Happy Birthday to Pearl Jam's Ten!

August 26, 2015
I have a long standing, often proven theory regarding music. And that theory is you will never love a band as much as the band you fell in love with when you were 13ish. This is a story about a young Jon Manley, and his discovery of the greatest album of all time. 

Back when I was a kid in the early 90's, the internet wasn't really a thing yet, which meant that if you wanted to listen to music you had to go a store, usually found inside of a mall, which was a collection of stores all located in one building.  The mall was THE place to be, like Snapchat but in real life.  Anyway, Im getting sidetracked.  So there I was, inside the mall, playing video games (another thing you could only really do at the mall) and generally just walking around being a typical tween (a word that hadn't been invented yet) with one of my buddies.  Spotify playlists weren't a thing yet either, but mixtapes most definitely were, and my friend was ROCKING OUT to one that his dad (of all people) made for him.  The tape consisted of choice Led Zeppelin cuts with a few songs from some rock band out of Seattle added to the end because there was extra space.  Totally cool right? Yes, unless you were me.  At the time, I was WAY in to rap music...and BAD rap music at that.  Like, 3rd Bass and Fresh Prince bad.  Actually, 3rd Bass was pretty cool for a minute, but you get the point. Needless to say, I didn't care for my buddy's mixtape at all.  Luckily for me, he wouldn't rest until he got me to like it, going so far as to make me a copy of it so I could listen to it as we walked around the mall drinking Orange Julius' and eating awful food court noms.  

After playing about 35 games of NBA Jams (Sonics were lit on that game FTW!) and eating 6 slices of Sbarro pizza, it was time to head home.  As I sat in the entrance, waiting for my mom to pick me up, something funny happened.  I actually started liking this mixtape.  This Zeppelin band was actually pretty cool, but what was really getting me excited was the bonus Seattle music at the end of the tape.  Of course, that bonus band happened to be Pearl Jam, my favorite band from that day forward.  The weirdest part of the entire experience though, was that it wasn't Even Flow, Alive, or Jeremy that got me hooked.  It was Oceans.  I can vividly remember sitting in front of the mall, watching the rain cascade off the skylight as the song started and thinking, "thats it, this is all I'm going to listen to until forever." Hard to believe that was 24 years ago!  Hard to believe that since then I've seen PJ over 20 times, met Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard, and get to play music at a radio station that helped launch their career.  Happy birthday Pearl Jam Ten, you don't look a day over....10....I guess?