EL PASO, Texas -

(Nov. 2012 story)

Eddie Vedder has fronted Pearl Jam for more than 20 years. The legendary alternative rock and grunge band has regularly played internationally in front of nightly crowds of 15,000 or more.

If you were lucky enough to catch one of these shows, you might have been treated to a Vedder solo. He has been known to come out before the opening band and perform unaccompanied, usually doing a cover and maybe an obscure Pearl Jam song.

It wasn’t until 2007 that he put out a proper solo album, “Into the Wild.” He followed up the soundtrack with his first ever solo tour in 2008.

Vedder’s solo shows have been intimate – audiences of a thousand or two – and Vedder opens up the mic to take questions. Fans have asked about the origins of songs and who he’s voting for. They’ve even asked if he’s on drugs.

“Am I high? Not yet,” Vedder said in response to a question heard on a bootleg of his Los Angeles April 13, 2008 show.

It turned out to be a good question because it gave Vedder a chance to explain why he’s taken up the ukulele.

“In fact when I wrote this one [“Goodbye”], even getting high wouldn’t get me to normal. I was really kind of low. And then I met this friend called the ukulele. And it was such a happy sounding instrument. It was very happy and I was really down.

“I was like ‘perfect, I’m going to take you down with me.’ You know, as you do with your friends, you take them down. … So this thing, at least it didn’t talk back and it did whatever I told it and so it’s sad songs on a happy instrument.”

Read the full What's Up article here.

(Nov. 2012 story)