4 Facts About Pearl Jam's "Jeremy"

August 4, 2016

Pearl Jam's song "Jeremy" is one of the biggest, and most recognizable hits to emerge out of the '90s grunge era. With the help of Eddie Vedder's signature voice, the song's dramatic undertone, and the tragic true story behind it, "Jeremy" became a song that continues to echo since it's debut off of their 1991 album Ten.

Below are 4 facts that you may, or may not know about the iconic Pearl Jam hit.

  1. It was based on a true story

    The song was based off of the story of Jeremy Delle, a high school student from Richardson, TX, who brought a gun into his school and shot himself in front of his class after being bullied for an extended period of time. According to The Dallas Morning News, "Because he had missed class, the teacher in his second-period English class told Jeremy to get an admittance slip from the school office. instead, he returned with the gun, police said. He walked directly to the front of the classroom. 'Miss, I got what I really went for,' he said, then placed the barrel in his mouth and fired."
  2. The video sparked a lot of controversy

    As expected from the video's implied content, the video edited out any visuals of the gun used by 'Jeremy' due restrictions set by MTV. Due to these edits, many viewers believed that the blood splattered on the students at the end of the video implied that Jeremy shot his classmates instead of himself. Director Mark Pellington said, "Probably the greatest frustration I've ever had is that the ending is sometimes misinterpreted as that he shot his classmates. The idea is, that's his blood on them, and they're frozen at the moment of looking." 
  3. The video was an Award-Winner

    The video won four MTV Music Video Awards in 1993, including: Best Video of The Year, Best Group Video, Best Metal/Hard Rock Video, and Best Directing. It was also ranked #19 as MTV's "100 Greatest Videos Ever Made," #48 in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Pop Songs Since the Beatles," and #11 in Vh1's "100 Greatest Songs of the '90s."
  4. The Video had a very talented director

    Mark Pellington is also known for directing Alice In Chains' "Rooster," as well as feature films like Arlington RoadThe Mothman Prophecies, and Henry Poole Is Here.