Pearl Jam doesn’t want any confusion over who is the real Pearl Jam.
In an official statement to Louder, cover band Pearl Jamm announced that they have changed their name after receiving an “aggressive” cease-and-desist order from the original band.
“We are proud to announce our new name: ‘LEGAL JAM’ which we thought would be fitting and under which we will continue to perform the music of Pearl Jam in the most heartfelt and authentic way,” they said.
The cease-and-desist from Pearl Jam alleged that their cover band’s name was “damaging the Pearl Jam brand.”
Legal Jam bassist Richard Gaya told Louder of their disappointment in Pearl Jam’s approach, “They’ve always been the band who stick up for the little guy, and now they’re taking on the little guy.”
In particular, the contrast between Pearl Jam’s political stances and their legal action in this case felt particularly out of step for the cover band.
“Pearl Jam battled against Ticketmaster, they battled against Trump, if you look at the lyrics of their songs, they’re anti-suicide, they’ve spoken about domestic violence, they’ve spoken about police brutality, all these social issues and now suddenly it’s all – oh by the way, here’s a legal letter,” Gaya said.
“It’s so out of keeping with Pearl Jam, and I think that’s where the outrage comes from,” he added.
Meanwhile, the cease-and-desist left the band confused, as they have been around for many years with Pearl Jam’s knowledge.
“Pearl Jam has known about us for years,” Gaya said. “They’ve been in touch with us specifically about the 2018 Borderline gig and never before voiced any concerns, but they wait for a global pandemic to get in touch with us, and they do so through aggressive solicitor letters, rather than reaching out to us personally.”
He continued, “They have recently changed their manager, we don’t know if that’s relevant, but we have been told on several occasions – we have it in writing – that the band members are aware and have approved this action.”
Despite the recent trouble, Gaya added that the newly christened Legal Jam will continued honouring their favourite band for the fans.