Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament discussed the real story behind the scenes of Pearl Jam canceling their 2020 North American tour in March on Apple Music.
“Well, I mean, things were really blowing up in Seattle, and everybody sort of knew somebody in the healthcare industry. My niece is a nurse, and so we were getting field reports, pretty gruesome field reports about what was going on, and that combined with how much our fans travel. Somebody said there was like people from 12 countries coming to the first show in Toronto, and that made it pretty easy to postpone just the potential nightmare. Being at the forefront of that, it wasn’t something we wanted to be a part of, so.
Yeah. I mean, it’s a big, big industry, and for a lot of people, it’s truly their livelihood. So many great musicians that I know, they’re living tour to tour, and so there’s a lot of pressure on a lot of people, not to mention we have40 or 50 crew people that we’re trying to take care of. Just in our little bubble, there’s a lot of responsibility.”
Ament said about keeping up with the news, “Pretty much after the first week, like March 12th through March 19th, we were like glued to the TV and the radio and trying to get a little bit of news from the other side just to see what they were saying over there. Then we couldn’t sleep. We were just going crazy, so we shut it down. We were like, ‘Hey, let’s just read the news,’ and then you’re taking out the emotive op-ed part of even MSNBC, which I tend to agree with. It still winds you up a bit.”