Pearl Jam has been working a lot of covers into their live shows in recent months, as has Eddie Vedder as a solo artist. At a Pearl Jam show in their hometown of Seattle last night, Vedder paid tribute to an act that is definitely not from Seattle, the White Stripes, with a cover of the Jack-White-led band’s song “We’re Going To Be Friends,” off their 2001 album White Blood Cells. The purpose of the cover? A tribute to the teachers that enrich the lives of the 10 children of the members of Pearl Jam. Two of Vedder’s children’s teachers were in the audience. Quoth Vedder in his onstage banter:
There’s one part of the community and one job in particular that deserves so much more notoriety than they receive. There are those who teach our children and teach them well. We’ve had the opportunity, we’re very blessed to have had some teachers that changed our kids’ lives.
I met Kurt Vonnegut years ago in Seattle, and that night when he spoke, he asked everybody in the crowd that had one teacher that completely changed their life and put them on a path that they still follow to this day and they still thought about what that teacher taught ‘em, he asked everybody in the crowd to raise their hand if they had that one teacher. So I’m going to ask you tonight, if you had one teacher that changed your life… see, that’s just about every-fucking-body. That’s how important it is.
And we have two special teachers that my kids brought tonight that I wanted to allow them some notoriety and some applause and some recognition from their fine group of neighbors here in Seattle. And I’d like to play this for them, borrowed from my friend Jack.
So we’ll leave you to fantasize about further details of the Vonnegut-Vedder meeting, or earnestly consider what it would be like if Vonnegut and Jack White had met for dinner. In other White-Vedder news, White joined Pearl Jam onstage in Lisbon for a cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the FreeWorld” last month.
Watch the monologue and performance of the Stripes cover below—which ends with Vedder’s cry of “Let’s hear it for Seattle’s teachers”—courtesy of Stereogum.