Jet thanking his lucky stars
Ken Wiebe, QMI Agency
|Winnipeg Jets defenceman Randy Jones found Pearl Jam's Veddar to be 'a real down-to-earth guy.'
Randy Jones had an off-ice experience quite like no other.
Not only did the Winnipeg Jets defenceman have the opportunity to meet Eddie Vedder prior to Saturday’s show at MTS Centre, but the Pearl Jam frontman dedicated the song Just Breathe to Jones and his girlfriend Stephanie during the band’s first encore.
“I wasn’t expecting anything and I wasn’t asking for anything,” said Jones, a veteran defenceman who signed a one-year deal with the Jets on July 2 after stints with Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Tampa Bay. “I was just very flattered I was able to get a guitar signed and was able to meet him.
“(The dedication) really topped the night.”
And was Just Breathe one of Jones’ favourite Pearl Jam songs?
“Yeah, that one and Unthought Known are probably my two favourites,” he said. “He probably picked that one because I told him I was a big fan of the Backspacer album.”
Jones was able to chat with Vedder for about 20 minutes about a variety of topics.
“It was great,” said Jones. “Eddie was a real down-to-earth guy who loves what he does and is unbelievable at it and passionate about it. We chit-chatted about this, that and everything and it was a really good time.
“It was about hockey, it was about the weather, the band, everything. That’s what made it so special. You don’t go into something like that with a list of questions. I was very fortunate to get that opportunity.”
One of the questions Jones asked Vedder was whether he always wanted to be a rock star.
“It’s kind of funny because his answer is the exact same answer I give about playing (pro) hockey,” said Jones. “He said he just wanted to see how far he could go. He loved what he did and you just don’t know if you’re going to make it. That’s what he did and that’s where he’s at. He’s loving it.”
Before the song dedication, Vedder relayed the story Jones told him earlier, about how he and Stephanie listened to the Pearl Jam station on satellite radio for roughly 35 of the 36 hour drive from New Brunswick to Winnipeg.
“Honestly, it was (35 hours). My girlfriend joked around after and said it might have been 35-and-a-half,” said Jones. “For me, I drove the whole way and that’s the type of music I truly enjoy. Whether I’m doing a 36-hour drive or before a hockey game or before a workout I have Pearl Jam on.”
Jones has seen Pearl Jam live four or five times — including once last week in Toronto — and enjoyed the effort Vedder put forth in his performance on Saturday.
“It was great,” said Jones. “It never surprises me. He’s a really laid-back, chilled-out guy but when you watch him on stage, he’s full of energy and full of life. He loves what he does and you thrive off that.”