The last signature on the Vinyl Album Cover: “Not My Band — Matt Cameron”
A True Story from Lewisville, Texas circa 2007
Meeting by Chance
On a sweltering March morning, I was unloading guitars from my VW GTI, trying to be sly as Klark watched from his patio balcony, a floor above, across the hall, a cigarette in hand. Mid-30s, he had the style of Johnny Depp and a swagger like a young Michael Douglas.
“You play?” he asked while I was sweating trying to move them in before anybody really noticed, because robbery. I looked up with a deadpan bitch-face of “What the fuck does it look like?” and kept hustling. He got the point.
A few days later, he came down to make nice, and I enjoyed my relationship with Klark. He liked his comics, he had an awesome wife, he played guitar too, and had a nice sentimental streak.
Cigarettes & Beer & Story Telling on the Patio
Over time we became neighbors the Texan way. Good Whisky, music CDs to rip, arguing whether The Punisher or Deadpool is a cooler anti-hero based on our personal interests…
So Klark told me a story that, in hindsight, completely makes sense. Back around the collapse of Soundgarden — which I know about because I have that “Live on I-5” re-release and everything just sounded out of gas — the one and only Pearl Jam needed a drummer. Who you gonna call?
As a guitarist, and talking with Klark as well, we rightfully place Matt Cameron among the monsters like Mitch Mitchell, Ginger Baker, Danny Carey, John Bonham, and Dave Grohl. Matt Cameron is total aces.
Back to the story — Klark told me about how fortunate he was to get a chance to go back stage following a Pearl Jam show in North Texas based on his connections. Holding a bitchin’ vinyl and looking the part I’m sure certainly helped, but he made it. Pearl Jam, post-show, signed his vinyl. Even a reluctant Matt Cameron.
Being the consummate professional, Mr. Cameron signed Klark’s album cover along side the others with his own caveat:
“Matt Cameron — Not My Band”
Honestly, I never saw this fabled album cover that I can remember, but, there was a lot of alcohol and cigarettes and whatnot involved. He did show me comics from his collection that would certainly get Sebastian Bach chatty, so I never really questioned. Why make that up?
It sounds like the kind of jokes musicians say to each other. Then, XX years later, Matt Cameron plays both a Pearl Jam and Soundgarden show in the same night. I will miss Chris Cornell in many ways akin to how I miss Scott Weiland and Dimebag Darrell. Gone, but never forgotten.