Eddie Vedder revealed that his upcoming solo album, Earthling, will feature audio of his late-father, Edward Louis Severson, Jr. Vedder’s parents were divorced when he was a toddler. Vedder, who was raised believing his step-father was his actual dad, only met his biological father briefly when introduced as a family friend. Severson died of multiple sclerosis while Vedder was still young.
Eddie Vedder spoke to Mojo and explained how his father would up appearing on Earthling, which will be released on February 11th: “I didn’t really get to know my real father. I met him maybe three or four times as a kid, but he was, y’know, a friend of the family. It would have been nice to have been in a room with him at some point before he died when I was 13. It would have been nice to share that I knew that he was my pop, but it didn’t happen.”
He went on to explain, “But the crazy thing that did happen was that about 10 years ago, the Chicago Cubs, some of their old timers get together and play baseball for about a week, and I would go down there every other year and hang with these guys, learn about the game more so I can teach my kids more, y’know, I coach baseball. One of the ex-players, this erudite badass trumpeter, who used to play third base, his name is Carmen Fanzone. He also became head of the Musicians Union in Los Angeles — an incredibly cool individual. I saw Carmen playing the horn in a little club in Arizona, and this guy playing keyboards with him had been best friends with my dad.”
Vedder, who eventually assembled a collage of his father’s voice, added: “Two years later, he brought me some photos of them in little basement studios. Then a couple years after that, he brought me five songs of my dad singing, on a disc. I carried that disc around for two, three months in my suitcase, not ready to hear it. Finally, I got the guts, and after a couple bottles of wine played it one night in Argentina. And he was good. It was incredible — like he left a message for me.”
Vedder remains proud of the album — not to mention its special guests: “I thought of the record like a setlist — by the end, that’s when you start bringing out special guests. We had Stevie (Wonder) and Elton (John), Ringo (Starr) was an incredible addition. . . and then my pop gets to be on a record with those guys, which is not too shabby.”