Eddie Vedder Shares Heartbreaking Story About Friend During Show
As music fans, we all know how nice it is when artists connect with us on a personal level, and sharing stories is one way to do so. Eddie Vedder went a little bit deeper and shared a heartbreaking story about one of his friends during his show a couple of nights ago.
The Pearl Jam frontman is currently touring in support of his third solo album Earthling, which is out today (Feb. 11). The track "Brother the Cloud," which he released a few weeks ago, contains lyrics that allude to the pain and grief we endure after the loss of a loved one, and many fans have speculated whether or not the song was written about the late Chris Cornell.
During his concert in Newark, N.J. earlier this week (Feb. 6), Vedder confirmed that the song was written about a couple of people that he's lost. However, it's not about his friend, who tragically died in November of 2019, and the singer told the audience his story.
"I got a text today from a friend, whom we had a friend in common. That friend in common... actually, I met him because they were both dads — they were both Sandy Hook dads. I met three of them once, and the one that I kind of immediately got closest to, he worked in neuroscience, had a great wife and a great daughter. Her name was Avielle," the singer explained.
This friend in question was a man named Jeremy Richman, and he'd started a non-profit organization called The Avielle Foundation after she was one of the 26 victims that were killed during the shooting at Sandy Hook in 2012. The foundation's mission is to prevent violence through brain health research.
"He tried to be positive about it, he'd go around and speak and do some seminars and conferences, etc. We became really close, I reckon, over about three years. We talked in November and he was gonna come visit in January or maybe early February," Vedder recalled.
In March of 2019, Richman was found dead due to an apparent suicide.
"The friend that texted me today, he said, 'It sounds like you're talking about Jeremy in that song,'" the vocalist said. He responded to the friend's text that "Brother the Cloud" was written about a few people he lost "in ways that we wish could've been avoided"
"Jeremy, in particular, I would never put him in a similar category, and I would never try to question — I wouldn't dare to question — his motives, because after something as horrific as that happened to you... I wish I could've done more to save him. I wish he would've known that I was on the other side ever-so-close just days away," he continued.
"I would never judge what he was going through because it must've been the worst thing a human could ever go through."
Watch the full video from the performance below: