How Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” Video Star Died Will Break Your Heart


Billboard have up a new story on the life and 2016 death of Trevor Wilson, the star of Pearl Jam’s iconic 1992 “Jeremy” music video.

[Trevor’s mother] Diane says Trevor had been doing a lot of soul searching and contemplating in the week before his death. “’Mom, I can’t believe I’m going to be 37, where did the years go? I can’t believe how serious life really is,'” Diane remembers him saying. Trevor was looking at his still-slim, but now more filled-out body, thinking about how he was getting older and looking forward to the next chapter, and maybe some new business ventures. Before he left New York, he and Diane had begun work on an herbal tea business, along with the home-brewed mead recipe he and a friend were cooking up as another potential side gig.

Trevor had always been his mom’s IT guy, and the day he died, she spoke to him 10 minutes before he went down to popular Ocean Park beach in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan. It was around four in the afternoon and she asked him what to do about a computer hard drive that had melted down. “The last conversation with him he said, ‘I’m going in for a swim and then I’ll try to meet up with [his cousin] for dinner.’ But then I had a feeling, because all of a sudden [his cousin] couldn’t get in touch with him, and he didn’t answer.”

Diane says her son seemed clear-headed that last time they spoke. A week before, however, he’d been swimming with friends when he got swept nearly a mile down the beach. “I think he had a confidence because he rode that wave, and I think it made him feel like he could swim there,” she says of the well-known dangers of the riptides in the area. “There were tons of drownings around there, and my mother told him, ‘Trevor, be careful, I can’t tell you how many times I got knocked down.'”

From what Diane has been told about her son’s August 7th death, a man who was on the beach with his two children — who had just finished his lifeguard training — saw Trevor’s pink and orange bathing suit bobbing in the water and swam out to save him. The man worked on Trevor long enough to get a heartbeat, but then the EMS crew that arrived wasn’t able to keep him alive.

Trevor had been staying with Anthony’s friend Diana in San Juan at a house just half a block from the beach, and Anthony says he’s heard the conditions were not particularly challenging that day. The ever-present danger — which Graneri feels is often played down to avoid spooking the thriving tourist trade in the financially strapped country — was still there, though. “One of the things about Trevor’s spirit is you couldn’t tell him anything,” he says.

Asked why there was a curious lack of reporting on Trevor’s death in the local or international press given his semi-celebrity — news of Wilson’s passing didn’t even seem to make it to the States, aside from Pellington mentioning his drowning during a “Jeremy”-related interview on the Celebration Rock podcast in March — Graneri chalked it up to the financially strapped Commonwealth’s infrastructure issues. “It took us an entire day to find out where his body was,” he says.