Of the eight songs performed by Mookie Blaylock during their first show at Seattle’s Off Ramp Cafe in October of 1990, only one has been completely swept under the rug. Labeled “Girl” on early demo tapes but also referred to as “Just a Girl”, this song has enjoyed its secret life among the tape- and file-sharing Pearl Jam fan community.  Originally thought to have only been played once, “Girl” is now reported to have been part of a four-song set on January 11, 1991 in Vancouver, a show that also featured two other Ten also-rans, “Breath” and “Alone”.  “Girl” saw no soundtrack, b-side, or Lost Dogs face time, perhaps relegated forever to a flawed, but not terribly bad quality recording passed among friends.

Part of handful of early Pearl Jam songs about troubled youth (“Daughter”, “Why Go”), “Girl” is surprisingly well-put together to have never been heard after 17 years. The encore performance at the Off Ramp is passionate, though Vedder appears to lose his place in a few spots.  Unlike “Brother”, whose story was finally told with the release of Lost Dogs, little is known about the decision to abandon “Girl”.  It’s probably a similar story, with one or more of the band members simply not interested in playing it again.  But Pearl Jam fans have a much harder time letting go.  The abundance of material written and recorded in preparation for Ten could have resulted in countless different tracklists.  It’s fun to speculate where “Girl” might have fit in, if at all, though ultimately it’s clear that Pearl Jam’s debut is exactly what it needed to be.


~ by Michael on May 19, 2007.

7 Responses to “Girl”

  1. When you look at the wealth of material from the Ten sessions, i honestly believe they could have made the greatest double album of all time from the stuff that came out of those sessions – Girl, Goat, Wash, Footsteps, Alone, Brother, Breath, Dirty Frank (well, almost a ten sessions track), State Of Love And Trust (again, recoded just a little late) Hold On, I’ve Got A Feeling…

    I would love to see a double album re-release of Ten if they ever decide to remaster it!

  2. I’m not sure about Goat or Dirty Frank (or “I’ve Got a Feeling”, as it’s a cover). But different configurations of the whole album using some of the songs you’ve mentioned are interesting to think about. Maybe a 20th anniversary edition in 2011 will have all of that, plus the Ament-approved de-reverbization (which I’d wholeheartedly support).

  3. This song (studio version) was never meant to be heard. It was never even released as a B-Side, and didn’t make Lost Dogs. I guess the band really doesn’t like it. It’s not that bad actually. I prefer it to “Hold On” and the orginal “Brother”.

  4. I’ve loved the song every since I got a boot that had the song. I can’t imagine what it must have like to be present at the Off Ramp Cafe show in 1990. If you have a recording of the show, try listening to some of the comments in the audience. Besides an amusing drunk and loud woman, I heard a few other things like “check out the bubbly guitar player”. I’m sure that was a reference to Mike.

  5. Good song, but not sth special.

  6. “relegated forever to a flawed, but not terribly bad quality recording passed among friends.”

    Not true C13-of-the-past! There is a better recording that has just surfaced! Listen to it sometime!


    Your Future Self

  7. What is going on today that this post has 49 hits?

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