Anti-War Eddie Vedder Plays John Lennon’s Imagine Live

Eddie Vedder Anti War ImaginePhoto Courtesy of

On Friday night July 18th, 2014, at a solo show in Meco, Portugal, Eddie Vedder covered John Lennon’s song “Imagine” for the first time ever. This has been the Pearl Jam frontman’s most recent endeavor in speaking out against war, and he performed the famous pro-peace song accompanied by acoustic guitar alone.  According to Consequence of Sound, Vedder introduced the song by saying, “You know if you are anti war. If you’re anti war it doesn’t mean you are pro one side or the other in a conflict. However it does make you pro many things. We are not alone after all….” He continued on, explaining, “Anti war make you pro many things. Pro peace, pro human, pro evolution…. Makes you pro communication, pro diplomacy, pro love, pro understanding, pro forgiveness.”

He also legitimized that being anti-war does not necessarily make you anti-soldier in the least. He clarified by saying, “You know some people don’t understand how you can be pro soldier. If you are anti war you’re pro soldier because you don’t want the soldier to be put in harms way. To sacrifice himself or herself for some reason that’s not…for no good reason. I have many, many…We have many, many friends of the group and throughout our lives we’ve met incredible people in the armed forces. We have an understanding and they listen our music and they get it, so I’m not sure…You know sometimes if you speak out people are going to misunderstand and they take things a certain way or another. If you don’t speak out you don’t know… If someone doesn’t like it, it probably means it has some kind of meaning. It’s not just bullshit. It’s not just nothing.”

Vedder later revealed why he has never attempted to perform Lennon’s “Imagine” publicly. “So this next song I always thought it was probably the most powerful song ever written. I think it is the most powerful song ever written. Which is why I have never played it. It seems like maybe there is a reason to play it. If you’d like join me or use your voices or hold a light there might be some people out there that need to know they are not alone.”

Though many have accused Vedder of referring to the conflicts in Israel in his recent anti-war orations, Vedder maintains that he is speaking of his feelings about war in general. He recently quoted the song “Imagine” in an open letter to fans on Pearl Jam’s website, in response to allegations from Israeli media sources that his anti-war comments were anti-Israel. “The majority of humans on this planet are more consumed by the pursuit of love, health, family, food and shelter than any kind of war,” he wrote. “War hurts. It hurts no matter which sides the bombs are falling on.”