U.K. PEARL JAM tribute band PEARL JAMM were forced to change name to LEGAL JAM after receiving a threatening letter from the Seattle group’s lawyers.
The cease-and-desist letter accused the tribute band of “damaging the PEARL JAM brand and causing confusion” among fans.
PEARL JAMM has now issued the following statement: “A name doesn’t define us. We do what we do out of love and respect for PEARL JAM.
“We have always been clear that we will ‘Yield’ to PEARL JAM‘s demands and equally clear that our disappointment was only ever of the timing and manner in which those demands were made.
“We are proud to announce our new name: ‘LEGAL JAM‘ which we thought would be fitting and under which we will continue to perform the music of PEARL JAM in the most heartfelt and authentic way,” statement continued. “We look forward to reconnecting with our own fans (and other tributes) who have been so supportive through this as well welcoming the new fans who have joined us over the last week, as soon as we are back on the road.”
LEGAL JAM bassist Richard Gaya told Louder Sound: “PEARL JAM has known about us for years. They’ve been in touch with us specifically about the 2018 Borderline gig and never before voiced any concerns, but they wait for a global pandemic to get in touch with us, and they do so through aggressive solicitor letters, rather than reaching out to us personally.
“They have recently changed their manager. We don’t know if that’s relevant, but we have been told on several occasions — we have it in writing — that the band members are aware and have approved this action.
“PEARL JAM battled against Ticketmaster, they battled against Trump, if you look at the lyrics of their songs, they’re anti-suicide, they’ve spoken about domestic violence, they’ve spoken about police brutality, all these social issues and now suddenly it’s all — oh by the way, here’s a legal letter. It’s so out of keeping with PEARL JAM, and I think that’s where the outrage comes from.”