Saturday Night Live, 1994

by John Reynolds , Brian Hyland , Kathy Davis , Jessica Letkemann on May 2, 2006

This is the second part of a three-part article on the history of Pearl Jam’s appearances on Saturday Night Live where looks at the broadcast performances as well as the skits, commercials and even some rehearsal footage where Pearl Jam was included in these three episodes spanning 14 years.

April 11, 1992

[ Read More ]
April 16, 1994

[ You Are Here ]
April 15, 2006

[ Read More ]

April 16, 1994

In 1994, so much had changed in just the two years since their last performance. Pearl Jam’s popularity eclipsed a state of euphoria and instead took on the face of scrutiny and high expectations, as issues such as their Ticketmaster battle and Kurt Cobain’s recent death hovered over them like a black cloud. Hosted by Emilio Estevez – riding the publicity of D2: The Mighty Ducks – this was the 18th episode in the 19th season of SNL. Here, we’ll look at the rather subdued rehearsal footage, the performances – all three! – themselves, and Ed’s solemn tribute to Kurt during the closing credits.


Rehearsal for their ’94 appearance took place days earlier, on Thursday, April 14. Similar to ’92, all PJ members take their positions while the SNL crew is getting ready. Ed is wearing a “Rock For Choice” t-shirt (same as ’92?), a green army jacket with male “Who” insignia on back, ratty black cut off shorts, and Doc Marten-style boots. Stone’s wearing black shorts, a long-sleeved Boston Celtics jacket and Birkenstock sandals. Jeff’s sporting mustard-colored long sleeve shirt, black shorts, a University of Michigan baseball hat backwards, and black Nike high tops. Mike is wearing an oversized blue checkered long-sleeved flannel, black jeans, and a black fedora. Dave is only pictured seated, wearing a Buffalo Springfield T-shirt.

Ed’s eyes are rolled completely back in his head during the “I still remember, why don’t you?” line. During the breakdown Ed sings, “My friends, they don’t scream … my friends don’t call me… my friends don’t”. In the last chorus where he normally says “Fuck You” Ed substitutes “For You”. After the final “You” that he screams, Ed starts pogo-ing animatedly. Jeff and Ed face Dave for ending, which accelerates in pace considerably. “Not For You” is played first with a whopping running time of 5min. 10s.

After the song ends, Ed approaches Stone about playing the sliding riff over the chorus, and Stone plays it a couple of times and nods. About five minutes of downtime ensues with the occasional “Rearviewmirror” and “Daughter” riff being played, while Jeff tunes up.

“Daughter” is rehearsed next. Ed leaves his left hand in his pocket during most of the song. As the jam starts, following the “The shades go down” lines, Ed tags Don MacLean’s “American Pie”, singing : “Bye Bye Miss American Pie, Drove the Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry, Good old boys are drinking whiskey and rye…”. The next line in that song “This will be the day that I die” is not sung. He repeats the lyric again with the same omission. The jam ends with a single Neil Young tag of “Hey hey, my my…” (Next line, not sung: “Rock and roll will never die”). At songs end, Ed pulls something out of his left pocket, looks at it for a minute and puts it between his teeth, leaving it there. It looks like a teeny golf pencil or oversized toothpick.

Stone asks for his guitar and his roadie “Scully” comes over with the gold body Les Paul. Ed jokes with Jeff about switching sides of the stage, Jeff laughing and joking about only having one guitar. Ed is asked by the rehearsal manager if the band is ready and he answers “I think we’re there”.

“Rearviewmirror” is then rehearsed. Ed leaves in the cuss during the line “I’m not about to give thanks … fuck off”. Ed also change the line “It wasn’t my surface … uh uh” (as if to say “No”). RVM clocks in at about 4min. 41sec.

The rehearsal footage then turns to the recording of some of the SNL commercials used to promote the show in the days before the airing. Host Emilio Estevez comes out along with Adam Sandler dressed as his popular “Opera Man” character. Ed joins the two and off-camera someone says “Emilio, say hello to Eddie.” Ed answers “How’s it goin’?” and they shake hands. Adam and Emilio chat, and an SNL crew member arranges the three with Adam in middle, Ed left, and Emilio right. After a minute or two, Ed is asked to turn in slightly, and he says “Oh, I get it.”

An intriguing conversation ensues, apparently focused on Ed’s fascination with the number “23″. Ed asks Adam “What date where you born?”. Adam replies “9-9-66. But my family’s always been … “23″, my Dad gambles with “23″, he, uh … Everything’s “2″ or “3″. Like he buys “2 things” or “3 things” at a store. He’s sick with it. And I’m like it too, now I am… I knock 2 or 3 times…”. A costumer interrupts to adjust Adam’s tux. Ed gets instructions when the promo is finished, “Just stare down the camera, don’t break”. He nods and smiles.

The conversation continues. Adam: “Eddie, where have you seen 23 lately?”, with Ed replying “(points off to the right) There’s a thing right back over there it says “23″ (unintelligible). Orange juice on the plane today – expiration date May 23rd.”

SNL Executive Producer Lorne Michaels then comes in and meets Ed, they shake hands. Ed asks Emilio “How’s it been this week?” and Emilio answers “Good” and they chat for a minute.

They then begin shooting the first of three takes of the promo, with Emilio saying “I’m Emilio Estevez and I’m hosting Saturday Night Live with Pearl Jam”. Opera Man singing “Fantastico Emilio, Pearl Jam is Fabuloso!” to which Ed responds, “Oh, Grazie”. And Opera Man leans in to Ed and responds “What’s that?”.

Ed and Emilio shoot a second promo twice. Emilio says again: “I’m Emilio Estevez and I’m hosting Saturday Night Live with Pearl Jam”, then turns and says “Hey Eddie, when I’m with my friends, can I say I know you?” To which a serious, brow-furrowed Ed grumbles, “No.” To which Emilio responds “Deal.”

They try to re-take it, but Lorne says “Since Eddie has left the building, we’ll go with that.” Someone asks about Ed and Lorne responds, “He’s shy. He’s shy. He’s basically shy.” Adam Sandler responds, “Yep.”

“Not For You”

Stone “warming up”


Jammin some more

Lots of waiting around

Dave behind the helm


Ed and Jeff

Stone and Tech

“Boy, this is fun”

“Can you see me now?”

Full stage shot

Mike, Jeff, Dave

Ed and RVM

Ed and RVM

Emilio, Sandler, Ed

Getting ready to shoot

Sharing a laugh

Opera Man


Emilio Esteves and David Spade

Talking to Lorne

Opera Man

Can’t hold back

Not For You

SNL Episode 19.18 was broadcast live on April 16, 1994. It was a tumultous time for the band. Kurt Cobain had been found dead the previous week, the Ticketmaster fight was ongoing, and there was only one more show remaining on the band’s current tour at the Paramount Theater in New York City – a show that was Dave Abbruzzesse’s last.

Back from commercial, the lead-in SNL photo is of the band huddled together shoulder-to-shoulder looking serious, with the photo presumably taken on the day of the rehearsal as they are wearing the same clothes from that day.

In a bold move, PJ open with “Not For You”. Often used as a promotional tool, PJ use their first SNL slot to play an unreleased song that they had just premiered live a month before. The song’s powerful music and scathing lyrics reflect the environment surrounding the band.

Ed is wearing a blue jacket zippered up (the same jacket as ’92), a gold shirt underneath, ragged cargo shorts and Doc Martens and playing his black Fender Telecaster. Jeff is wearing a black sleeveless button-down vest with only the top button buttoned, black cap backwards and playing a gold Fender bass (the same one he currently uses with the “Wellstone” sticker). Stone is wearing a white Devil Head t-shirt and shorts, playing a gold Gibson Les Paul. Mike is wearing a blue button-down and a fedora, playing a Rickenbacker guitar – a gift from Tom Petty. Dave is wearing a red shirt and is much more visible than the 1992 peformance, as the drum riser is lower on the stage. His cymbals are flat and he is sitting higher on his kit, a change made previously to ease the carpal-tunnel syndrome that chronically bothered him.

The stage is adorned with the doo-dads from the time, including the gold wings on Ed’s amp (courtesy of The Frogs). Jeff’s Ampeg bass cabinets are topped with a mix of short and tall white candles. There are also candles in glass goblets on the drum riser, Ed’s and Stone’s amps.

The early performance of “Not For You” is very energetic, aided by the three-guitar arrangement. Ed’s demeanor is very serious and is looking down for most of the performance. Ed sings “Small my table, seats just two – me and Beth”. Ed replaces the “Fuck you” at the end with another “For you”. The performance ends with the camera on Ed as he fingerpicks the outro, with Stone in the background already guitar-less and smiling at Dave.

Promo shot before “Not For You”

“Not For You”

Jeff lunging

Mike, Jeff, Ed

Stone’s “solo”

“This is not for you!”

Dave has long hair

“Hey Stone, Ed’s still playing”


Prior to their second performance, the lead-in SNL photo shows Ed smiling off to the side with his arms folded (donning the calculator watch!) while Jeff, Dave and Stone appear to be picking up Mike, who is posing with his fist on his jaw. Emilio Esteves introduces Pearl Jam again, and the Ed starts “Rearviewmirror” with his coat now unzippered showing that his gold shirt has some writing on it that will be revealed later. Jeff is playing an elaborately painted 8-string Hamer bass. Mike is now playing a well-worn Fender Stratocaster. “Rearviewmirror” live usually features a “Fuck off!” at the end of the “I’m not about to give thanks” line. Ed doesn’t sing the phrase into the mic, but visibly mouths it off mic. The jam is short with Ed looking back at Jeff and Dave to make sure they return for the final verse/chorus at the same time.

The song’s ending is powerful, with Jeff lunging back and forth, ultimately moving about so much that he loses his hat to reveal a black bandana around his forehead and a tall crop of bright orange hair! The song ends and the band continues what seems like a recurring contest to see who can take off their guitar first.

Promo shot before RVM

Full stage shot

“Fuck off”

Jeff leaning

Ed singin

Jeff and Ed


“Saw things so much clearer”

Who’s the blond?

Ed and Stone


In 1994, Pearl Jam were one of the biggest bands in the world, and were granted a third performance for only the third time in SNL history at the time (the others Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen, and since then artists including Justin Timberlake and Aretha Franklin). Pearl Jam chooses “Daughter”, with Stone now wearing a blue-button down shirt and playing the Hamer guitar he users to get the distinguishable sound on the song. Ed, now guitarless, stands perched in front of the mic, perfectly still aside from his right leg keeping time. Jeff has kept his hat off, and now sits on a stool playing his Carruthers upright fretless electric bass. Mike is playing his worn Fender Strat again, contuining to pay homage to his friends’s bands (ala 1992 with the Lazy Susan t-shirt) by writing “Cheap Ones” on his guitar strap and putting a Cheap Ones sticker on the body of his guitar.

Entering the jam part of “Daughter”, Ed opens his jacket to reveal a “K” – for Kurt Cobain – over his heart during the first singing of “The shades go down”. He then cups his hands over the mic to give the vocal effect on subsequent “Shades go down” lines. Ed continues the trend of “Daughter” to be a catalyst for improvisation, and Ed begins the jam with a few lines of scat. Looking off to the left (at a notebook?), he then sings the lines :

“Where I come from nothing’s given,
Yeah yeah yeah, I resent nepotism
Now I paint with turpentine
I, I give such good paradigm

Continuing, Ed tags Neil Young’s “Hey Hey, My My”, singing:

Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There’s more to the picture
than meets the eye
Hey hey, my my

By now, Mike has strolled over face-to-face with Stone, and Ed fades quietly to the background, hand-to-jaw as the song ends.

Stone’s intro


Ed and Dave

Mike, Jeff, Ed

Mike with eyes closed

“Don’t call me …”

“The shades go down”

“Hey hey, my my”

Full stage shot


As the show returns from the last commercial break, it appears that Ed is laughing with the crew but then realizing the camera is back, his tone quickly turns glum and serious, as Emilio Esteves says the usual host “thank you”s. As the camera fades, Ed opens his jacket to again reveal the “K”, places his hand over it, and slowly closes up his jacket and lowers his head. A heavy end to three equally heavy performances.

“K” on chest

Closing his jacket

Other SNL Appearances
April 11, 1992

[ Read More ]
April 16, 1994

[ You Are Here ]
April 15, 2006

[ Read More ]

Special thanks to Fred Evans for the soundcheck screenshots!


John Reynolds ( Twitter: @jjjrrr )
A New Jersey based programmer, John handles TFT’s programming and technical aspects. He also conceives and writes his share of TFT’s articles and sections. John’s first Pearl Jam show was at Lollapalooza on August 12, 1992.
Brian Hyland
Kathy Davis ( Twitter: @CrookedArm23 )
A Bay-Area based entrepreneur, co-editor Kathy conceives and writes her share of TFT’s articles and sections. She was co-editor/co-founder of one of the first Pearl Jam fanzines "Footsteps" (1992-1997). Kathy’s first Pearl Jam show was at the Bridge School Benefit on November 1, 1992.
Jessica Letkemann ( Twitter: @Letkemann )
TFT co-editor Jessica Letkemann is a New York based digital music journalist & editor. She's currently VP & Editor-In-Chief of Digital at Fuse Media ( and was previously managing editor of She has also been on staff at Spin and Premiere magazines. Her first Pearl Jam show was at Lollapalooza on August 2, 1992.

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