Pearl Jam Premiered the Uncensored ‘Jeremy’ Music Video for National Gun Violence Awareness Day (Watch)

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“Jeremy” by Pearl Jam is one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band‘s most well-known songs, a staple of the 1990s alt/rock scene and an early example of the cutting and provocative social commentary provided by Eddie Vedder and his band mates.

The song was inspired by the real-world story of a high school student who shot himself in front of his classmates in 1991. Its music video — well, its second music video, really, was directed by Mark Pellington and released in 1992. The initial video was self-financed by Chris Cuffaro when Epic Records refused to finance a clip was scrapped when the label later changed its mind.

That decision led to a second video, the one you’ve no doubt seen on television and/or the internet for the better part of the past three decades. Stark, haunting visuals and depictions of a troubled young man, Vedder appearing every few seconds on-screen, singing the song’s lyrics with an intensity that looks as if the devil himself has the singer in his grasp.

Last Friday, June 5, was National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and Pearl Jam opted to release the official, uncensored version of the “Jeremy” video — including the final scene, which TV networks such as MTV were unable to play back in the ’90s. In that scene, the titular Jeremy takes out a gun, places it in his mouth and shoots himself in front of his class mates.

In addition to the equity protests taking place around the country, today also marks National Wear Orange Day. The increase in gun violence since the debut of “Jeremy” is staggering. We have released the uncensored version of the video which was unavailable in 1992 with TV censorship laws. We have also released an updated Choices shirt with all proceeds to support organizations working to prevent gun violence. We can prevent gun deaths whether mass shootings, deaths of despair, law enforcement, or accidental. Link in stories to watch the uncensored “Jeremy” video.

It’s an already dark video made even more affecting in its uncensored form.

A particular irony at play with between the censored version of the “Jeremy” video that aired to the masses originally and the uncensored version is what audiences took from the final scene in the edited clip — compared to what was supposed to be displayed on-screen.

Said video director Mark Pellington about that:

Probably the greatest frustration I’ve ever had is that the ending [of the “Jeremy” video]is sometimes misinterpreted as that he shot his classmates. The idea is, that’s his blood on them, and they’re frozen at the moment of looking. I would get calls years later about it, around the time of Columbine. I think that video tapped into something that has always been around and will always be around. You’re always going to have peer pressure, you’re always going to have adolescent rage, you’re always going to have dysfunctional families.

Now, with the official release of the uncensored “Jeremy” video, the original vision from Pearl jam and Pellington finally sees the light of day.

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