It has been seventeen years since Lee Michaels has listened to a Pearl Jam album. When the logistics specialist from Mountlake Terrace, Washington saw that Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam documentary, “Twenty” was available on Netflix, he decided to watch it.
“It was nice seeing the old footage at first, everybody had such crazy hair back then.”
His fond reminiscence quickly turned to abject anger when he discovered that Crowe’s two-hour documentary did nothing to change the reason he stopped listening to the grunge rock group in the first place.
“They glanced over Dave Abruzzese’s contribution entirely. They treated him like garbage. Thrown in with all the ‘also-rans’, like a common chump. I was enraged.”
Dave Abruzzese was Pearl Jam’s drummer from 1991-1994. He was fired from the group for supposed personality conflicts with singer, Eddie Vedder.
Michaels decided to focus his rage into action that led to reconstituting an organization that he helped found in 1994.
“It was time to get the old band back together,” laughs Dorthea Lundquist, the treasurer of “Bring Back Abruzzese”, a group of like-minded Pearl Jam fans who lobbied the rock band to re-instate Abruzzese, while simultaneously removing singer Eddie Vedder. The group held monthly meetings from 1994-1996.
“BBA may have had its beginnings in the grungified 1990’s, but don’t think we have our heads back in those halcyon days,” says Gene ‘Pops’ McGreer, BBA’s director of media relations. “We are a different group than before, more organized, and more determined. Most of us have high speed Internet at home now.”
So what are BBA’s ultimate goals?
“First and foremost, we want Cameron Crowe to go back and re-edit “Twenty” to feature more about Dave Abruzzese. We also want Eddie Vedder to issue Dave a written apology that admits that firing him was a big mistake and that Pearl Jam got crappy when Dave left,” says Michaels.
Does BBA hope that Abruzzese will possibly rejoin Pearl Jam?
“I don’t think anyone in BBA is much of a rock music fan anymore, this is more about Dave Abruzzese-awareness and getting justice for Dave.”
“Bring Back Abruzzese” will be staging an ‘awareness protest’ in the vacant lot where the Tower Records of Tacoma was formerly located this Sunday. All are welcome, but it is BYOB (Bring Your Own aBruzzese memorabilia). Supporters who are unable to attend the protest can help raise awareness in their own cities by wearing a “soul patch” under their bottom lip for the remainder of December.