Soundsystem Podcast

Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament on his NBA fandom, 'Mookie Blaylock' origins, and more

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On a special edition of NBA Soundsystem, legendary bassist and recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Ament joins hosts Brent Barry and Laurence Scott for a wide-ranging conversation about the NBA, music, and more.

Highlights below:

1:45 minute mark, on writing the names of NBA stars on his bass guitar:

“I wanted to be inspired 100 percent of the time I was playing music. And by putting the names of my most inspirational pro basketball players on the bass, at any given time if I felt like the mojo was slipping I would look down at the bass and see Nate Archibald’s name and get fired up.”

4:10, on the origins of the band name “Mookie Blaylock”:

“Each day we would buy a pack of NBA cards […] Fast forward a month later, and we’re in our manager’s office. We needed a band name in an hour.”

13:30, on the growth of his NBA fandom while living in Seattle:

“I went to games to see the players on other teams that I liked. These were like $4 tickets, up in the middle of nowhere. But to go from growing up in Montana and rarely seeing NBA games, to watching the 76ers play in-person … that just cemented I was in the right place. I needed to be in a place where I could see pro basketball.”

17:45, on the legacy of Chris Cornell:

“Chris was the greatest songwriter to ever come out of Seattle. Chris had the song-writing chops we all hope to get to. I feel so lucky I got to witness his greatness.”

33:15, on Pearl Jam approaching their 1000th show:

“It’s pretty epic until you realize Ted Nugent has played like … 6,000 shows. Then it doesn’t feel that epic.”

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