Jeff Ament, bassist and one of the founding members of Pearl Jam, was born on March 10, 1963 in the town of Havre, Montana. He quit college in his sophomore year and moved to Seattle, Washington with his band Deranged Diction. Ament befriended Mark Arm and Steve Turner and, along with guitarist Stone Gossard, was asked to join their new band Green River, credited as being the first grunge band. When Green River split up due to infighting, Ament and Gossard established Mother Love Bone, with magnetic Malfunkshun lead singer Andrew Wood. They quickly became one of Seattle’s more promising bands. In 1989 Mother Love Bone began recording their debut, Apple, and planned a 1990 release. Only days before the release, Wood succumbed to a heroin overdose. Ament and Gossard continued their search for a musical home and were approached by Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell to help him compose a tribute album to Wood. Also asked was Gossard’s longtime friend, guitarist Mike McCready. Eventually demo tapes were sent to a singer named Eddie Vedder in San Diego and he was invited to join Cornell on some of the vocals. After Temple Of The Dog released their lone album, Ament, Gossard and McCready formed Mookie Blaylock, recruiting Vedder and drummer Dave Krusen. When they signed with Epic they were forced to change their name and chose Pearl Jam.
Ament’s contribution to Pearl Jam has been nothing short of immense. His incredible skills on the bass have served as the backbone of the band for almost 25 years and his creative sense and songwriting skills have shaped many of their songs, including the music for “Jeremy” and “Nothingman.” Ament has cited The Who’s Entwistle, The Beatles, AC/DC and Black Flag as his influences and stated, “I have to be able to feel the bass. I’ve worked hard with our producers to make sure that when you play our records on your stereo, you can feel the bass. You might not necessarily be able to hear it all the time, but if you turn it up you can feel the movement in the low end—that it’s moving the song. And when it’s not there, it should be creating a dynamic.”
Happy Birthday Jeff Ament!