Pearl Jam Send ‘Threatening Legal Letters’ to Tribute Band
"They've asked us to change the name of the band," Pearl Jamm guitarist Tim Love told the BBC. "They've asked us to hand over ... e-mail addresses, domain names and they've also asked us to destroy merchandise."
Pearl Jamm have been around since 2016 and, as of Monday afternoon, had 9,154 followers on Facebook and 1,194 on Twitter. Now, the subject of their affections is claiming that Pearl Jamm's existence is causing damage to their brand, a concept Love finds ludicrous.
"No one's ever come to a show," he continued, "got to the end of the show and came up to us demanding their money back because they were expecting to see Pearl Jam play at the Garage in Highbury."
Bassist Richard Gaya added that they now have to start over from scratch, an even more daunting task given the lack of work due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The band published an open letter to Pearl Jam on their Facebook page, saying that the lawyers' actions run contrary to their image. "You have known of our tribute band for years yet have waited until a global pandemic to have threatening legal letters sent," they said. "This isn’t the Pearl Jam we know and love, the Pearl Jam that stands up for social issues and against corporate giants. Yet your lawyers tell us it is indeed you, the band, that are behind this."
Noting that Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron faced similar action from Kiss when he his own tribute band, they continued: "Such was the pressure exerted by the aggressive wording of the legal letters we received, we have questioned whether we even want to continue. We know of at least one other tribute band that decided to call it a day over this. It may have been easier, cheaper and more effective for one of you to reach out to us personally. We would have done that for you. But not like this.
"Your actions are out of character and unreasonable yet our love for the music endures," Pearl Jamm continued. "We sincerely hope that, despite confirmation to the contrary, you are blissfully unaware of actions being taken in your name. We invite you to respond either publicly or privately and rescind the legal threats that have been made."
They closed by thanking their fans for their "overwhelming support" for them and "voiced equal disappointment" for Pearl Jam's actions.