Besides Bruce Springsteen, my favorite band growing up was The Who, and Quadrophenia was my favorite album. I still have the original gatefold vinyl with the photo booklet that tells the story of the concept album with no words. I would put the album on, put my headphones on, and flip through the booklet while I listened.
You may have seen the VH1 Honors show clip below already, but i’m posting it here just in case you missed it. Pearl Jam were probably Who fans like I was back in those days, the only difference is that they formed a killer rock ‘n’ roll band as a result of that early inspiration. Me, I just learned how to write about killer rock ‘n’ roll bands, among other things.
This performance is one of the best Pearl Jam moments I’ve ever seen–they’re obviously inspired and totally into the songs, but they’re playful enough with them to copy a few moves like Pete Townshend’s windmill guitar. “Love Reign O’er Me,” is good, but wait on “The Real Me,” it’s even better. Like any great tribute, this makes me want to dig out my own copy of Quadrophenia and put the headphones on one more time.