Tunes For the Bike Experience, Vol. 1

Will myself to find a home, a home within myself.

I went and saw Pearl Jam play at the Max Bell Arena, in Calgary, with some 700 other like minded souls, when I was 20 or so, just before I boarded a flight to New Zealand to backpack around and be stupid.

I’d loved this song since I first heard it. Its anti-authority vibe is something that I really dug at 20 and something that still charges me up 15 years later. It was released on the ‘VS’ album, the one after ‘Ten’, but I had a copy of it from a bootleg that I’d bought at this cool store called the Attic, in Calgary. I guess Pearl Jam had been playing the song for a couple of years, but didn’t find a home for it until that second album.

They had played it a few times before, and brought it out for the Calgary gig, firing it up near to the end of their set. I recognized it immediately, went 19 year old ballistic, and got myself hoisted up to roll around on the crowd – cause that’s what we did in those days. I was flopping around and loving it, when I got half-turfed on the stage.

I was 50% on the barrier, and 50% over it. I looked at the bouncers, look at the band and decided to go for it. I scrambled up on stage and threw my arm around Eddie Vedder. He didn’t even flinch, just kept out belting the lyrics, “Drop the leash! Drop the leash!” into the mike. I even screamed a few times with him before security roughly pulled me away. I was able to talk them out of smacking me around and they even let me back into the mosh pit. At 20 you can do anything, and that’s exactly why you should. As the song says, “Delight, delight in our youth.”

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