Pearl Jam have reportedly sent cease and desist letters to UK-based tribute band Pearl Jamm, and following this, the tribute act has responded by changing their name – now going by the moniker Legal Jam.
Speaking to the BBC (in broadcast later reposted to Pearl Jamm’s Facebook page, which you can see below) the band said they have been ordered to destroy merchandise with the Pearl Jamm name, and to hand over any email addresses and web domains associated with the band. A band member also disputed the possibility of confusion between the two acts, saying: “No one’s ever come to a show, got to the end of the show, came to us and demanded money back because they were expecting to see Pearl Jam play The Garage in Highbury.”
For those that missed it on television when it was broadcast yesterday, here's the BBC News clip about our little #tributeband. We'll be issuing a full statement shortly and we invite Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder to do the same.
Posted by Pearl Jamm Tribute on Friday, January 15, 2021
In a statement following the broadcast, the band made an emotional appeal to Pearl Jam, writing: “You have known of our tribute band for years yet have waited until a global pandemic to have threatening legal letters sent. This isn’t the Pearl Jam we know and love, the Pearl Jam that stands up for social issues and against corporate giants.”
To Eddie, Jeff, Stone, Mike, Matt, Boom; to Pearl Jam, you have broken our hearts.You have known of our tribute band…
The band also claimed they were told the letters did not arrive on behalf of any management or record label, but “[Pearl Jam’s] lawyers tell us it is indeed you, the band, that are behind this.”
“No one has ever confused us or our merchandise with you or your merchandise, and so to say that is ‘likely’ is clearly nonsense,” the statement continues. “We have not caused you or your brand any damage whatsoever, in fact we have done quite the opposite.
“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. 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.”
The letter concludes: “We would like to thank our own fans who have shown us overwhelming support since this story broke and who have voiced equal disappointment in the actions of Pearl Jam.”
Today (20 January), Pearl Jamm have now announced that they will change their name to Legal Jam in order to avoid any further confusion.
We appear to have set the internet on fire this week and it’s time to extinguish the flames. A name doesn’t define us….
Writing in a statement on social media, the band said: “We do what we do out of love and respect for Pearl Jam. We have always been clear that we will ‘Yield’ to Pearl Jam’s demands and equally clear that our disappointment was only ever of the timing and manner in which those demands were made.”
The also said that under the new moniker they “will continue to perform the music of Pearl Jam in the most heartfelt and authentic way.”
Pearl Jam representatives have been contacted for comment.
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