Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
There has never been a band like Pearl Jam. The Seattle quintet has recorded eleven studio albums; sold some 85 million records; played over a thousand shows, in fifty countries; and had five different albums reach number one. But Pearl Jam's story is about much more than music. Through resilience, integrity, and sheer force of will, they transcended several eras, and shaped the way a whole generation thought about art, entertainment, and commerce.
Not for You: Pearl Jam and the Present Tense is the first full-length biography of America's preeminent band, from Ten to Gigaton. A study of their role in history – from Operation Desert Storm to the Dixie Chicks; "Jeremy" to Columbine; Kurt Cobain to Chris Cornell; Ticketmaster to Trump – Not for You explores the band's origins and evolution over thirty years of American culture. It starts with their founding, and the eruption of grunge, in 1991; continues through their golden age (Vs., Vitalogy, No Code, and Yield); their middle period (Binaural, Riot Act); and the more divisive recent catalog. Along the way, it considers the band's activism, idealism, and impact, from “W.M.A.” to the Battle of Seattle and Body of War.
More than the first critical study, Not for You is a tribute to a famously obsessive fan base, in the spirit of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch. It's an old-fashioned – if, at times, ambivalent – appreciation; a reflection on pleasure, fandom, and guilt; and an essay on the nature of adolescence, nostalgia, and adulthood. Partly social history, partly autobiography, and entirely outspoken, discursive, and droll, Not for You is the first full-length treatment of Pearl Jam's odyssey and importance in the culture, from the '90s to the present.