We've spent A LOT of time going through every single page on the site over the past two months in preparation for this relaunch/redesign. We actually planned on doing this once before, but 1999 ended up being a busy year. (Thanks, Ed.) When we realized our fifth birthday was rapidly approaching, we made the decision to bite the bullet and redesign the site.
Going through every page on the site has been somewhat of a revelation -- keep in mind that we never do this. (Well, not never, but we know the site so well, we know where to go to look for pieces of information.) We don't "browse" 5h. We don't know what it's like to come here for the first time, or to stumble onto a piece of information you've never known before. It's been a fun trip down memory lane. (More on this below.) When we were doing our crash course on updating the site this weekend, we reflected on the fact that, when we first designed 5h, neither of us had graphical web access at home, and were running on significantly antiquated computers. We can't forget those days, which is why we still run 5h on the lo-fi design principle.
Most of the changes are not that significant and won't be noticed. However, the site was originally set up with very different intentions in mind. For example, we fully intended to have lyrics, since one of the original contributors (Andy Dunn) was the biggest contributor to the existing PJ lyric book. When Andy left the project, we got rid of the lyrics. (Our favorite email FAQ that we never got to use: "Unless your last name is Ament, Gossard, McCready or Vedder, don't write and argue about whether it's sun or star in "Black". [That still goes. Don't write!])
We also removed the discography (although we do plan to revisit this in SOME format in the next year... not replacing the existing discog resources, just to give our own perspective on things.)
Going through the site, page by page (another reason for the revisions - we won't have to do that again!), an awful lot of memories were churned up. The one thing we noticed is that many folks who contributed to the site in the early days are still contributing. We thank you for your continued patronage. There are also just as many new names. We thank you just as much.
We've been talking alot between ourselves while coding madly (Jean: "I know code!") and thought we'd share our personal highlights of five years of Pearl Jam madness behind the scenes at Five Horizons with you:
- First time we called in a setlist : Randalls Island I.
Caryn: "This was a total fluke. I wasn't even supposed to be at those shows. There was one pay phone on all of Randall's Island, so I used up the minutes on the cell phone to call while I waited in traffic for two hours, getting off the Island."
- First time we broke a major news story: Catalyst 97
Talk about random. A friend on the Rolling Stones list mentions this as a "by the way" kind of thing, assuming we knew all about it. ack! We debated - do we put this up? Do we not? We did. And all hell broke loose.
- Best hoax: Mookie Blaylock at Pier 70
Hey, you can't win if you don't play.
- First 'simulcast': Berlin 96
Where we coined the term "fuck count" when referring to Ed's onstage banter.
Runner up: Monkeywrench 98, where even in LA, the radio will drop the broadcast if you let Krist Novoselic rant for too long. Also, MTV stealing our banner for the MTV news special.
- Our first pop up show: ARO.space 98
More than made up for the debacle that was the Showbox 96. Jean still has to get hers. I'd like to thank Barry Ament for not getting me busted taking photos at that show when I was standing RIGHT next to him, and to Jen Kern for thinking to call me and tell me about it.
- First live-via-phone-reporting: Croc 98
Caryn: "The stage was too small and I was too close to take notes - it would have been totally inappropriate. So I dialed Jean on the cell phone, slid it underneath one of the monitors, and just played the 45 minute show to her."
- News story we forgot about: Brad was supposed to play Bridge 97
That would have been nice.
- Biggest confusion ever: Original Binaural tracklisting
Now that the guys have all copped to these song titles in subsequent interviews, you know we didn't make this up!
- Most difficult show to review: Bellingham 2000.
Caryn: "Not having heard the record yet, rain and migraine driving home. Plus I had security guards seeing my light up pen from the balcony and thinking it was a video camera, and coming down every 10 minutes to try to bust me... for writing." [Thank you Kasey for that ticket!]
- Favorite "oh my god how did you get that": Ed singing the "Star Spangled Banner".
No, we're still not telling you where this came from.
Runner up: "Devil Doll" [See above.]
- "Goddammit, I should have gotten on a plane" moment:
- Most obscure Concert Chronology revelation
That the "This Boy" song Ed tagged on "Daughter" at Red Rocks '95 was a cover of a song by a band called That Dog and that the song was actually a song ridiculing Ed and that he asked for a copy of the record upon meeting the band. What a moment that must have been!
things we still have to do:
- See Pearl Jam in Chicago
- Hear "Wash" live
- Hear "Naked Eye" live
- Get Jean to a surprise show [and hear "Present Tense" live]
favorite pearl jam moments in the last five years:
- "Grievance" instead of NAIS on Letterman 2000
- All-orange Stone, Letterman 96
- "All right, you fuckers, we're gonna play it!": "Breath" at MSGII 98 [Caryn]
- Listening to PJ play Breath live over my speaker phone at MSG II, via Caryn's cell phone while I was bouncing around the house with joy! [Jean]
- Ed standing on my hands during "Porch", Meadowlands 98 [Caryn]
- "Baba" & "TKAA" at Shoreline 2000
- Maui 98: Thank you, Pearl Jam, for a wonderful excuse to get to Hawaii
- JJJ broadcast, 3/5/98
- Pinnacle of shows, Bridge 99 - such a great lineup that built and built and built; then getting to repeat it a 2nd night; hearing 2 new songs! [Jean]
- PJ fever/waffling: should I go, shouldn't I go, no I shouldn't, yes I am. It never ends (thank god!)
- Ed sticking a pick in Tony's hands after "Light Years" in St. Louis 2000 [Jean]
- Seattle I & II. Front row fan club seats night one, thank you Matt Cameron for your drumsticks. Night two, thank you Pookie for those 9th row seats, and for everyone who sat in them with me. [Caryn]
thank you thank you thank you
We appreciate EVERY SINGLE PERSON who sends in a contribution to the site, whether we use it or not. We continue to be humbled, amazed and astounded by the things that are entrusted to us to present here.
We appreciate every single person who sends in a note of support or thanks. We try to write each of you back, but sometimes we forget. Don't think that these are taken for granted, ever, because they're not. They always seem to arrive at the lowest times and are always treasured.
We would, however, like to thank certain people specifically, not so much for tangible PJ things they've given us, but for their support, friendship and cameraderie. These are the people we turn to as our unofficial board of advisors. These are our friends. These are the people that make doing this fun, and help keep us going when it's not fun.
joint thanks goes to:
karen bilotti for reporting on 95% of the 2000 tour, and the rest of the people who manage to take notes and sprint for the nearest pay phone, SMS enabled cell phone, or internet terminal the second a show has ended. the behind the scenes digijam folks who should remain anonymous (but who do things like show up at the second day of bridge with the first day already encoded and burned to cd). seth perlman for being the godfather of fan web sites, and for our new logo. the members of the pj rebel alliance for believing in our integrity and continuing to support us. the members of mfc for their contentious input. the pj fanzine editors (current AND former) alliance for giving up the love. anyone who takes the time to introduce themselves at a show, and doesn't accost us (or interrupt conversations) with "are you caryn or jean from 5h???"
jean would like to thank:
Tony who makes a lot of sacrifices, but also gets to play along and doesn't protest too much, drives to shows and protects my back when things get rough. My family for being great! The cats for their calming effect. Every single person who contributes (see above). The FBI - heh. Every person who has sent a nice message or included a sweet note with a swap. Sometimes a little scrap of paper or an email can provide so much encouragement.
caryn would like to thank:
the seattle area chapter of stoney girls international for their love, support and friendship. the seattle diehards for fun and companionship in hours and hours and HOURS of line waiting and secret club show panic alerts. my friend in pacific beach for kicking me in the ass when i need it. west seattle babe for rock show memories to last a lifetime. the la contingent for being real. the nyc contingent for the same. my friend in philadelphia for keeping me sane. the rest of the 10,000 fools for continuing to fight irrelevance. naiah's parents for their continued support. skoopjr for her tenacity. angelramblings for advice and counsel. special agent dale cooper for his enthusiasm and faith. i love all of you and i hope i say it enough.
The past five years have been a rollercoaster of emotions. This wasn't supposed to be like this; this was going to be our little Pearl Jam page that we'd update when we felt like it. Instead, we managed to create this monster that has a life of its own. It's been fun, agonizing, hard, heartbreaking, wonderful and difficult, usually all at the same time. More than once we've thought about going back to what we originally had in mind. But then someone sends us this dynamite contribution or secret piece of news or Pearl Jam plays the best show ever (well, that night anyway) and we just keep going. You're stuck with us. =)
With love and respect,
Jean & Caryn
September 10, 2001
Copyright © 2004 Five Horizons