Do you think Eddie Vedder should have spoken out about the war during a live concert?
Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder has been making headlines -- both for his musical talent, obviously, and for his recent remarks against war. Speculation has mounted that these comments were meant to be "anti-Israel." Why do you care? Well, for the first time ever, Eddie performed John Lennon's "Imagine" in response to the controversy, and it was pretty fantastic, regardless of what you think about his politics!
At his July 18 solo show in Meco, Portugal, he did talk about war, but then he performed the song accompanied only by his guitar. "I think it is the most powerful song ever written, which is why I have never played it," Vedder said in his introduction, per Consequence of Sound. "It seems like maybe there is a reason to play it."
He also went on to say, "If you're anti-war it doesn't mean you are 'pro' one side or the other in a conflict. However, it does make you 'pro' many things ... Pro-peace, pro-human, pro-evolution, [it] makes you pro-communication, pro-diplomacy, pro-love, pro-understanding, pro-forgiveness."
It's easy to rag on celebrities for being completely out of touch with reality, but they have the right to say whatever they want to say. And in a world this crazy, sometimes good music with a powerful message is the best escape.
Anyway, he reiterated that folks who are anti-war are also "pro-soldier." He doesn't want to see soldiers throwing away their lives for a false cause. "Sometimes if you speak out, people are going to misunderstand and they take things a certain way or another," he told the audience. "If you don't speak out, you don't know. If someone doesn't like it, that probably means it has some kind of meaning. It's not just bullshit. It's not just nothing."
Well, you probably want to watch his performance, don't you? It's a fan-made video, but we'll take what we can get:
Rock on, Eddie!
But no matter how good the music, Eddie couldn't avoid controversy with his on-stage rants. Last week, during a gig in Milton Keynes, England, Vedder actually stopped the set on stage and said, "I swear to f*cking God, there are people out there who are looking for a reason to kill! Everyone's the f*ckin' same! So why are people at war? Stop the f*cking sh*t, now! Now! Now! We don't want to give them our money. We don't want to give them our taxes to drop bombs on children! Now! No more! Now!"
Many folks took this to be a call-out against Israel. That led him to write how he felt on his website, saying, "I’d rather be naïve, heartfelt, and hopeful than resigned to say nothing for fear of misinterpretation and retribution."
Welp! That's how Eddie feels about war. Though I'm sure most of us would argue that we'd much rather have peace than war (well, at least I'm hoping!). Anyway, Eddie has the right to say whatever he wants, and seems to be ready for the backlash, so I guess we ought to just let the dude rant and rock on as he so pleases.
Do you think Eddie should have spoken out about the war during a live concert?
Image via PJOrsi/Wikimedia