Chicago, IL (August 10, 2007) — Pearl Jam posted an open letter to fans on the band’s web site after discovering that their live performance during AT&T’s “Blue Room” webcast from Lollapalooza was censored. According to the statement, AT&T informed Lollapalooza producers that their content monitor erred in making the cuts.
The problem apparently occurred during the band’s 1993 hit, “Daughter.” The band, who are perhaps as well known for airing their political opinions as they are for playing cover versions live, segued into Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” during which front man Eddie Vedder sang: “George Bush, leave this world alone,” and “George Bush, find yourself another home.” Those lines were cut from the webcast before transmission.
The band’s online statement reads in part: “This, of course, troubles us as artists but also as citizens concerned with the issue of censorship and the increasingly consolidated control of the media. AT&T’s actions strike at the heart of the public’s concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media. Aspects of censorship, consolidation, and preferential treatment of the internet are now being debated under the umbrella of ‘Net Neutrality.'”
The unexpurgated version of “Daughter” will be posted on the Pearl Jam website, according to the statement, which concludes, “If a company that is controlling a webcast is cutting out bits of our performance — not based on laws, but on their own preferences and interpretations — fans have little choice but to watch the censored version. What happened to us this weekend was a wake up call, and it’s about something much bigger than the censorship of a rock band.”