Eddie Vedder Raises $1.7 Million For Obama

Singer also criticizes Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comments.

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NME is reporting that Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder helped to raise $1.7 million at a fundraiser for US President Barack Obama's re-election campaign by performing a set at the home of singer-songwriter Don Miggs in Tampa, Florida. Vedder performed two Pearl Jam songs, "Rise" and "Without You", along with covers of James Taylor's "Millworker" and Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World". Tickets to the event cost $20,000.

As well as performing at the event, Vedder also told the following story in response to Mitt Romney's recent "47 percent" claims:

"I'm an example of someone who never made it to university. I did have this dream to be a musician. I felt that this dream had an expiration date."

The singer then explained that he had signed up for a government program, which led to getting a job as a security guard that allowed him to fund his musical ambitions:

"It was that job which allowed me to keep affording to guitars and microphones. For me, it all began with that ability to get the proper training for a decent job."

Eddie Vedder's support for Barack Obama is hardly a new phenomenon. The past ten years have seen musicians becoming involved in political campaigns in a way that they never had done before. In the lead up to November elections, it has become increasingly common for a number of famous musicians to pin their colors to the mast and publicly endorse a particular political candidate, often becoming involved in promoting their presidential campaign.

But how do you, the Ultimate-Guitar readers, feel about that? Do you think that musicians should get involved in party politics? Do you think that their job is to comment on the political system from an external position? Or do you not want your music to have anything to do with politics at all?

Let us know in the comments.

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    eatfresh1736
    I think people basing their political opinions on what celebrities have to say is what's wrong with American politics. Celebrities are not any smarter than the average citizen (I'm not saying that they're stupid either). I'm sick of "Oh but Ted Nugent likes Romney and he's nuts!" or "Dave Grohl likes Obama, and he's really cool!" I support [POLITICAL OPINION REMOVED] because of my own decisions, and I don't give a crap about which celebrity likes whom. /rant
    yaronbeery
    that's not the case. the case is that being exposed to political views will make you think about politics of your country, and maybe more involved. if those issues will relate to your point of view maybe it'll make you want to know more and do more. one of the biggest problems of society is the uninformed voter. so maybe if your interest in music expose you also to political views you'll get more interested and informed.
    K.i.S.A.
    Dave Mustaine and Ted Nugent vs. Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell and Dave Grohl. The choice is yours..
    WhoAMEye
    Maybe I am biased but I haven't seen a single celebrity in this election come out for Mitt that didn't sound like a rambling lunatic and at the same time all the Obama supports seem rational and sensible. Is it me???
    jpcl
    Damn you Americans have a small brain. No wonder you tend to forget things so fast. At least Pearl Jam frontman found that the best person to raise money for would be a president/politician, lol. Just shows how "rational and sensible" the World has become.
    BigMikeBDD
    Is it me or is UG just a Liberal, Left-Winged biased site at this point? Every pro-Obama, anti-Romney article gets published here. Maybe it's UG that needs to stay out of politics instead of promoting every musicians lunatic political point of view?
    on3andth3sam3
    They're just posting articles on what artists are saying. It's not their fault most 90's acts are liberal, and 80's acts are conservative.
    samhell
    I'd agree that it seems that way but I think on3andth3sam is correct, they are just reporting on what idiots say. Now, when it comes to the commenters, I think most of them are European which means they are pretty liberal in general.
    Sammy Mantis
    Does anyone else find it even slightly ironic that he's bashing the big bad rich guy Romney as he performs at a $20,000 a ticket fundraiser event?
    HaveASuperstrat
    on another note, "Rise" is not a Pearl Jam song - but part of the soundtrack for Into the Wild. If you dont know it you should check it out, some of the best music Eddie has recorded.
    explosionate
    Most celebrity musicians probably don't have a technical grasp of economics. Tax reform must come before more social reforms.
    on3andth3sam3
    I said this once before. What's the point in living in a economically stable country that oppresses minorities?
    eVwaylon
    i consider myself a conservative. but i usually never agree fully with the republican candidate but still support that side. but on the other hand im a HUGE rock and metal fan. therefore most of my favorite artists are liberal so that always bums me out hardcore. this is just another punch in the kidney. like i know these guys have these views but its easy to ignore until they start BEING GOOD PEOPLE AND SUPPORTING THEIR BELIEFS. DAMNIT. (sarcasm if you couldn't tell)
    yaronbeery
    that's not the case. the case is that being exposed to political views will make you think about politics of your country, and maybe more involved. if those issues will relate to your point of view maybe it'll make you want to know more and do more. one of the biggest problems of society is the uninformed voter. so maybe if your interest in music expose you also to political views you'll get more interested and informed.
    scrymusic
    Jesus Christ! These celebs and musicians get all the money for a presidential election... that is a waste! Cant they use that money on those who need it!