Saturday, August 10, 2013


I'm sure many a fan
has opened the "Vitalogy" booklet
that came with their album
and flipped through it to ponder all the artwork.
Many probably flipped through-
thought it was cool-
and put it down and went on to the music.
Some just didn't get it at all and moved on...
Others scoured it and tried to dissect it....
That's a bit of what I'm going to do here every Saturday.
Dissect the actual Vitalogy book...
the music....
and the booklet that Jeff and Ed created .
Every week will offer something different
not just musical ties 
but some fun  with some of the wacky content 
this book contains. 
Why you ask?
Why not?

We want to know why people do the things they do?
As an artist - what inspires them to make their work?
Some may say - it's only Pearl Jam...
It is indeed....
and I think you won't find
as thoughtful or cryptic or poetically
expression filled lyrics from just any band
who has been around as long.
When we can relate to something we feel like it is our own...
"Welcome to the Jungle"
in it's own time a great song...
could I relate - NO...
"Black" from Ten
You get my point ?

The word Vitalogy actually means
"the study of life"

That's what a lot of Pearl Jam's lyrics
are to us...
Stories- musical remembrances and hopes for life
as told by the band.
So what are we going to dissect today?
O.K. class today let's turn to page 9 in Vitalogy

Read along
"Health and Happiness"

"It has been fully tested and proven that children may be born
talented or imbecile, with cheerful disposition or gloomy ones,
with kindly natures or harsh and sour ones, according to the will
and wisdom of their parents.
Every one raising a family should read and carefully
study the article on page 19"
O.K. lets stop and see an actual bit of creativity at work...
This was an excerpt from the actual antique
Vitalogy book by E. Ruddock
The excerpt from the actual book says turn to page 19.
Take out your Pearl Jam booklet...

A photograph of a small girl sitting on a clowns lap
 and the above excerpt
were placed in the album booklet by Jeff...
Did anyone ever think to turn to page 19 in the booklet?
Did you just glance over it and not pay it a second look?
Well do it now...
Page 19 in the Pearl Jam booklet
top left begins
"No other one thing tends so strongly to bind and hold
the early affection of a married couple as the bringing
into the world of beautiful, healthy, intelligent, welcome children.
To bring into the world unwelcome children is one of the most
awful crimes of which the parents can be guilty. 
It brings a curse to the child, to the parents and to the world."

at the bottom of said page is a little
story of an unfortunate girl who had given birth
in a bathroom stall and thrown the baby in the trash.
Ed laments for the soul of the child and what
would drive a young woman to these measures
in such a horrible condition.
Now turn to page 14 and the lyrics for the song
 Written on a copy of a petition
written on a copy of a petition to then president
Bill Clinton
asking for intervention
in the escalating violent tactics of Pro-Life activists.
Free speech I believe in but these activists are
obstructing freedoms of patients and doctors which are also
protected by law.
Coincidence? I think not.
Ed has been very vocal about his beliefs in
women's reproductive rights from the beginning.
Many a time did we see PRO-CHOICE
scrawled across his arm in black Sharpie
whenever he had the opportunity to be in the
media's eyes.
I also want to look at this sentence
a little closer

"It brings a curse to the child, to the parents and to the world"
The die-hard Pearl Jam fans
know that Ed has referred to the song
from Ten
as a story about
"The Curse"
I'd like to think he's re-enforcing the fact
that his parentage issues 
did indeed feel like a curse to him by including this passage?
It didn't just affect the person who carried the secret
but it drastically affected the child and the whole
world they all lived in.
This one simple thing.
These of course are my own thoughts.

Could all this be purely coincidental ?
Maybe -
but I like to think that Ed and Jeff are pretty meticulous
and a lot of thought is put into the artwork
for the albums.

What do you think?

If you have any counter points or other thoughts
feel free to comment.
Please let's remember to keep it debate and be nice.
One always learns from looking at a subject from many points of view.

I hope this was an interesting look
into just a snippet of Vitalogy.

Thanks for stopping by!
Rock on...

George P.Wood and E.Ruddock-Vitalogy, Chicago , MA Donohue and Company 1904

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