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Guitar World
Guitar World
Janelle Borg

“When I saw it, I just was blown away. It just… took me there”: Eddie Vedder invites his “great, great pal” Bradley Cooper to join Pearl Jam for Neil Young and A Star is Born covers

Actor Bradley Cooper (L) and singer, songwriter and guitarist Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam perform a duet live on stage during BottleRock at Napa Valley Expo on May 25, 2024 in Napa, California.

Hollywood star Bradley Cooper recently joined Pearl Jam on stage for a cover of Neil Young's Rockin' In the Free World, plus a bonus acoustic rendition of Maybe It's Time from A Star is Born.

The Bradley Cooper and Pearl Jam collaboration took place at Napa Valley’s BottleRock festival on May 25. Vedder introduced the Hollywood star as “my great, great pal Bradley Cooper,” after which Cooper joined him for Maybe It's Time. The two traded verses and came together to sing the chorus. Vedder also accompanied Cooper on guitar.

Cooper's guest appearance didn't end there. Towards the end of the set, he joined the band on backing vocals and tambourine for a raucous rendition of Neil Young's Rockin’ In The Free World.

Eddie Vedder previously covered Maybe It's Time in 2019 at Innings Festival in Tempe Arizona. Back then, songwriter Jason Isbell tweeted, “Holy shit Eddie Vedder sang my Bradley Cooper song in his set tonight. That is by far the strangest sentence I’ve ever composed but it’s certainly a huge honor. I was 12 when Ten came out and by god I learned how to play every song on it.”

A year later, Vedder revealed Cooper had shadowed him ahead of shooting A Star is Born. The rock veteran also gave Cooper advice on nailing the rock star persona. In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, he said, “I told him things like, you know, ‘Make sure your guitar covers your balls at all times. I think sometimes the guitar gets a little high. It looks more like a bib."

In that same interview, he also revealed that he was initially skeptical about Cooper playing a rockstar, but was mindblown after seeing the finished product. “When I saw it, I just was fucking blown away. It just… took me there and what he can do with his eyes and what they [Cooper and Lady Gaga] did together, and then Sam Elliott. I mean, it really took me there. I’m getting chills right now.”

Pearl Jam have a penchant for treating their fans to surprise guests. In addition to Cooper, the band invited their producer Andrew Watt to play Alive's guitar solo at their show in Vegas on May 16.

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