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Here's Eddie Vedder paying tribute to Daniel Johnston

Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images for Citi)

Pearl Jam fans are very familiar with Eddie Vedder’s tendency to take some time and get a little chatty during concerts. More monologue than stage banter, it usually indicates that a show is turning away from angry Pearl Jam songs and toward sad Eddie Vedder songs, and that’s exactly what happened during Vedder’s headlining set at California’s Ohana Festival this weekend—though he played someone else’s sad song. As reported by Far Out Magazine, Vedder took a moment to tell a story about a “great, great songwriter” who died recently, saying this guy would make tapes of his songs and sell them in record stores around Austin, Texas, and then those tapes eventually ended up in other people’s hands and then “before you knew it, everybody was talking and sharing the genius of this young man.”

It should be pretty obvious to most music people that Vedder was referring to Daniel Johnston here, but he saved that reveal for the end of his story, after talking about a time that he and Chris Cornell spent six hours on a love seat together listening to Johnston’s music. “We were laughing and crying and then smiling so hard that tears were squeezed out of our eyes,” Vedder told the crowd, “We looked at one another, and I’ll never forget, we said, ‘He is better than both of us.’” Vedder then played Johnston’s “Walking The Cow,” which you can see below.

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