What Should Eddie Vedder Perform for Last Letterman Gig?


It’s been confirmed that Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder will serve as the final music guest on
The Late Show with David Letterman this coming Monday (May 18.) Pearl Jam won’t be on the scene, instead Vedder will be performing with Paul Schaffer and the CBS Orchestra.

What we don’t know yet is which song Vedder will perform. The popular bet is that Vedder will do “Black,” as a way of paying homage to a surprise appearance he made in 1996 to sing a chunk of the song that had fascinated Letterman. But, what fun is going just with the popular bet?

Here are a few other ideas:

“Just Breathe”

An ultimately reflective song about loving those around you and making sure they know just how appreciated they are – it seems fitting.

“Yellow Ledbetter”

As a song that Pearl Jam has used a ton in its career to close out marathon shows, it would seem very sensible to have this be the song that carries Letterman into the sunset after decades on late night television.

“I Am Mine”

Regardless of how you feel about David Letterman, he has to be respected for his ability to chart his own course in a way that made sense to him. A song about independence and living your own way between life and death would make for a perfect exit tune.

“Long Road”

When a big piece of one’s life ends or changes dramatically, the road back to something new and significant often feels long. While sombre sounding in many ways, “Long Road” is a true ‘don’t worry about me song.’ It seems relevant for a character like Letterman, doesn’t it?


Okay, this may come off as a cop out of a guess, but why not give Letterman one final sonic blast before the lights go off? “Alive” is still a beast in the live setting and would be a stunningly powerful way for Vedder to say farewell to Letterman. That, and who wouldn’t want to see Paul Shaffer blow a gasket on this one?

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