Just Breathe – Pearl Jam

I worked in Chennai India with a guy who was taking on the responsibility of the family business from his father so Dad could retire.

My first trip out there was a fascinating experience. I met Ash in the UK a couple of times before heading out there to see the new site and India for the first time. We were the same age (in our 30’s working in an industry of ‘Old Dogs’ nearing retirement) and we sat on the roof of the building while they laid the office carpets inside. We passed the time drinking tiny potent coffees while Ash rolled cigarettes.

Ash and I looked for common ground in a candid non business moment and he bought up the subject of music.

“I don’t like this modern computer shit much Steve. I like bands. I like rock. How about you?”

‘Ash, you’re preaching to the converted. I’m a heavy rocker all the way mate.’

“Who’s your favourite band?” – This was typical Ash. Always in for the direct challenge. Always asking what is the best of everything.

‘I don’t know. Maybe Motörhead or The Ramones. I love Zeppelin. Sabbath. Pearl Jam.’

“YES!” – He jumped to his feet. I wasn’t standing up quickly. We were 12 floors up on a roof with no railing.

‘You like a bit of grunge?’

“Pearl Jam are the best fucking band in the world Steve. The Best.”

‘I can work with that. Which record do you like the most?’

“All. All of them are brilliant. But have you heard the new one? The new one is amazing Steve.”

‘Backspacer? Yeah I love it’

“There’s a song on there. Breathe. It’s immense”

‘Breathe? That’s an old Pearl Jam Number. That was out around the same time as Ten’

“No!” – Another brilliant Ash-ism. He stops conversations with a No better than anyone I know. “Not Breathe, from Singles. B-Side and on the extended Ten CD with the yellow sleeve. Different song.”

I knew I was working with a real pro right there. He knew the titles of the songs on the new album. He knew re-issues and he knew what he fucking liked. Ash and I were going to be friends.

“I will play it to you”

‘I know the album’

“Not well enough, we’ll go out. Tonight. We’ll get drunk and eat good food and then we’ll go back to my place. You can meet my wife and my dogs and we’ll blast Pearl Jam’s Just Breathe over and over”

‘OK. That sounds great.’

8 thoughts on “Just Breathe – Pearl Jam

  1. Right, you have me sitting here listening to Just Breathe. I’ve never liked Backspacer (sorry!) and have never considered anything on it to be among Pearl Jam’s best. Opinion unlikely to change, but I love that Ash is a no-bullshit kinda guy about that track.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this song. Who says Eddie is just a singer? That finger work is straight up bad ass. Have you ever heard Willie Nelson and his son do this? So righteous, man. Bro, I’ll tell ya; you could do PJ every day, and I wouldn’t miss any of the rest of ’em. Thanks so much.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Listening to it right now. Nothing flashy, Just Willie. There’s an excellent version from Fallon somewhere. If you can find it, it’s certainly worth a listen. Enjoy.

        Liked by 1 person

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