore it.”
In an interview with The Kitsap Sun, Toni said, “I always go and whisper to my teller, ‘How much do I have left?’ because my account’s always verging on setting off all kinds of bells and whistles. And she came back and said ‘I don’t think you have to worry.’”
Below, watch Mother Love Bone’s video for “Stardog Champion”.