1990s \

Eddie Vedder Once Wrote SNL’s Tom Davis a Letter Complimenting Him on His Adidas

This story originally appeared in the February 1993 issue of SPIN, which was partially written and guest-edited by members of the SNL cast. Read interviews and stories from comedy icons of the era–Chris RockAdam SandlerTim MeadowsJulia Sweeney and others–in our package of highlighted stories from the issue. Tom Davis was an SNL writer and one-half of comedy duo Franken and Davis.


I knew it was happening but it really didn’t strike me until my young Saturday Night Live cohort, Adam Sandler, handed me a wrinkled piece of notebook paper with penciled, handprinted scrawl on it.

“What’s this, Adam?”

“It’s a letter to you from Eddie Vedder. He’s the lead singer from Pearl Jam. I saw him a couple weeks ago and he asked me to give this to you. He likes you.”

“Really?”

“Eddie Vedder. He talked to you in studio 8H when they did the show last spring.”

“Really.”

Tom Davis–

This is Eddie Vedder. I sing in a band that was on your show. Don’t know if you recall … I do. In a hallway I mentioned white Adidas with green stripes. You mentioned buying seven pairs … 12 pairs … how many? I was questioning how had they remained in such good shape?

I remember these shoes … think I mentioned how dear Dad wore white shoes, those same ones, thusly I would wear them too. On my back. Why do we always remember that shit? I dunno … Why am I retelling this to you? Again … I dunno … And you were dry shaving with a Bic … constant and consistent … like a Martin Scorsese school film I once saw … I see a lot of stuff … remember one-half of that … And I can play that small moment in the hallway … stop it … rewind … strange … that’s why I write this I guess.

Bye. See you around, Eddie.

I have not always been as you see me now …

But now I apparently resemble Eddie Vedder’s father. There was a time when I lived for the rock’n’roll moment, took drugs, and chased girls. But like most people in my demographic age group, I rarely go out to buy tapes or CDs. And when I do attend a concert these days, I’m usually “comped.” Thusly, rock’n’roll/MTV/“the business” is still about teenagers because they’re the ones doing the consuming. This is not to say that if a beautiful teenage girl approached me and said, “I’ve got two tickets to Pearl Jam, two hits of LSD, and a hotel room,” that I couldn’t be seduced – au contraire – I’d consume … but it’s not going to happen. I am an old fart – and furthermore – I don’t care – you SPIN-reading young people can have it!

Who needs the humiliating experience of going to a stadium-size venue crammed to the rafters with lurching young fucks who must be policed by embattled ushers and security goons? Nuts. I’ll stay at home. So, I’m an old fart at 40. Fine. I’ll make my own music (I’m getting better on the guitar. I still don’t count and have trouble staying in tune but I have my moments).

At some point in the early ’80s, when I learned that my favorite Adidas cross-country shoes had been discontinued, I obtained 12 new pairs – what I figured was a lifetime supply – now I’m not so sure.

Yo, Eddie … what size do you wear? Comp me and I’ll show up. Sincerely, Tom “Old Fart” Davis