Tribute Band Changes Name After Threats From Pearl Jam

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This article has been updated since it was first published.

A Pearl Jam tribute band in the UK said this week it will change its name from Pearl Jamm to Legal Jam after receiving threats from lawyers representing Eddie Vedder and his bandmates.

“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 group said in a statement.

Days earlier, Pearl Jamm complained about being targeted by Pearl Jam.

“You have known of our tribute band for years yet have waited until a global pandemic to have threatening legal letters sent,” reads an open letter Pearl Jamm shared on Facebook. “This isn’t the Pearl Jam we know and love, the Pearl Jam that stands up for social issues and against corporate giants. Yet your lawyers tell us it is indeed you, the band, that are behind this.”

Pearl Jamm told BBC News that lawyers for Pearl Jam demanded they change the name of their band, surrender email addresses and domain names, and destroy merchandise. They claim Pearl Jam alleges the tribute act, formed in 2016, is damaging its brand.

“No one has ever confused us or our merchandise with you or your merchandise, and so to say that is ‘likely’ is clearly nonsense,” reads the letter. "We have not caused you or your brand any damage whatsoever, in fact we have done quite the opposite.”

The members of Pearl Jamm said they are considering pulling the plug on their band due to the “aggressive wording” of the legal letters.

“Your actions are out of character and unreasonable yet our love for the music endures,” they wrote. “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.”

Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron has said he played in a KISS tribute band as a teenager – until KISS reportedly shut it down with a cease-and-desist letter. Before being signed to a record deal, Pearl Jam was called Mookie Blaylock, the name of a real-life basketball player.

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