Pearl Jam’s Alleged Diva Behavior Called Out By Big Name: ‘You Can F*ck Off’

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Legendary photographer Ross Halfin discussed shooting Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder in a new interview on The Osbournes podcast. He compared Vedder to the ultimate pop diva Madonna and heavily criticized Pearl Jam’s behavior during a photoshoot, though he said Vedder eventually agreed to a solo shoot. Alternative Nation transcribed Halfin’s comments.

“This is hypocritical of all of them, when the Grunge thing happened they all made out like they don’t care, but let me tell you something, Eddie Vedder cares as much about how he looks as Madonna, and that’s a fact. They can dress it up like they want, all of them. They all sit there and say, ‘I don’t give a shit.’ They do give a shit!”

“I was doing [a magazine called Q], and I had to shoot Pearl Jam for a cover, and I was meant to have an hour. It was a Friday afternoon, it was a really hot day, and I had to shoot them in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. I was like, ‘God, where am I going to do it? This is too upmarket.’ When I get there, there is two American PR’s in the lobby, and the local guy from BMG, and the local guy, a young guy, says to me: ‘Can we do this more quickly?’ I said, ‘How quickly?’ He went, ‘You have four minutes.’

As he said this, I remember Vedder stepped out the lift, and I said without thinking: ‘You can fuck off!’ I actually exploded I was so angry. I can deal with four minutes if you tell me it’s four minutes, don’t tell me it’s an hour. Suddenly I’m surrounded by, and I’m not making this up, 6 bodyguards, 6 PR’s, there were record company people, there were literally 30 or 40 people. There was a coffee shop and at the back just before Hyde Park there is a wall, I took them there and I shot ten frames in a big format camera, one roll of film. I said, ‘We’re done.’ I was so livid with anger.

Eddie Vedder to his due said to me, ‘What’s the problem?’ I told him in front of everyone, he went, ‘Fine, you don’t leave.’ They go, everyone is trying to step, he goes no, and I shot him on his own for an hour, and he was really good. They were trying to make me sign this thing, where you can only use group shots and no singles, I was really pleased because I got on the cover of Rolling Stone Argentina, Rolling Stone Australia, Rolling Stone America, on his own. They were livid!”

  • Stone Gossardish

    I think this is about a 10 year old story now. Didn’t Halfin shoot them around Riot Act?

    Vedder’s had security since a lady attempted to murder him by driving into his house at like 50 mph. She hit a wall. Ever since, he’s had pretty high level security of the likes a major CEO or David Letterman would have

    • Alex Flores

      Hell, he did a song about that called Lukin.

  • DanSwon

    He seems to be contradicting himself quite a bit here. The band probably didn’t know anything other than “We’re meant to be doing a photo shoot, be at this place at this time” – it’s unlikely they had anything to do with how this all went down. Vedder then asks him what’s wrong and gives him an entire extra hour of his time for solo shots? Sounds like Vedder is being the exact opposite of a diva here. What the hell is Ross Halfin’s problem?

    • Corndog

      Yeah exactly the same thing i was thinking. I don’t get it.

  • Corndog

    I don’t understand this. Seems like the band went out of their way to accommodate this guy once Eddie asked him what the issue was. The article describes the exact opposite of diva behaviour. I don’t get it.

    • Olga Stewart

      It sounds more like the photographer was being a diva.

      Or did I get that wrong?

      • Corndog

        Nope. That sounds like a much more sensible assessment of the situation to me Olga:)

        • Olga Stewart

          Thank you. :).

      • Stone Gossardish

        Halfin is who he is. He’s a legend from the hair metal days more than anything. He was anti-grunge to begin with.

        These photos he speaks of used to be on his site, along with a brief version of the story. I don’t have hate or love for Halfin, just jealous of the fun ride he had in the 80s.

    • JoelS

      “I don’t understand this.” Yeah, because it’s just another poor copy and paste job on Alt Nation.

  • Olga Stewart

    If Eddie gives the photographer an extra hour so that he (the photographer) can take shots of him (Eddie), then how is that being diva behaviour (from Eddie)?

    Did I miss something?

    • facepollution

      I think the statements were kind of independent of each other, a diva would arguably want more time to make sure they get the best shots. I remember reading this account years ago, I think it was actually when their self-titled record came out. The general gist I got, was that the band as a whole were not feeling it at all, and they were surrounded by self-important dicks. I don’t think Ross Halfin had a problem with them because they were a ‘grunge band’ – he was really good friends with Chris Cornell, and is clearly devastated by his death. I just think he found them really uncooperative and when you are booked to take pictures in a mutually beneficial situation, you would hope people could be a bit more accommodating.

      • Olga Stewart

        Thank you for explaining that, as it makes more sense than the article did.

  • lima85

    Halfin!

  • John

    And since they technically don’t have a record label….. seems like a nothing story

  • Lucky Neko

    Vedder has always been a hypocritical diva. His fans especially just refuse to see it.

  • Alex Flores

    Fuck this click bait bullshit.