Ex-Pearl Jam Drummer Dave Abbruzzese Explains Issues with Former Bandmates, Hall of Fame Exclusion
It may have looked like the members of Pearl Jam were extending an olive branch to former drummer Dave Abbruzzese when they issued a statement praising each of the "individually great players" that have passed through the lineup and said they were "looking forward to seeing them" at the band's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on April 7. But Abbruzzese insists there's a lot more to the story.
Abbruzzese, who served a three-year stint with the band coinciding with its initial rise to fame from 1991-'94, had earlier urged the band to "do the right thing" by honoring ex-members who weren't part of the lineup inducted by the Hall. Although inducted acts have no control over which members of the band are included in their Hall of Fame enshrinement — a quirk that's been a public point of contention for bands such as Kiss and Guns N' Roses — Pearl Jam's apparent invitation to the ceremony at least seemed like a public show of goodwill.
Except, as Abbruzzese recently pointed out on his YouTube channel (via Alternative Nation), what the band really said was "they welcomed the idea of the event granting the possibility of all the drummers to be in the same room" — which, he succinctly noted, "isn't an invite." Ultimately, he says he was never officially invited to attend by Pearl Jam or the Hall — and given the way he feels the group lumped him in with fellow ex-PJ drummers Dave Krusen and Matt Chamberlain, both of whom served shorter stints, he might not have been interested in being part of the audience anyway.
"Nothing to do with those guys as people or players. Respect... but as a contributor? A band member? A definitive contributor to the energy and power of where the band went?" wrote Abbruzzese. "The sacrifices, the work, the physical and emotional contributions... not to mention the personal weight of carrying on through and after unceremonious and disrespectful way I was fired. I gave this band all I had to give every single moment I was in it. I never played for a paycheck. I never let the band down. I never let the music down. I never let the fans down... not once. I suppose that is why I am still such a point of contention."
Calling the whole thing a sign of "disrespect the core fans that took this band to heart back when all we were to become we had to earn and also, most importantly, we had to prove we deserved every single time we took the stage," Abbruzzese concluded by praising his "old friends for managing it all so well" and adding, "I don't know if I heard anyone say it, but you’re welcome and thank you, too."
Amidst the flurry of Hall of Fame-sparked hurt feelings, Abbruzzese's been on a creative tear lately; the drummer's Bandcamp page includes a flurry of recently released works, all uploaded in an effort to raise money for the recording and release of a proper solo LP.
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