Watch Eddie Vedder Sing a Tom Petty Song at the Oscars
Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder made a surprise appearance at the Oscars ceremony last night, singing the Tom Petty song “Room at the Top” as musical accompaniment to the event's annual In Memoriam montage.
You can watch the performance, which was introduced by actress Jennifer Garner, above.
Petty, who died in October at age 66, was not referenced during the segment, although Garner mentioned him in her introduction. The only popular musician who appeared in the three-minute segment was Chuck Berry, who died last March, at 90, three weeks after the 2017 Oscars event was staged.
“Room at the Top” appeared on Echo, the 10th studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, which was released in 1999. “‘Room at the Top' is the most depressing song I've ever written," Petty told Rolling Stone. “I haven't even wanted to hear it. Though the last time I heard Echo, I did think, 'God, there's a lot more on here than I remembered.'" Petty struggled with both depression and divorce at the time. “It was a very hard time when I did that record," he explained. "It was the only record I did kinda under the gun in my life where there was this huge tour booked and I had to finish the record."
Vedder spent most of 2017 touring solo, but will rejoin Pearl Jam for a run of stadium shows in August and September. Last year, when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he reflected on their achievements. “We've been through a lot, and if it weren't for everybody out there who cared about our music, if it weren't for everybody out here who came to the shows and brought their energy," he said. "Those are the things that really kept us together when we felt the responsibility to the music was bigger than ourselves or whatever our own personal needs of space.”
At the 2018 Oscars, Gary Oldman won the Actor in a Leading Role award for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, two months after a between-scenes clip of Oldman helping extras sing the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” surfaced. Phantom Thread, featuring music by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, won the Costume Design gong. Greenwood’s soundtrack had been nominated in the Music (Original Score) category but lost to The Shape of Water. Elton John also held his annual fundraising Oscars viewing party last night, with Greta Van Fleet performing after he personally invited them.