This is not directly related to the tour, but a story I'd like to share, and a story that comes to mind, being around so many passionate people on the European tour. I mostly hear, warm, great, loving and wild stories, about how this band has played a significant, positive and game-changing part of som many different peoples life, but also stories that relates to some of the toughest challenges we all face in life. Pearl Jam’s history, songs and words covers the full plate; life as well as death.
I had an amazing time in Chile and Argentina, when Pearl Jam played their first shows in 19 months in March 2018, and I heard this story about Freddy, who is no longer with us.
Since late 2015 I've been to Chile and Argentina four times, related to both Pearl Jam shows and public presentations of my first book, in Spanish translated to ”Tras la Huella de Pearl Jam”. I've had such great times, met so many passionate fans and friends, that it has become a second home. I've come across the most heart-warming but also heartbreaking stories and destiny. 27th of March 2018 after a presentation in Santiago, Chile a young woman Fe Ledesma came up and told me this. She bought Tras La Huella de Pearl Jam on the day of release at the annual book fair in Santiago, Chile november 5th 2015, the day after Pearl Jam played Estadio Nacional. She later lent the book to her friend and working college, the big Pearl Jam fan, Freddy.
On 24th of July 2017 Freddy was on his way home from work in the city of Conception, Chile, when he saw four, armed robbers pulling guns at his young, female college behind the counter. Freddy bravely came to her rescue, she survived, but sadly Freddy was shot dead. He was later hailed as a hero in local press. Freddy’s family decided to bury their son with the backpack he was wearing at the time of the assassination, and inside was Fe's copy of ”Tras la Huella de Pearl Jam”. As Fe later commented to me about her fine lost friend, 'Now there's a copy in the afterlife'.
Coincidentally a picture of translator Veronica Bravo, myself and Fe holding this particular copy in her hand ended up on page 305 in 'The More You Need – The Less You Get', printed before I'd ever really spoken to Fe, nor knew anything of this very sad but somehow also spiritual story.
Freddy's favorite song was Better Man. I'll have a toast for him - wherever he maybe be in the afterlife - next time I hear the song in concert. Hope you'll join me in spirit if this should happen in Berlin July 5th, or for yourself elsewhere on the tour.
Freddy Munoz Quevedo, R.I.P.