June 30, 2009

Thanks for the plug Eddie

Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam, was performing a solo concert on Maui last night when he took a moment between songs to personally thank me for giving him a couple of books for his children.

Earlier in the day I was working with Eddie's lightman, Dan McDonough, and during lunch we began talking about some of my paintings which are currently decorating the green room and dressing rooms backstage at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. He seemed impressed with the artwork and I explained that some of the paintings are published in children's books. Learning that Dan has two children, I later gave him two books. Thumbing through the books he mentioned that he thought Eddie would really appreciate the artwork as well. I asked if he had kids and it turns out he has two, one being 5 years old, which is a perfect age for the Ocean book. So I signed a copy of Hello Ocean and a copy of The Desert Alphabet Book and Dan took them backstage to Eddie's dressing room.

During the concert Eddie was seated on a stool centered on a round Persian rug with a small table that held an old 1970's type reel to reel tape deck. Surrounding him was an array of vintage amps and stringed instruments. I was watching from the lighting booth when he ended a song to a rousing applause and then proceeded to pick up "Hello Ocean" from the table and held it up to show the audience. He explained that he was given some books for his children by the theater's lighting designer and began to praise the illustrations. He then mentioned my name, thanked me and told the crowd that they should be proud of "one of their own". It was very gracious of him and I certainly appreciate that he would take the time to say those things right in the middle of his show. He then continued putting on a great show playing a variety of instruments and wowing the crowd.

My thanks to Dan and to Eddie. I hope their kids really enjoy the books. I can imagine parents like them reading these books to their children and talking about the illustrations. They probably point things out to each other, talk about the skies, trees and colors or ask questions about the animals and the feelings they get from the scenes. Those are treasured moments for parent and child and it feels good to know that I may have played a small role in that.