By Brian Ives
Count Pearl Jam‘s Eddie Vedder as one of Bruce Springsteen‘s super fans. But unlike most of those fans, Vedder sometimes gets to join the New Jersey legend on stage. In recent years, they’ve duetted on “Darkness on the Edge of Town” and a cover of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.”
But last night in Seattle, Vedder joined Springsteen and the E Street Band onstage during the encore for a performance of the Born in the U.S.A. classic, “Bobby Jean.”
Of course, the saxophone solo on the song is now handled by Jake Clemons, the nephew of the late E Street sax legend Clarence Clemons. Jake recently told Radio.com that Vedder and singer/songwriter Glen Hansard were instrumental in getting him back on stage after his uncle’s passing.
“I had a hard time coming out of my bedroom after Clarence passed away, it was a really difficult time, and I certainly wasn’t looking at playing my saxophone,” he said. “Through the kindness of their hearts and their care for me, Glen Hansard and Eddie Vedder [who toured together in 2011] gave me a call and asked me to come out of my room and bring my sax. There was a moment on stage when I played with them in Philadelphia where… I always understood the saxophone as an extension of myself and a communication device, but that night it became something enormously bigger than that. I was able to have this euphoric sense of being with my uncle again [they all covered Springsteen’s “Drive All Night” together that night], and that sense of healing was something I was desperate for.”
Watch Springsteen and Vedder, with Clemons on sax, perform “Bobby Jean,” below.