The title of this blog is a line from the Pearl Jam song “Jeremy” it is one of my favourite Rock tracks and by far the best track of the album “Ten”. Although I have listened to the song hundreds of times I never really paid to much attention to the history of the song.
I assumed it was a made up tale of a made up boy in a made up school, but I was wrong. The Jeremy in the song was a real boy, who tragically committed suicide on January 8, 1991.
Jeremy Delle attended Richardson High School in Richardson, Texas
He was 15 at the time. On the fateful day he was late for his second period English class.Because of this tardiness the teacher urged Jeremy to go down to the office and get an attendance slip. However Jeremy did not go to the office, he went to his locker. Took out a with a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver and returned to the classroom . He turned to his teacher and said “Miss, I got what I really went for,” and then shot himself in front of his classmates.
Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder read about the suicide in a newspaper article and decided to write a song about it, in a way as an ode to the troubled teenager.
Even though the song was well intended it does not portray an accurate picture of the situation.
One line of the song talks about a father who didn’t pay attention and a mother who didn’t care. This is however not true. Jeremy was living with his father, his parents were divorced and he had been in counseling at the school which he was also new to. In the video of the song it is also suggested that he was struggling with his sexuality but according a friend that was not the case at all, in fact most of the video is totally inaccurate. Why Pearl Jam decided on this direction of the video, I don’t know.
He was a quiet boy but there wasn’t any real evidence of bullying. The fact is the teenage years in anyone’s life are complex years, Stuck between childhood and adulthood, hormones flying of the charts. If you add an uncertain future to that and new surroundings it can easily lead to bigger problems. It is not a coincidence that a a great percentage of suicides are committed by teenage boys.
His mother said in a recent interview she said ‘That day that he died did not define his life. He was a son, a brother, a nephew, a cousin, a friend. He was talented,’ she said.
My heart goes out to her and the family. Each time I will hear the song now, I will say a quick prayer for a poor troubled boy and his family.
Ending the blog with Pearl Jam’s video.
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