Aaron and Santa Cruz

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Aaron and Santa Cruz

Postby MLB.MB.PJ » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:49 am

Back in the day, and really, I mean back in the day...when the way you had access to the internet was downloading AOL from a hard disc and making sure no one used the phone so you could sign on with a modem which made the loudest most annoying sound for about 10 minutes and then finally clicked you online. Then when I was signed into America Online (once a powerful force in the landscape) I went to message boards, chose the sub-title "Music" then the sub-sub-title "Rock Music" and finally then the sub-sub-sub-title Pearl Jam. I'd post there under the name of "noisaddct".
I haven't regularly posted in a forum like this since then. Nearly 15 years I'd say. I've kinda missed it lately. So here I am again. I want to reminisce. I want to share and learn. I want to commiserate with my kind. You understand. I know you do because you are reading this now.
So here's the first story I want to tell. I started talking to this guy named Aaron. I don't recall his screen name. He had logged onto the message boards late one night and saw that just moments before someone had posted the comment "why does eddie spit so much onstage?" Aaron noticed that just seconds before he looked it had been answered "because sometimes I like to clear my throat..,". Could this actually be eddie? Aaron thought and he immediately emailed the respondent and started a "pen pal-ship". The person did claim to be eddie. And he told Aaron that pj would be opening for the Stones in SF but they would be playing a secret show in Santa Cruz to warm up at the Catalyst Club. He asked if Aaron wanted to go and that he could bring some friends and he would put him on the guest list.
So we are in Santa Cruz. I had been put on the list through a favor from a friend. I met Aaron in Santa Cruz. He was worried that his story was true, He and his friends had driven in from Sacramento on the faith that this guy on the internet that Aaron had never spoken to much less met was actually vedder and put him on the guest list...I mean...really?!? Right?!
So we go around to the back. I ask for Eric Johnson, and when he pops out we ask if he would check if Aaron is on the guest list. He tells Eric his name. Eric says "plus how many" Aaron says "plus 17" PLUS SEVENTEEN. I fucking swear to god he said "plus 17". Even Eric Johnson looked at us like "yeah right" I mean...really?!? Right?!

so a little sidebar here...he brought 17 people here. How cool and frightening is that? Cool because his friends said "oh yeah? you've been talking to eddie vedder online and he says they are playing in a club and will put you and 17 of your friends on the list? hell yeah I'll drive with you to Santa Cruz" and he had 17 of THOSE friends. and frightening if Eric walks back out and says "nope" and you gotta go tell all 17 of them that its not happening.

So Eric goes into the club. He's inside for like 10 minutes but it feels like 40. Finally he steps out and says "yep you're on the list, you plus 17".
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Re: Aaron and Santa Cruz

Postby rival » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:23 am

Keep going...
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Re: Aaron and Santa Cruz

Postby MLB.MB.PJ » Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:52 pm

Well, that’s pretty much it for that story. Pearl Jam at the catalyst, blah blah blah…

The gorge. Neil Young and Blind Melon. And eddie starts playing guitar. I’d never seen eddie play guitar. By this time I had seen them at least a dozen times. I had never seen eddie with a guitar in his hands. This was new. And the guitar he played just drove the song. It was pounding and unrelenting and it built the song into a bridge that was explosive. BOOM. That was Pearl Jam live. Hell the Moore damn near exploded during porch. But this was different. I had that song in my head for months. I bet there is video of it on youtube. That song was “rearviewmirror”.

I collected show signs. I've posted a few pictures elsewhere in the fo. So one morning I went down to the Offramp to get a Green Apple Quick Step sign off the door or the wall. They were playing that night. And theres this girl sitting at the door. I say “you know its just green apple quick step, you could come back later and still get in.” Its like 10, 1030am. And she says “nope its Pearl Jam”. This is 1993. I don’t have a cell phone, I cant check twitter. I just sat right down. Right then and there. She was so confident. I sat next to her all day. By 4 the line stretched down the sidewalk. By 6, the crowd pushed out onto eastgate. By 8 eastgate was closed and the crowd immense. She and I saved spots for bathroom breaks or to walk down to the deli. All day long. And we were right in front. The stage at the offramp wasn’t much higher than your knees. But not quite waist high either. Just a few months before you could walk up, pay your 5 bucks and stand where ever you wanted. Now I’m actually seeing people lay hands on McCready across the stage from where I am. And they did what I knew they would do. They whipped that small room into a frenzy. On their game, jeff pogo-ing, stone skip/dancing in circles, mike creeping backward than suddenly bursting forward, dave crushing the drums and keeping a relentless pace. And eddie. Eddie. Head down. Shirt sleeves pulled all the way up over his hands. He started with his ballcap on backwards. But it would fall off and he would retrieve it and it would fall off. And they pound through rearviewmirror. Eddie was already pissed at chasing his hat around the stage. Working himself into a frenzy. He held that hat in his hands and just started twisting it. Jerking and pulling at it. “and I gather steam from you fucking with me” and that hat is getting a workout. Its clear, it will not survive the song. I honestly cannot recall seeing that hat again. I don’t know what he did with it. And I don’t know what happened to that girl. Jenny? Jamie? Jessie? J. J. Jamie? I never saw her again. I wish I would have stayed in touch with her. I’d like to thank her. She deserves a hug.
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Re: Aaron and Santa Cruz

Postby MLB.MB.PJ » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:12 am

I went back to school. I started spending my time at kgrg. I joined the music department. This was back when the MD and PD would stay in office for years. Just a few weeks in, the MD quit. Then MD job went to the asst MD, who I had been hanging out with so when she became MD she made me Asst MD. A couple months later I was MD. Music came to the station in crates. Every record company, big or small, sent their music out to college radio stations and suddenly I am programming the music on a radio station. I listened to every CD that was put in front of me. I went into the scheduling program and literally scheduled how the songs played each hour of every day. I paid attention to the number of times any given song as played in a week (I think the top song would get around 55 spins a week. By comparison a song like Ed Sheeran’s “Sing” probably gets around 90 a week).
One of the first songs I chose for air was Cake “Comanche”. We played the cassette tape that came in with only the words “foo fighters” that I am sure grohl himself sent us. And the year goodness put their first record out on their own, I got the cd from their manager on a Friday afternoon and that evening we played the entire CD front to back on the air and we went on to play the songs from that record more than any other record that came to the station that year.
Because I was the MD there I was invited to the Velvet Elvis to see the first public show by the foo fighters. There was maybe 70 ppl there that night, including myself and my ex wife. My ex wife wasn’t even much of a music fan and I was dragging her to see Fugazi at the Bellevue or Kirkland Y. Dragging her to PJ fan club show at the Moore. Dragging her to the Bridge benefit. Dragging her to the first foo fighters show ever.
I’ll say this, driving around town with 89.9 on, listening to a radio station playing the music i had scheduled was fun.
But I worked at kgrg as music director during the time when the station was nominated for several national awards from cmj and gavin magazines. whatever. I didn't like being a dj. I just liked programming the radio station. I was offered a couple jobs in small markets to be the md but I would have also had to be on the air and I didn't want to do that. I interned for Univrsal/MCA. This is back when ppl actually bought CD’s. and the CD’s came in long box cardboard packaging. So I would set up displays at record stores of the new universal/mca bands and they paid me a very small stipend. MCA asked if I wanted to go to NYC to interview for a job there, but I couldn’t see myself living in manhatten. Then this job opened at Immortal Records…

does anyone care about this shit? should I keep going?
Last edited by MLB.MB.PJ on Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aaron and Santa Cruz

Postby MLB.MB.PJ » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:52 am

I was at the shooting of both Alice and Soundgarden for Singles. I wish I could tell you some exciting story of how we got in. But me and a couple buddies just showed up for an open casting call. We just showed up, signed a waiver, climbed on a bus to a warehouse on the pier. Alice played the same two songs all night long. Over and over again, all night long. The same two songs. AND because they were filming an actual exchange between cast members, we had to stay in the same general area. We could not move. The bright side is that one of the two songs alice played was “would?”. It was the first time I had heard the song (it wouldn’t be released for several months with the soundtrack) so I got the added bonus of hearing it over and over again. Not like when I heard black or rearviewmirror the first time.

It was also this night that I heard Silent Lucidity for the first time. They played it over the speakers during one of the breaks. One of the forgotten masterpieces by a band that is often forgotten or looked over, queensryche. Empire was a monster record.

The soundgarden recording was totally different. It was recorded at the off ramp. I was put on the list by a friend. The place was packed. They did have soundgarden play the same two songs over and over but because they were not filming anything with the cast members we could move about freely. And after a few takes of both songs the filming ended and the band played a complete show. my buddy rick tripped that night and chipped his tooth. He always said that the chipped tooth was worth the soundgarden show.

I’ve looked while watching singles. Cant see me nor my friends who I went with in either crowd sequence in the movie. But I was there and I’ve always thought that was kinda cool
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Re: Aaron and Santa Cruz

Postby MLB.MB.PJ » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:09 am

my ten club number was pretty low. I was on the love bone list. it was less than 4 digits. not much less. but less than 1,000. One day in my mailbox, not email. actual mailbox with actual letters. two tickets to fan club only show at the moore.
when they announced drop in the park, the tickets were immediately the hottest tickets in town. it was a free show but you still had to have tickets to get in and yes it was a free show but there was not an infinite number of tickets distributed. I got mine because there was 2 tickets taped under every seat in a theater showing a singles premiere. they gave out tickets at the seattle center. they announced where they were giving them out in the radio at like 7am. and by 730 the area all around seattle center was packed with people to get in line for tickets. it was a mad rush like something out of that old movie "mad mad mad mad world".
drop in the park was at magnuson park but there was not enough parking at the park so you had to park at husky stadium and pj paid for metro busses to pick everyone up at the stadium and to the park. so all along the streets are these signs attached to the posts outside husky stadium that say "pearl jam shuttle here" in big black block letters.
I have had one of those signs in my living room ever since.
Last edited by MLB.MB.PJ on Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aaron and Santa Cruz

Postby VicSpeed » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:11 am

Can't wait to read more.

THANKS A LOT for sharing your experiences here.
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Re: Aaron and Santa Cruz

Postby MLB.MB.PJ » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:19 am

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Re: Aaron and Santa Cruz

Postby MLB.MB.PJ » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:09 pm

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wow I gotta figure out resizing
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Re: Aaron and Santa Cruz

Postby MLB.MB.PJ » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:14 pm

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my drop in the park t shirt
its been in a box for 15 years, maybe more. Its yellowed. Would it be safe to take it to a dry cleaner? or should I just leave it yellowed?
Last edited by MLB.MB.PJ on Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Aaron and Santa Cruz

Postby MLB.MB.PJ » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:16 pm

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Re: Aaron and Santa Cruz

Postby MLB.MB.PJ » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:46 pm

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You’d be surprised. This show? I walked up, paid my 5 bucks and got in. no problem. Maybe a slight line but IF there was a line it was maybe 10 people deep. But the music scene hadn’t quite exploded yet. It was still kinda small. I remember calling an ex-girlfriends older brother who had been head editor for his college newspaper. Calling him and telling him that the music scene was really amazing and that we should write a story and submit it to Spin or something. He laughed at me. Lol. And he lived here. Grew up here, in the suburbs, in auburn. He didn’t know anything about it and wasn’t interested. The clubs were crowded. Packed sometimes. But it wasn’t like you would think.

Within a year though all those people in the suburbs figured it out, with mtv’s help, and the clubs really started packing out. If you had live music on the weekends you’d have a large crowd. This really benefitted many of the lesser known or *cough* not so good bands. Cuz PJ, soundgarden, alice, nirvana, mudhoney, trees, did not play every weekend. War babies, sweetwater, bathtub gin, lazy susan, green apple, black happy, candlebox played to packed clubs every weekend.
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Re: Aaron and Santa Cruz

Postby MLB.MB.PJ » Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:39 am

17 days in 2000

Friday Oct 20 2000 Tragically Hip House of Blues, Hollywood CA.
One of my all time favorite bands. Small venue. Scored passes. Didn’t use the pass, put it in my ticket book.
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Sunday Oct 22 2000 Pearl Jam MGM Grand, Las Vegas NV
10th Anniversary show. Crown of Thorns.
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Wednesday Oct 25 2000 Foo Fighters Universal Amphitheatre, Burbank CA
Simply epic performance. I will never forget the power of Everlong at this show. The crowds reaction and the foo’s complete pummeling of their set.
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Saturday Oct 28 Pearl Jam Blockbuster Pavilion, Anaheim CA
On w whim we bought the tickets day of the show and drove out to Anaheim. I hadn’t been so far away from a stage in years. We were way out there.
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Sunday Oct 29 Bridge School Benefit, Shoreline Amphitheatre, San Jose CA
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Beck, Dave Matthews Band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, and Tegan and Sara. All acoustic.
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Tue Oct 31 Pearl Jam Shoreline Amphitheatre, San Jose CA
What I remember about this show is that it became very political at some point for EV.
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Saturday Nov 4 2000 UW Husky Football vs Arizona Husky Stadium, Seattle WA
Won 35-32
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Sunday Nov 5 2000 Seahawks vs San Diego Husky Stadium, Seattle WA
Won 27-15. While the Seahawks stadium was being built they played in Husky Stadium.
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Sunday Nov 5 2000 Pearl Jam Key Arena Seattle, WA
Homecoming. They do Crown of Thorns again.
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Monday Nov 6 2000 Pearl Jam Key Arena, Seattle WA
Last show of the tour.

17 days. 11 bands. 6 cities. 3 states. Both my teams won. It was a nice way to spend two weeks.
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Re: Aaron and Santa Cruz

Postby MLB.MB.PJ » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:36 am

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There has to be some reason PJ didn't play last on this bill. It was a great show. The Odds were a band from Vancouver that never had any success in the states. Best Kissers didn't do much recording. Molassas was like a funk band. I don't recall much of the Hungry Crocs but Bathtub Gin was my roommates band. Really fun night.
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Re: Aaron and Santa Cruz

Postby MLB.MB.PJ » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:22 am

I took a few classes. I worked a 30 hour a week job making salads at Applebees. I programmed the radio station and I listened to a lot of music. My internship with MCA/Universal opened my eyes to a small number of people who lived in Seattle and worked for labels in different marketing and promotional roles. The music industry was different then. It was thriving and it was about to do even better just before the digital age destroyed it and so many different things about organic music.

The radio station provided me with a huge outlet. One of the many benefits was that KGRG held a drive for support that always included a benefit show. I was lucky enough to be a part of a few of the shows. KGRG benefit shows were a bit legendary. Nirvana had played a benefit show. They opened for Skin Yard that night. Green River played one too. Mother Love Bone were scheduled to play one too but Andrew Wood died the week before the show.

If I wasn’t working or sleeping I was listening to music. Ok smoking pot and listening to music. Its not a suggestion or a recommendation (I have kids now) its just how I did it. A lot of music. Crates of music. KGRG also had specialty shows so I was also parting the music out for the specialty shows. College radio is different. You play odd ball stuff. Stupid songs and parodies. But its also pretty good stuff and because there was no corporate influence we played what we wanted. More often than not we were way ahead of the curve. We never played songs too often and because of the volume of music coming in, never stayed too long on a song either.

Then one day I’m standing in the lobby of a hotel in NYC where the CMJ New Music Conference was taking place and in walks Marco Collins. Marco was the Music Director at The End and because of its place in the local music scene he carried a lot of weight. He was a big shot and in fact went on to be the program director at VH1. So he walks in. I had been introduced to him a few months prior and was sending him the weekly KGRG playlist. He has a few people with him. Eight, maybe 10 people with him. He stops and says hello then he introduces me to these people as “the music director at the best college radio station in the country”. I don’t know who those people were but I swear to god that I wasn’t home from CMJ longer than 2 weeks before I had two offers from two tiny market radio stations and I know it was because of that moment with Marco and how he introduced me.

The first job was to be the music director in Lewiston Idaho. Rock station. Music director and work an on-air shift. I did not want to be a dj. The other job was the exact same offer except in Billings Montana. I get that you gotta start at the bottom and work your way up but I did not want to be a dj so I passed on both. I would have passed if they were bigger markets too. On Air was not what I wanted.

But at these music conferences I met other people with a passion for music. Young, smart, innovative, vibrant people who worked for different record companies, or worked at different college radio stations around the country. And that’s what I wanted to do. Promotions and marketing.

A job opened at MCA/Universal in NYC and they asked if I wanted to interview for the job but I passed because I didn’t want to live in NYC. Then this job at Immortal Records opened and I chased that job like crazy. They flew me down on a Friday and interviewed me all day. It was a small company so not a lot of people but I was interviewed by everyone in the company including the receptionist. At the end of the day they told me I started in two weeks. My first day officially on the job, that night Korn (the biggest band on the label) held their Gold record party. It was my first day on the job and the biggest band on the label had just sold half a million records. Things were looking up. Although to be completely honest, I never liked the band. Their music or them as people. But rock and roll was now my job.
Last edited by MLB.MB.PJ on Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:41 am, edited 4 times in total.
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