By Haley Biermann
Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder, who has been touring solo in Europe since last week, gave an emotional speech at his London concert at the Hammersmith Apollo on Tuesday night, June 6. Vedder opened up about the difficulty of losing his friend and rock legend, Chris Cornell, and how grateful he was to have had time with him. His full speech, via Stereogum, is worth a read. Excerpts include:
"…now it feels like it’s conspicuous because I lost a really close friend of mine, somebody who… I’ll say this too, I grew up as four boys, four brothers, and I lost my brother two years ago tragically like that in an accident. After that and losing a few other people, I’m not good at it, meaning I’m not…I have not been willing to accept the reality and that’s just how I’m dealing with it."
Vedder also reached out to all those who were affected by Cornell's sudden passing:
"These things take time and I just want to send this out to everyone who was affected by it, and they all back home and here appreciate it so deeply, the support and the good thoughts of a man who was a … he wasn’t just a friend, he was someone I looked up to like my older brother."
Vedder finished his speech on an especially heartfelt note, saying:
"...I realized how lucky I was to have hours worth of…you know, if each of these memories was quick, and I had hours of them. How fortunate was I? And I didn’t want to be sad, I wanted to be grateful, not sad. I’m still thinking about those memories, and I will live with those memories in my heart and I will love him forever.”
Cornell’s death on May 18 was followed by a large volume of tributes from fellow musicians and friends. Up until Tuesday night, Eddie Vedder offered indirect musical tributes to his friend. His candid speech was met with a standing ovation from the crowd.