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Video: Eddie Vedder brings “Without You” to Letterman

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While we’re still a few months away from Pearl Jam’s big 20th anniversary fiesta in September, Eddie Vedder continues to do his own thing. He’s supporting his latest studio effort, Ukulele Songs, taking the Hawaiian-soaked tunes on the road. Last night, he trucked on over to The Ed Sullivan Theater to appear on the Late Show with David Letterman. “I really like this next guy,” Letterman admitted, alluding to their longtime friendship by adding, ”He was nice enough to give me a guitar, and it occupies a position of honor in my home.” Nice. Nearby, Letterman’s trusty partner-in-crime Paul Schaffer joked that he should get a ukulele this time around. Letterman shrugged, said it was up to Vedder, and sprinkled the introduction by insisting that the scruffy rocker’s “single handedly made playing the ukulele cool.”

Cool or not, Vedder maintained a strong presence as he sat on-stage alone. It’s hard to forget this man once dove head first into crowds, splintered stages apart, and dangled from ceiling rafters. Yet, as he strummed away at “Without You”, the light uke chords hinted at another strong facet to his character: the sage-like observer. Hey, the album might not draw you in, but it’s impossible to dismiss this guy when he’s at the mic. As Letterman stated, shortly after the performance, “If I had this voice, you could all kiss my ass.” Well, good start Dave, but you need the beard, the hair, and the 20+ years of authority, too.

Then we’ll talk.

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