Pearl Jam & Guns N’ Roses Had Surprising Early Connection


The Baldy recently posted an Alice In Chains tour blog about Guns N’ Roses, and how Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready attended some of Guns N’ Roses earliest shows:

The standard football stadium is comprised of a field (obviously), surrounded by seats (obviously), with locker rooms and offices and all sorts of other rooms filling the area underneath the seats.

For a big fat giant rock concert, the field is covered and a stage is erected over the end zone at one end of the field.

In Seattle’s Century Link Field, the stage was located in the north end zone.

And the Alice In Chains dressing room was located behind the south end zone.

This explains the 11 miles I walked today.

But don’t worry. I’m not going to gripe about all the running around I did.

I actually want to talk about something even more bland and boring than walking. Niceness and normality.

Part of the 11 miles I walked was the short stretch off of the stage and down the ramp after Alice’s set, which is where I ran into Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready.

We chatted and caught up for a while, and I was reminded that Mike is one of the nicest and most down to earth guys you could know.

At one point he was talking about how he and Duff went to the same school way back when, and how he saw some early Guns N’ Roses shows when he lived in L.A. back in 1986.

That got me thinking, “Duff is also one of the nicest and most down to earth guys you could know”.

Then that started me thinking about the amount of famous musicians that I know and am friends with, and how normal most of them are.

I’m not writing this to sound like a name-dropping coattail rider (even though I just dropped two names and I make a living riding the collective coattails of the members of Alice In Chains).

The point I’m trying to make is that being a world renowned musician can pretty much take away the ability to live a normal life, particularly if you hit the level of one-name-fame, i.e. Axl, Bono, Madonna, etc…

When you’re that famous, there are literally some things you can’t do for yourself anymore, and that can lead to living a life in a reality that’s pretty far removed from us normal people. (Michael Jackson is the ultimate example)

The members of Alice In Chains have attained a level of fame where they tend to get recognized and approached when they’re out in public, but it’s nothing that gets out of control or dangerous.

The point that I’m still unsuccessfully attempting to make is that becoming famous hasn’t turned these guys into jerks.

Believe me, I’ve been in this business long enough to have seen and heard plenty of examples of millionaire rock stars being dicks.

Oftentimes this dickish behavior is reinforced by the people who work for the band members.

That’s because rich and famous people don’t like to hear the word “No”, therefore they surround themselves with yes men.

Now apply this mentality to child rearing.

Do you know what you’d get if you raised a kid and said yes to every little thing they asked for?

You’d get a spoiled brat.

And there are a ton of rich, famous, adult spoiled brats.

And I bet that most of them weren’t raised that way.

This is where I come in.

And this is where my value to the members of Alice In Chains is paramount.

For lack of a better word, I’m a no man.

We all know or have heard of people who don’t take no for an answer.

Not me.

I love hearing no.

And I’m not afraid to say it to the band.

This is what people deal with in the real world.

Sometimes as much as you don’t want to hear it, the answer to some of life’s questions and requests is no.

Just because you’ve sold millions of albums and have your songs played on the radio every day and wear snazzier pants and use higher quality hair care products doesn’t mean that the pharmacy will stay open an extra hour so you can send me there to pick up your anti-fungal cream.*

That’s an important life lesson right there. Sometimes the pharmacy is closed.

And sometimes the answer is no.

(*No one in Alice In Chains has a fungus. I just needed a good pharmaceutical example)

I’m not implying that I’m responsible for keeping the members of Alice In Chains grounded and normal.

They do a pretty good job of that on their own.

But I might help a little bit.

Anyway, this has turned into a long-winded and meandering way of me pointing out that a lot of the rock stars that I know are nice and (fairly) normal.

But I know there are plenty out there that aren’t.

So if Mariah Carey or Justin Bieber or some other A-lister with an over-inflated ego needs someone to come around and poke a pin in it, I have the next month off and I’d love to come and tell you no…