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!”