How Eddie Vedder’s West Memphis Three Song ‘Satellite’ Wrote Itself
"I was in a faraway place and their story came to mind."
As previously reported, Peter Jackson and the rest of the team behind the recently released West Memphis Three documentary, West of Memphis, put together an incredibly hefty soundtrack for their film featuring everyone from Marilyn Manson (covering Carly Simon) to the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines (covering Pink Floyd) to Eddie Vedder (covering … well, his own damn self).
In a new interview with Diffuser.fm Vedder discusses his song “Satellite,” which he wrote for Lorri Davis — the woman who married the WM3’s Damien Echols while he was on death row, and was joined by Vedder and others in the fight for the wrongly convicted trio’s freedom. The minimal track initially appeared on his 2011 Ukelele Songs collection.
“I was just in a faraway place and their story came to mind. We were raising funds to get a new investigator on the case … I was making a lot of phone calls on their behalf and was playing ukelele and the song really kind of wrote itself,” he says in the clip. “If you listen to the tape, right at the very end … you can hear the phone ring and I go over and I pick it up and say ‘hello’ and it was Lorri.”
West of Memphis was given a limited premiere on Christmas Day, and will go national come January 11. A year and a half after being freed, Echols explained his complex feelings on the matter in a new interview with Vulture: “We want the guy who did this shit to be in prison … But you feel like a specimen being studied. I’m so tired of it. I’ve started actually vomiting and dry heaving after photo shoots.”
In related news, Loudwire has just premiered a song from the West of Memphis: Voices for Justice soundtrack. While we might’ve preferred a sampling from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ score, or even that live Band of Horses track, it’s still something: Dave Navarro’s rock covers crew Camp Freddy doing their version of David Bowie’s “The Jean Genie.” Listen to it here.