Pearl Jam have shared a touching tribute to late NBA legend Bill Walton, who died earlier this week.

Walton passed away on May 27 at the age of 71 in his home in San Diego following a battle with colon cancer.

While performing at the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Pearl Jam debuted ‘Man Of The Hour’ for the first time on their ongoing tour, dedicating the track to Walton.

Frontman Eddie Vedder spoke of Walton as images of the late NBA icon attending a 2023 show in San Diego flashed on screen: “We woke up yesterday to the sad news that somebody that we had met a number of times and every time we saw him it made such a huge impression. He was a big man with a huge heart and cut a wide path of peace and love behind him.”

“Goddamnit Bill, we miss you already. I just want to state our love for you in public,” Vedder added. “Thanks for all of the good energy. Wish us luck down here. I know you’re fine.”

Watch Vedder’s touching speech below.

Watch Pearl Jam perform ‘Man Of The Hour’ below.


Pearl Jam’s tribute to Walton comes after the surviving members of the Grateful Dead paid homage to the late NBA player, who was an avid supporter of the band. Per USA Today, Walton first saw the eclectic rock band perform when he was 15 years old in 1967, the same year they released their debut album ‘The Grateful Dead’. While speaking to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Walton revealed he had been to over 800 Grateful Dead gigs in over 48 years.

Pearl Jam announced a tour of the UK and Europe back in February, with stops including Manchester’s Co-Op Live on June 25 and London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 29, preceded by Dublin’s Marlay Park on June 22. Check out the full dates here and here for UK tickets.

NME gave Pearl Jam’s ‘Dark Matter’ a glowing four-star review, and praised it as “some of their strongest work in recent memory”. “For those longing for the charismatic songwriting that first put the band on the map over three decades ago, ‘Dark Matter’ will come as a pleasant surprise,” it read.

Eddie Vedder recently said that he thinks the band have “one or two” good records left in them after ‘Dark Matter’. “The older you get the better you are at living in the present,” he said. “The understanding you have less time is the biggest number in the quotient. The goal is to keep making music.”

The band’s drummer Matt Cameron has also been speaking about the time that he received a cease-and-desist letter from KISS as a teenager.

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