The long-surviving Seattle band Pearl Jam has just announced a new box set re-release of their second and third albums, Vs. and Vitalogy. In addition to five LPs and four CDs, the box set will include a cassette recording of a January 8th, 1995 broadcast from Pearl Jam’s Monkeywrench/Self-Pollution radio series.
During the 1995 and 1998 tours Pearl Jam operated a small pirate radio station, called Monkeywrench Radio, from a van in the parking lot of concert venues. The station aired DJ sets as well as entire live shows. Transcripts and recordings of some of these broadcasts are archived at the Monkeywrench Radio website--like from this Nov. 7, 1995 show in San Diego, CA. The Jan. 8 show that’s on the box set cassette is not listed on the site.
I remember hearing about Monkeywrench Radio at the time and was excited about the concept, even if I never heard the station. Even though I’m not much of a Pearl Jam fan (though, as a Gen Xer, both Ten and Vs. are in my CD collection), I always respected the band for attempting to use its popularity and major label stature to push the boundaries a bit. Whether it was operating a pirate station or trying to book a national tour without using Ticketmaster, it seems the band’s heart is often in the right place.
I’m curious to hear the cassette, but I don’t think I’ll be springing for the massive box set.
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