Eddie Vedder Reveals Pete Townshend Helped Him Deal With Audience Tragedy

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Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder recalled how his hero, Pete Townshend, helped him during the aftermath of nine fans being killed during the band's June 30th, 2000 performance at Denmark's Roskilde Festival. Ultimate Classic Rock reported Vedder appeared on the latest episode of Lily Cornell's mental health series Mind Wide Open.

Vedder, a longtime friend of Lilly's father, the late-Chris Cornell, recalled that prior to the Rosklide performance — Pearl Jam was actually celebrating the news of Lily's birth: “We got the news that our great friends Chris and Susan had just had a child, and her name was Lily. We kinda cried some tears of joy, we all gave each other a hug. This was less than 15 minutes before we were gonna go on. And you were the first baby of all the bands, so that was a huge, huge, moment.”

He went on to discuss the weight of the world being on his shoulders following the death of nine fans that were crushed during the festival as the crowd surged the stage. He spoke about how Pete Townshend — who had dealt with a similar situation in 1979 when 11 fans were trampled prior to the Who's Cincinnati concert — helped him. Vedder remembered, “There I was in a fetal position, basically, and Pete said, 'You can handle this.' And I said, 'I can’t.' I was like, 'I don’t know, Pete, I don’t think I can. I’m losing it.’' And he said, 'No, you can handle this.' I was doing a bit of 'Woe is me, how did it happen to us?' And Pete said, 'Because you can handle it. That’s probably why it happened, because you can handle it.' He empowered me to get my s*** together: Don’t feel sorry, and don’t react. Respond.”