echoes
Part two of the Fritz, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll - Eddie Vedder Radio Show after the worldwide Checkpoint Charlie broadcast of Pearl Jam's concert live from Berlin. After the show, Eddie Vedder did a DJ stint for Radio Fritz, was closely interviewed by the fans and played some great music.

[ Index ]

Back to Radio Fritz, part one
Echo of November 3, 1996, Berlin, Germany, Radio Fritz, part two

[trans]=Interviewer translates.

CALLER4: Hello. Hi Eddie, it's Lutzie (sp?)
Eddie: Hi Lutzie. [laughs] It's Lutzie? How have you been? I haven't talked to you for so long.
INT: Lutzie wonders whether you have an interest in art because she believes art and music are linked together and whether you have expressed yourself artistically. I mean apart from music.
Eddie: Well, maybe Lutzie is one of the girls who saw us at the Dali exhibit yesterday at the museum. Is that right?
INT: [trans] [asks Lutzie if she was at the museum.]
CALLER4: I go there on Wednesday.
Eddie: Well, I was so inspired. Jeff and I went... We looked at each other and we said, "Ok ." When we got back to the hotel rooms we said, "Tomorrow morning we compare art. We both run upstairs right now and do the best art we can with whatever's in the room." [To INT] Do you want to interpret now?
INT: Sure. [trans]
Eddie: So I took the hotel stationery and put duct tape on the back so it would be thick like canvas and then... I knew Jeff had water colors and I had nothing so I went to the mini-bar and I grabbed some Campari [laughs] and some Annisette, I think, and some tomato juice and some coke. And then I needed a brush and then... so I cut some of my hair and tied it on a little stick for stirring your drink and... So yeah, I would say I'm interested in art. [lots of laughter]
INT: [trans] Where is this wonderful piece of art?
Eddie: It's hanging in my room. [laughs]
INT: [trans] Ok?
CALLER4: Ok, thank you.
Eddie: Thank you, bye.
INT: Bye Lutzie. [they both greet next caller]
CALLER5: Hi Eddie. [German]
INT: [trans] So he wants to know, what is it that you're afraid of most in life? Tough questions, eh?
Eddie: Yeah. No, that's good. What am I afraid of most? Um... [thinking] Well, I'm glad that I don't have an answer. [laughter]
INT: [trans]
Eddie: [in a really deep voice] I am afraid of NOTHING. [laughter]
INT: [trans]
Eddie: No, I'm afraid of things like my loved ones being taken away or something like that. I guess I'm also in fear of controlling my destiny. That's...or of not being able to control my destiny. That's why I vote. That's why I speak out when I see something going wrong. I don't want something to go wrong for me and not have anyone speak on my behalf.
INT: [translates, but we hear "Pearl Jam" in the translation] OK?
CALLER5: Ok, thank you very much Eddie.
Eddie: Thank you and bye.
[to INT] Now I didn't say anything about Pearl Jam. What did... [laughing] what are you telling these people?
INT: [laughing] I just said that Pearl Jam... I just added in my own words.
Eddie: I bet you did.
INT: I said that you...the fact that you actually asked young people to actually go out and vote is actually known from the band's side.
Eddie: Ok, that's the truth.
INT: Yes. Ok, last listener, Lissie. Hello, Lissie? (sp?) Lissie? She's not there.
Eddie: She's...that's the one thing she's afraid of. She doesn't want to talk to the singer of Pearl Jam. [laughs] That's her biggest fear.
INT: Yeah. Lissie? [Lissie's not there, takes next caller]
CALLER6: [German]
INT: So Derek likes to know what connotations the pictures you put on your booklet have with you. I mean there are hundreds of pictures so he likes to hear stories to those pictures.
Eddie: Ok, well, we'll start with the... If you fold out the CD, we'll stop with the one in the top corner...we'll go through every one.
INT: Oh my God.
Eddie: [laughs] I think there's a... oh they just handed it to me.
INT: [trans]
Eddie: There's only 104...144.
INT: [lots of translating] Ok, well he's going to fish out his own CD now.
INT: Ok Eddie, you got it in front of you?
Eddie: I sure do. Ok, pick one?
INT: Ok, Derek's choosing a picture. [laughter]
INT2: How about the apple?
Eddie: Well, I tell you what. If you open it all up, all four panels, do you understand? All four...you can see something in there. I mean you might not be able to now but I'll just tell everybody that...it's called No Code because it's full of code. It's misinformation.
INT: [trans] [lots of German with INT, INT2 and CALLER6]
Eddie: So yeah, we're interested in art. [lots of laughter]
INT: Yeah, Derek got the picture. We all got the picture. Ok, Derek.
CALLER6: [German]
INT: He loved the concert. Thanks for calling.
Eddie: Thank you and thanks to Jerome Turner and everybody else in the band for participating.
INT: [laughs] Yep.
Eddie: We're going to get back to music and I've forgotten what we've chosen because it was a few minutes ago. Ok, we're going to try something. Somebody turned me onto this band called Pusherman. The last song on their record which is called Floored is called Floored. It's the title track and this is it.
[song played]

INT: [trans]
Eddie: Yeah, yeah, that's what that was. [laughs] Uh, and then this is just laughter to balance it out.
INT: Ok.
[hysterical and deep guttural laughter played]
INT: [laughing] So what was that all about?
Eddie: That was just me recorded in the hotel room last night...looking at my own artwork.
INT: [lots of German We hear "totally cartoon" and Eddie laughs.]
Eddie: Yeah, I'm sure a lot of people are going to go out looking for the "cartoon record" tomorrow. Come on.
INT: [laughing] What are we going to listen to now?
Eddie: Ok, this is something a little more serious. I would take it very seriously because these guys are going to be in your town. By coincidence, I was going to play them anyway, but they're going to be in town tomorrow night at The Loft, which was the first place we played in Berlin, so I know how exciting it's going to be and I also know what all the graffiti in the bathroom looks like that they're going to see tomorrow. But this is Sebadoh and this is track 5 off their latest record called Harmacy.
[song played]

INT: [trans] Eddie, we were talking about the fact that you were looking back at the days of The Loft about four years ago, and the 'good old days' as far as concerts are concerned, but you had a pretty exciting experience here yourself only a few days ago and because Pearl Jam had the chance to, for the first time that I know of, perform at the east bloc in Poland. Tell me about how exciting that must have been.
Eddie: Yeah, it was exciting mainly because of the people and the crowd. So, you don't know what to expect when you go some place like that and the feelings that you get when you're there might be dark, but the people, they were the most enthusiastic crowd we've seen in years...although tonight was good too. But it was a special, special night.
INT2: I remember, Eddie, you being overwhelmed playing The Loft your first Berlin gig ever. You literally said, "Wow, that's a great response for a band as unknown as we are."
Eddie: It's still the way I feel. I still don't feel like we're completely known. [hesitating] No, maybe it's just not...maybe it's not that. No matter how known we are, I'll always be overwhelmed. I'm still the same...I'm afraid I'm still the 14 year-old kid that I always was.

INT: [trans and takes another caller]
CALLER7: [German] Hi Eddie.
INT: [trans] Ok, so Eddie, Jorg wants to know...he respects you a lot for your marketing policy. You don't do videos for the last few years. You have very fair entries and the cost of your ticket is half of what other bands charge in the Deutschlandhalle and you're also not doing too many interviews and he respects you a lot for that but he wonders why you do it after you have become a superstar. So, in other words, why didn't you do it right from the start?
Eddie: Oh yeah. That's a great question. I don't think we understood those things from the start. I don't think we understood that you become a commodity. I don't think we understood that. We thought that that was how you got your songs to be heard and in some ways, maybe it is...and I regret... Looking back, there's some things I would change, but I think that a band like Fugazi, who has a lot of these same beliefs... I think they're better because of it. I think we were naive in the beginning and we...and maybe we had faith in, that these things could be good. A video could be an art piece. An interview can be a way of communicating to a large amount of people at once. We lost our faith soon after that and decided to do whatever we could do to get around that.

INT: [trans] Eddie, I know you'd like to discuss things like that and so I would like to ask you a question. There would have been a role model for you and I'm thinking about Rex H. and the Wipers (sp?) and Rex. H. always refused to do interviews in the beginning. He said he wouldn't even be on the cover of the record. He wanted music for music's sake, art for art's sake and he'd never done any video at all and he's very shy doing interviews so that would have been a role model back in the late 70's in Portland, next to Seattle.
Eddie: Yeah, he was right. I feel like I've exposed myself much too much and I might be doing that very thing right now, but sometimes it's nice to talk to people. You know, you don't do interviews because you don't usually get questions as good as the ones that we've had tonight. I mean the last question was great and a few of the other ones were great so I think the way you should do interviews is to actually have real people that listen to your music ask you the questions and not people who are... um...work in music and are tired and cynical.
INT: Yeah, but there are people in music who are still fans.
Eddie: There are. There are. I'm sorry. I'm talking about the 90% that I've bumped into. You're right. You're very right.
INT: [trans] ...one last listener. It's Lissie, the one we lost on the way. Hello, Lissie?
CALLER8: Hello? Can you hear me?
Eddie: Ah yeah. She's not afraid after all.
CALLER8: I was not afraid... [German]
INT: So we're getting a real discussion right here. Lissie wonders what is so bad about being a superstar. What is so bad about being commercial. She actually wants to know what kind of a hint or tip you would give someone who wants to be a rock star, a superstar in the music biz. So she can't understand, being on the outside, what is so deniable about being a superstar?
Eddie: I think, I think. [laughs] I think it's... I think it's... If it's everything that you think about when you're a kid, then there is nothing wrong with it. If you... if this is what you dream about and it turned out to be what you thought it was, then there would be nothing to be unhappy about. Do you want to translate?
INT: [trans]
Eddie: But, when you get there, it's much different than you ever expected.
CALLER8: Like what?
Eddie: People start taking things from you. They take things that are important to you like your freedom and your privacy and the main thing for me, and I don't mean to just blurt this out, but I've had people like... I don't know if there's a German word? ...stalking me. Wanting to kill me because they think we're in love or because I write songs about them or something. You know, total strangers and so you can't walk outside the house or you can't... This is not something that you could have ever dreamed about and when it happens to you, it's really crazy. It's something that you could only understand if you were in my shoes and I realize it's hard and I'm... Believe me, I've had so many great experiences because of music. I'm... In the end, I'm thrilled. I'm happy to be here and I think that most of what people think that I'm upset about, I'm not. [laughs] It's no problem. I'm fine. There's no problem, but there's been a couple things that've been a little crazy and I can only ask you to understand.
[To INT] And let's talk to her more after you interpret it. Right?
INT: Yeah, sure. [trans]
CALLER8: [German]
INT: So Eddie, I can't answer your question because you answered it before in a way. Lucy wants to know that, after all, are you happy with the position you arrived in?
Eddie: Lucy, I'm getting...
CALLER8: Lissie.
INT: Lissie. [German]
Eddie: Man, I'm sorry. Lo siento. Spanish.
CALLER8: Tres bien. [?]
Eddie: [laughs] I'm doing my best. I'm thrilled. [laughing] No, really...
CALLER8: You're more thrilled than you are fucked?
Eddie: [sounding puzzled] Than I what?
INT: That's that "beep" word.
INT2: Oh, the "beep" word.
CALLER8: Than you don't like it?
INT2: The f-u-c-k word.
Eddie: Oh? I'm more thrilled than fucked?
CALLER8: I mean you like it more than you don't like it?
Eddie: Well, it's my... I mean, it's... Anybody in life has to accept the challenges and we talked to somebody earlier who maybe had a severe handicap and they're rising to it so I must be the biggest asshole in the world if my only handicap is being a quote/unquote "rock star." I better fucking deal with it, you know. It's a good challenge to have and I sound ridiculous, I feel ridiculous saying I'm getting better at it, but...
CALLER8: But you didn't answer my question so what would you advise to someone who wants to be a rock star?
Eddie: Ok. I would advise... That's right. I would advise...if you're pure about the music, do whatever you can to hang onto the music part of it. Don't get involved in anything else. Be very protective and... I guess try to enjoy yourself.
CALLER8: What do you mean with don't get involved with anything else?
Eddie: Well, be protective with, you know, things like we talked about before. ...with interviews and videos. Don't become a "star" ...
CALLER8: I got it.
Eddie: ...because it's a hollow Easter egg or a hollow Easter Bunny, you know? There's nothing inside it. Be a... Do what you do for music and go out there every night and play as hard as you can and feel good about that. But don't, don't... Don't get lost.
INT: Quote of the evening. [trans]
CALLER8: [German]
Eddie: Lissie...
INT: She says that a certain amount of stardom always belongs to a person if they get famous.
Eddie: Yeah, I didn't...I was too naive to know. [laughs] ...and I still am. I'm still just like...just a normal guy. [laughs] I'm just a normal, little guy.
CALLER8: Of course you are, but that's not what people think of you.
Eddie: See and that's, yeah, that's not my uh... It's hard to... That's what I've had a hard time with. That is what I've had a hard time...yeah. So, Lissie, thanks for...
CALLER8: Thanks for talking to me and have a nice tour.
Eddie: Yeah, I wish we could have coffee because this is an interesting subject. I could go all night long.
CALLER8: ? [she'd like to have coffee.]
Eddie: [laughing] Sure.
INT: [laughing] She's taking your word for it. [trans]
CALLER8: Yeah, I got it... [German]
INT: Thank you, Lissie.
Eddie: Bye.
INT: [trans] We continue with more music, Eddie.
Eddie: Yeah, we're going to play just a couple more songs. I don't know what's going to be after this but this one is a John Lennon song and I don't know how it will apply to you but it's called "Jealous Guy."
[song played]

Eddie: All right then. Since it's my radio station and I can choose the last song...well, tonight there's only one that I could play and I'm going to make an ass of myself and just say thanks to everybody. Thank you very much for the opportunity to do this, which is be on the radio with you. To do this, which is to play concerts for you. To do this, which is to share our music. It's really a nice thing. So that's pretty good. I pretty much made a fool of myself there. To be honest, we thank you. The only song that we could end with tonight...my little section of Eddie Vedder Radio. [laughs] This next song is by the Ramones and I wish you guys all the best. I hope to see you again. I hope we can do this again.
INT: Kein problem.
Eddie: Ok. Yeah. I hope... Kein problem. [laughs] We'll see you guys later, ok?
INT: We'll see you. Thanks, Eddie.
Eddie: Goodnight. Auf Wiedersehen.
[Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Let's Go! played]
INT: Introduces Rockin' In The Free World with Neil Young and Pearl Jam. [from the VMA, 1994]
[song played]

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