Last week Eddie Vedder posted an unapologetic essay on the Pearl Jam website, which opened with the iconic quote from John Lennon’s “Imagine” — “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one” — and responded to criticisms that the singer was being anti-Israel in a recent mid-concert diatribe. Days following, on Friday night at a solo show in Portugal, Vedder cited his source properly by performing “Imagine” for the first time ever live.
Vedder introduced the track, as Consequence of Sound reports, saying, “You know if you are anti war, If your anti war it doesn’t mean you are pro one side or the other in a conflict. However it does make you pro many things We are not alone after all. Take this CNN, That’s good, that’s nice, or whomever.”
He continued, “Well, so anti war make you pro many things. Pro peace, pro human, pro evolution, Makes you pro communication, pro diplomacy, pro love, pro understanding, pro forgiveness. You know some people don’t understand how you can be pro soldier. If you are anti war your pro soldier because you don’t want the soldier to be put in harms way. To sacrifice himself or herself for some reason that’s not…for no good reason. I have many, many…We have many, many friends of the group and through out our lives we’ve met incredible people and in the armed forces. We have an understanding and they listen our music and they get it so I’m not sure…You know sometimes if you speak out people are going to misunderstand and they take things a certain way or another. If you don’t speak out you don’t know..If someone doesn’t like it probably means it has some kind of meaning. It’s not just bullshit. It’s not just nothing. So this next song I always thought it was probably the most powerful song ever written. I think it is the most powerful song ever written. Which is why I have never played it. It seems like maybe there is a reason to play it. If you’d like join me or use your voices or hold a light there might be some people out there that need to know they are not alone.”
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