Pearl Jam Pay Tribute To John McCain


Pearl Jam paid tribute to late Republican Senator John McCain at their show in Fenway Park on Sunday. McCain died of brain cancer last month. The band played “Army Reserve” in honor of him and military veterans.

Eddie Vedder said, “This is for people who are soldiers, were soldiers.”

He also said about McCain, “We know his story but there are a lot of other stories.”

“With love and respect we play this one.”

Just a few years ago, Vedder and McCain were on very different political sides in regards to the Iraq war. McCain was one of the biggest backers of the war and military action in the Middle East, and as recently as 2013 Vedder ripped proponents of the war.

Iraq war veteran Tomas Young and his wife were in attendance at Pearl Jam show in Portland in 2013, and Vedder mentioned that he heard that some people thought he should get over it and move on regarding former Vice President Dick Cheney. Vedder said, “Tell Tomas that he should move on. That it was six years ago, get over it..” Vedder said it is important to remember what happened so we don’t let it happen again.

Vedder ripped the Bush Administration at Pearl Jam’s show in Oakland in 2013 as well, “The mess that they got us into they should be reminded on a daily basis, while we’re still cleaning up the mess that they made all those years ago.”

Vedder criticized proponents of the Iraq war heavily in the 2000’s, starting during the 2003 Riot Act tour.

In November 2005 McCain said in a speech that the U.S. government must do more to keep public support high for the war, and that more troops were needed, as well as a number of other changes in the U.S. approach to the war. He concluded his speech by saying that “America, Iraq and the world are better off with Saddam Hussein in prison rather than in power…and we must honor their sacrifice by seeing this mission through to victory.”

On January 10, 2007, President Bush announced the commitment of more than 20,000 additional troops as a part of the Iraqi troop surge of 2007. McCain was a leading advocate for the move, leading some Democrats to call the policy the “McCain Doctrine”. Days after the announcement, McCain appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation and said, “This is a chance under the new leadership of General Petraeus and Admiral Fallon to have a chance to succeed. Do I believe it can succeed? Yes, I do.”