Chris Cornell’s performance of “Footsteps” with the Avett Brothers kicks off Late Night’s Pearl Jam week tonight. “Footsteps” was released by Pearl Jam as the B-side to the “Jeremy” single in 1992, just as the band was exploding in popularity. What few people realized at the time was that the same music, but with different lyrics, had previously been released as a song called “Times of Trouble” on an album from the band Temple of the Dog in 1991. Temple of the Dog was a one-off studio collaboration between Cornell and the non-singing members of the band that would become Pearl Jam, who had all been friends for many years having grown up in Seattle. Temple of the Dog was inspired by the death of their mutual friend Andrew Wood, the lead singer of the Seattle band Mother Love Bone, which featured Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard in the years before Pearl Jam.
It was during the Temple of the Dog sessions that Ament and Gossard first recorded with Eddie Vedder, who had come to Seattle to audition for the band that Pearl Jam would become. Cornell and Vedder also became lifelong friends after that meeting. As such, “Footsteps” is like an alternate history version of “Times of Trouble” from “Temple of the Dog,” which in some ways birthed Pearl Jam as a band.
Check out Late Night tonight and catch Chris and the Avett Brothers performing “Footsteps”.