For the very first time in almost 30 years, PEARL JAM has released the uncensored version of the controversial “Jeremy” video. The clip tells the story of a student Jeremy Wade Delle, who died by suicide in front of his classmates.
The band explained the decision to share the previously unseen version of the clip: “The increase in gun violence since the debut of Jeremy is staggering. We have released the uncensored version of the video which was unavailable in 1992 with TVcensorship laws.”
A description in the official video adds: “Originally released in 1992, the Jeremy video brought attention to gun violence, teen suicide, and violence in schools. The original uncensored video, previously unreleased, is being shown here for essentially the first time. The themes of Jeremy highlighted by Pearl Jam in 1991, have sadly only become more relevant in the intervening 30 years as gun deaths continue to increase.”
Of course, the release of Jeremy back in the early ’90s not only brought the grunge legends more mainstream attention, but it also brought with it plenty of controversy. “Probably the greatest frustration I’ve ever had is that the ending [of the Jeremy video] is sometimes misinterpreted as that he shot his classmates,” director Mark Pellington explained to Spin a decade later. “The idea is, that’s his blood on them, and they’re frozen at the moment of looking.”
“As you can imagine, the band didn’t want to change it,” added MTV/VH1producer Rick Krim. “They felt this was their statement. I got on the phone with Eddie [Vedder] on a couple of occasions to argue our position, like, God forbid some kid thinks that’s cool and sticks a gun in his mouth. But it wasn’t a pleasant experience, for me or for them. In my office, I have a poster from the first record, which actually has a picture of Kelly [Curtis]’s daughter when she’s three years old, she’s playing with a gun in crayons. They all signed it, and Eddie’s note points to the gun and says: ‘The gun you wouldn’t let us show. And thanks to you, I think you showed too much.’ Meaning, the combination of having to compromise their artistic vision and then it got so popular. That was the end of videos for Pearl Jam.”
Watch Pearl Jam’s uncensored video for Jeremy below: