Every band seems to go through a phase. This phase isn’t musically in this instance – this phase is a period of time where the band go through multiple name changes before landing on the name that breaks them big.
Usually, when this happens, bands tend to gravitate towards the oddest and most artsy names that they can think of at the time. When it comes to Pearl Jam, there was a slew of names just like that.
During an interview with Lyndsey Marie from 93X Radio, Stone Gossard revealed that among the different names the band thought about after having to dismiss Mookie Blaylock and before getting to the final one (Pearl Jam, obviously), they considered the name Gaseous Clay, in honor of Cassius Clay, the famous boxer that everyone knows as Muhammad Ali.
While Mookie Blaylock (named after a basketball player) is something that could have worked out, Gaseous Clay just seems to not be the name of the band that would go on to write ‘Ten’ and many other classic albums. The names did not stop there, however.
Among the possible names they came up with, there was also Nuclear Live Frogs, as affirmed by an amused Eddie Vedder during a Mookie Blaylock show on February 11, 1991 at the Club With No Name as Alice In Chains opening act.
There you have it. The oddest point in the Pearl Jam lore was perhaps when they could not come up with a proper name for the band. Thankfully, they would eventually land on Pearl Jam, which, come to think of it now – is a bit of an odd name as well that doesn’t really make too much sense either.
What is it with the allure to odd names? In any respect, it worked for them and it worked very well at that.
Special thanks to Pearl Jam Online.