Stone Gossard Reveals The Name He Considered As An Alternative To Pearl Jam

Have you ever listened to bands like Fecal Matter, Xero, and the Tea Set? They may not sound very familiar, but actually, you probably did. These were the first names considered for Nirvana, Linkin Park, and Pink Floyd, respectively. Pearl Jam had a similar journey. You might have heard of Mookie Blaylock, which they briefly used before Pearl Jam. However, you probably have yet to hear the name guitarist Stone Gossard revealed during his recent conversation with 93XRadio.

“That’s one thing I excelled at,” said the guitarist, recalling how he would bring musicians together and find unique names. “[I was] getting groups together and saying ‘We should have a band name’ and then getting the band name organized, too.”

When asked about whether he had a list of band names on his phone, Stone said, “One of the names of bands for Pearl Jam on the list was ‘Gaseous Clay’ instead of ‘Cassius Clay.’ So that was… I don’t know.” Then, Gossard was reminded that Pearl Jam was called Mookie Blaylock for a short time, and he exclaimed, “Yeah, that was totally, and we loved the name, and we would have kept it, had Mookie giving us the thumbs up, we would have said yes, but he sort of wasn’t into it, so, we decided against it.”

There are different stories about where Pearl Jam got its name. For instance, some rumors say that Vedder’s grandmother’s name was Pearl, and she was making delicious jams. But the band members later said it was bogus. Eddie Vedder did have a grandmother named Pearl, but it wasn’t the origin of the band’s name.

The reason why they landed in Pearl Jam after going through interesting names, starting with Cassius Clay and moving on to Mookie Blaylock, was, in fact, a concert they went together. According to the story, Jeff Ament initially suggested the name Pearl. Later, when the band members went to see a Neil Young performance, ‘Jam’ was added to the title. It was a nod to Young’s jam sessions, which lasted up to 20 minutes.