Pearl Jam & Soundgarden Had Disagreement Over “Hunger Strike” Video


Stereogum have up a new interview with Paul Rachman, who directed Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike” music video.  In the interview, he discussed a disagreement the Pearl Jam and Soundgarden camps had over the “Hunger Strike” video.

So anyway, the band loved the “Man in the Box” video, and when the Temple Of The Dog album was ready, and they were ready to do a video, Kelly [Curtis] and Susan [Silver] came to me directly. And that’s how I got the job.

Susan had said: “We really want you to do this, and the guys in the band want you to do this, but we need you to come up to Seattle, come up a week early and hang out with them.” Because early on, there was a little bit of disagreement between the Soundgarden camp and the Pearl Jam camp. Basically, the Soundgarden guys didn’t want to be in the video. They didn’t want a video with the band members. They wanted something a little more cinematic, filmic. A little more of a pure tribute to Andrew Wood. Whereas the Pearl Jam guys — who weren’t Pearl Jam yet, by the way, they were Mookie Blaylock — they really wanted to be in the video. They needed the exposure.

This wasn’t something that the managers could really solve. So they needed a third party. And for me, it was like, “Oh great, so I’ve been given this video, and there’s no idea.” So I went up to Seattle, the mid-early spring of ‘91, and met with the bands. I’d never been to Seattle, and I was kinda taken by, you know, there’s a certain dark beauty up there. There’s overcast, the weather changes in a second… from what I understood the landscapes and everything were really striking. So I kinda hung out with the band, and was just throwing out this idea of scouting some great, iconic Seattle locations… the idea was to make something very organic. Keep it connected to the city, keep it connected to the place, and in turn, keep it emotionally connected to Andrew Wood in that way.

So they actually liked that. And Chris Cornell came around. And he’s the one who actually kinda led me on my scout. And he brought me to this park called Discovery Park in Seattle. And it had everything. It was an incredible place, because it had some old buildings where we could do some interiors, it had these great vistas overlooking the water, it had a forest, it had this area with all these big weeds. At a stone’s throw from each other, it had such a variety of looks. It was incredible. And I go: “Oh, this is perfect, let’s do this.” And we picked half a dozen spots that I thought would be visually striking, and that was it, we were off.