‘Pearl Jam Twenty’ Takes on Grunge Rock History

by | October 21, 2011 at 5:00 PM | Fall TV Preview 2011, TV News

'Pearl Jam Twenty' (Photo: PBS)

'Pearl Jam Twenty' (Photo: PBS)

The rockin’ documentary “Pearl Jam Twenty” isn’t your average rock doc, but it is like “group therapy” according to the man who delved into 20 years’ worth of footage to pull together this two-hour chronicle of the Seattle band.

The doc, which comes from director Cameron Crowe (who used to be a rock journalist, also lived in Seattle, and who chronicled his love of music in the film “Almost Famous“), takes an in-depth look at Pearl Jam as part of PBS’ “American Masters” series, premiering tonight at 9 p.m. on PBS.

The film includes archival recordings, footage of old club shows, and interviews with lead singer Eddie Vedder, bassist Jeff Ament, guitarists Stone Gossard and Mike McCready, and current drummer Matt Cameron.

The fact that the band has hit a landmark 20 years together is notable for many reasons.

The film is about them “surviving and staying true to a certain ethic. And nobody dies. Nobody ODs. Nobody goes too far off the path of a basic integrity that they paid attention to,” Crowe told reporters while promoting the film earlier this summer.

“They really broke a lot of the rules of what it is to be a rock band,” Crowe says. “And so hopefully we show that.”

Adds Crowe, “Their shows, which we tried to show in the film, kind of become this celebration of “We made it.”

“Pearl Jam Twenty” debuts on PBS’ “American Masters” on Friday, October 21, is released in select theaters, and is available On Demand on xfinityTV.