Fun fact for you non-Pearl Jam scholars out there: Before they were even Mookie Blaylock, one half of Seattle’s legendary outfit were members in Mother Love Bone. Formed in 1987, the alternative rock outfit was fueled by the surrealist poetry of frontman Andrew Wood, who would tragically pass away days before their debut album, Apple, dropped to critical acclaim. However, his death prompted members Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard to eventually form Pearl Jam, who would later pay homage to Wood in the form of Temple of the Dog.
Since then, Wood has essentially been a spiritual member of Pearl Jam as they’ve consistently covered his songs over the years, namely “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns”. That’s why it only makes sense that his presence would be felt in the band’s new exhibit, Pearl Jam: Home and Away, which opens this Saturday (August 11th) at Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture. As Loudwire reports, that’s exactly what they’ve done, as Ament himself commissioned one hell of a statue in honor of his late friend and bandmate. Take a gander:
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Ament said the idea for the statue came to him five years ago when he visited Wood’s gravesite, saying, “I was just like, ‘God, this should be so much more rad,” contending that the grave should have something to mark his legacy. “So the whole way home we were riffing, ‘If anybody I know deserves a statue, it’s him.’ He would be the one that would love it,” he added. As such, Ament made the right calls, specifically to Mark Walker, who carved out the epic piece as you can see above.
Where it goes following the exhibit, which is part of the band’s run of “Home Shows” in Seattle, remains to be seen, though Ament suggests the Seattle Center or even Bainbridge Island as possible locales. “There’s a lot of things that would be different not just for me, but for the entire Seattle musical community, had it not been for him,” he argued. It should be noted that the late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell will also have a statue planted later this month in Seattle, proving once more that grunge will forever be a part of the city’s history.
Watch a local news report about Pearl Jam’s exhibit, which features an interview with Ament:
Revisit Mother Love Bone’s video for “Stardog Champion” below: