Eddie Vedder + Dennis Rodman Friendship Began With Last Minute Las Vegas Flight to Concert
The sounds of Pearl Jam emerged in the final episode of ESPN's Michael Jordan docuseries The Last Dance on Sunday (May 17). Naturally, the inclusion had some recalling the time Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder absconded with Jordan's Chicago Bulls teammate Dennis Rodman to see Jane's Addiction.
The band's frontman recalled the pair's last-minute trip during a March interview on The Ringer's The Bill Simmons Podcast — hear an excerpt below. When Rodman was in Seattle for a game, the musician and the athlete flew to Las Vegas to catch Perry Farrell's rock icons just hours before the show.
"They had a practice and then they were gonna play the next day," Vedder remembered of meeting the NBA star in a hotel. "Dennis' security guy, George, holds out three plane tickets to Vegas. I said, 'What the fuck is that?'"
The Pearl Jam bandleader had brought a book along, and, as he tells it, the musician was planning on a quiet evening of kicking back with Rodman. But the basketball player clearly had other plans for the night.
"[Rodman] said, 'Jane's Addiction is playing in Las Vegas.' And I'm like, 'Jesus Christ, it's like fuckin' six o'clock.' He's like, 'We'll get there by 9. They don't go on till 9:30.' … We fly to fuckin' Vegas, we get to the thing, we get a car, we get to the side of the stage — Jane's Addiction starts playing."
Both entertainers were mutual fans of each other, and Vedder said that Rodman would often rock out to Pearl Jam when he was watching replays of a game. The hurried trip to see Jane's Addiction was just an early example of the relationship between the Pearl Jam member and the sports legend.
"That was the beginning of a long, long, deep friendship," Vedder continued. "And it was a little nerve-wracking at the beginning there — it was like, 'Who the fuck is this guy?' But the music, it fueled him. … And that's when [the Bulls] were going through all this stuff. It was getting hot and heavy in Chicago."
The Pearl Jam singer added, "But that was his thing — he would put on our music and watch the tapes."
Rodman has maintained his friendship with the band over the years, even turning up during the band's Wrigley Field appearance that was filmed for their Let's Play Two concert film.
Pearl Jam's latest album, Gigaton, arrived earlier this year.
Eddie Vedder Talks About Dennis Rodman on The Bill Simmons Podcast - March 26, 2020
See Pearl Jam in the Best Rock Albums of 2020 (So Far)