This is a little story I like to call “The Curse”. The song “Alive” which is in our first record, that was uhm… the first song we ever wrote as a group, and the song that we play hundreds of times live. It’s really uhm… been transformed through the years, and it’s not so much how we play it, or the arrangements, but more the intrerpretation. So, the original story being told in the song is that of a young man being made aware of some shocking truth. And one was of the guy he believed to be his father while growing up was not, and the hard truth number two was that the real father had passed away a few years before. Not as if adolescence was tough enough. So when the mom reveals this information of the real father’s death, it leaves the kid who’s not terribly stable at that point and its development very confused. I know this cause I knew the guy. Not well, but I mean, the guy was me, but I barely knew me then. There’s a… To be honest I was barely there to be known. Uhm… so he takes all these news as a curse, like “Fine, you told me these secrets I’m supposed to forgive, but I’ve got to figure a way, you know, to live with this. Find the dad’s dead but I’m still alive and I’ve gotta deal with this”. So it was a curse: “I’m still alive”. So couple of years later, we’re playing for larger and larger audiences, and responding to this course that I… you’d never thought. You know, folks jumping down in the aisles, using their body to express themselves, belting down, singing along “I’m still alive” in mass. So every night, when I look out on this sea of people, reacting on their own possitive interpretation, it was really incredible. The audience changed the meaning of these words. When they’re singing “I’m still alive” it’s like they’re celebrating. And here’s the thing: when they change the meaning of those words, they lift the curse.
Eddie Vedder introducing “Alive” (VH1 Storytellers). (via eddie-vedder)