Pearl Jam, Crowe recount favorite rock docs

TORONTO - “Pearl Jam Twenty” is a film by Academy Award winning director Cameron Crowe that chronicles the first two decades of the band’s existence.

By Reuters

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Published: Sat 17 Sep 2011, 9:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:56 AM

It debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, where documentaries about music and those who make it took center stage this year, with films featuring U2, Paul McCartney, and Neil Young also being screened.

Crowe and the band sat down with Reuters after a screening of their film and talked about some the music documentaries that really affected them. Here’s what they had to say.

Cameron Crowe: “Can I do two? Okay, ‘Gimme Shelter,’ and ‘Don’t Look Back.’ ‘Gimme Shelter,’ because it’s just amazing, on-the-fly filmmaking on this incredible event - Altamont.”

“’Don’t Look Back’ just captures the white-hot heat of somebody who’s exploding and there are cameras and microphones heading their way everywhere they go and it’s Bob Dylan and they expect him to be profound and he’s that and he’s everything else and they caught it all on film and it’s great.

Eddie Vedder: “’The Kids are Alright,’ and ‘Last Waltz.’ I got caught smoking pot and I got grounded for a week in the summer and it wasn’t that bad, because all I did was listen to ‘Last Waltz’ for 18 hours-a-day.”

Matt Cameron: “I saw ‘Jimi plays Berkley.’ And the film ‘(Jimi) Hendrix.’ Those two movies kind of blew my mind as a teen ... And also, Freddie and his friends, (‘Freddie Mercury - The Untold Story’) about Freddie Mercury’s home life. It had nothing to do with Queen, just how he was as a person, and all of these people just loved the hell out of him. It was mind-blowingly cool.”

Jeff Ament: “There was a documentary that came out three or four years ago called “American Hardcore.” That was sort of the music that I learned how to play to to some degree and I saw some of those bands, but ... to see some of the footage of some of the Detroit bands and the Boston bands was pretty amazing.”

Stone Gossard: “’Spinal Tap’ has got to be in there too. It really is something that affected me hugely.”

Mike McCready: “I would say life-changing was ‘Woodstock,’ when it was on TV. Certainly, my first concept of a rock singer ever was probably Roger Daltrey at Woodstock doing his thing and going, ‘Fuck! There’s a rock singer, that’s what they look like.’ And Hendrix, of course — his version of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ was the one that went into my soul and I grabbed it, grabbed it and I ran with it.

“And in terms of just changing my way of playing, probably seeing The Band, ‘Last Waltz’ and watching Muddy Waters on that - that changed my mind-set in a day in moving away from metal and going, ‘hey, it can be a lot more simple and a lot more emotional. You don’t have to play a thousand notes, or wear a silly-ass jacket.”

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