Pearl Jam have reportedly sent a cease and desist to tribute band Pearl Jamm, demanding the cover act destroy merchandise with the Pearl Jamm name and hand over email addresses and web domains associated with the band.

The story was recently covered by BBC News, who interviewed the British Pearl Jam tribute band for television. According to the legal paperwork sent on behalf of Pearl Jam, the tribute band’s name is “damaging the Pearl Jam brand and causing confusion” among fans.

“No one’s ever come to a show, got to the end of the show, came to us and demanded money back because they were expecting to see Pearl Jam play The Garage in Highbury,” one band member tells BBC.

Brand value is very important for musicians and artists and bands because they trade on that in order to sell music,” a legal correspondent for the BBC states. “From a tribute band point of view, it’s important to use a name that’s not too close to that of the original band. It’s important not to use logos that are identical to those used by the original band.”

In a statement following the broadcast of the BBC story, Pearl Jamm released an emotional letter to their favorite band:

To Eddie, Jeff, Stone, Mike, Matt, Boom; to Pearl Jam, you have broken our hearts.
You have known of our tribute band for years yet have waited until a global pandemic to have threatening legal letters sent. This isn’t the Pearl Jam we know and love, the Pearl Jam that stands up for social issues and against corporate giants. Yet your lawyers tell us it is indeed you, the band, that are behind this.
We know how Matt Cameron felt about his heroes, Kiss, when they took umbrage to his own tribute band ‘kiss’ (lower case). No one has ever confused us or our merchandise with you or your merchandise, and so to say that is “likely” is clearly nonsense. We have not caused you or your brand any damage whatsoever, in fact we have done quite the opposite.
Such was the pressure exerted by the aggressive wording of the legal letters we received, we have questioned whether we even want to continue. We know of at least one other tribute band that decided to call it a day over this. It may have been easier, cheaper and more effective for one of you to reach out to us personally. We would have done that for you. But not like this.
Your actions are out of character and unreasonable yet our love for the music endures. We sincerely hope that, despite confirmation to the contrary, you are blissfully unaware of actions being taken in your name. We invite you to respond either publicly or privately and rescind the legal threats that have been made.
We would like to thank our own fans who have shown us overwhelming support since this story broke and who have voiced equal disappointment in the actions of Pearl Jam
With love,
Santi, Richard, Matt, Tim & Andy (‘Pearl Jamm’)

We’ve reached out to Pearl Jam’s reps for comment, but they have yet to respond. This is a developing story.

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