April 4, 2003
Vedder Vents Against BushCalling all Dixie Chicks haters! Here's a great new target for your wrath! Natalie Maines career was practically destroyed with an eruption of Ku Klux Klan-style CD burnings because she responded to virulent anti-American anger overseas by saying she was "ashamed" of Bush. Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam put the crime of Natalie in a new perspective at a Denver concert when he put a mask of George W. Bush on a mike stand, crashed it to the floor and stomped on it, according to the Rocky Mountain News.)
At one point during Vedder's anti-Bush tirade, someone in the crowd yelled "Shut up." According to Rocky Mountain News, Vedder answered, "Did someone just say, 'Shut up'? I don't know if you heard about this thing called freedom of speech, man. It's worth thinking about it, because it's going away. In the last year of being able to use it, we're sure as (expletive) going to use it and I'm not gonna apologize."
Vedder also said, "Just to clarify . . . we support the troops. Our problem is certainly not with anybody over there doing something that not too many of us would do right now, not for these reasons. So to the families and those people who know those folks and are related to those folks and are married to those folks, we send our support. We're just confused on how wanting to bring them back safely all of a sudden becomes nonsupport. We love them, we support them. They're not the ones who make the foreign policy . . . Let's hope for the best and speak our opinions."