Eddie Vedder on Nusrat
After moving back to Seattle I spent a little bit of time listening to Pearl Jam, and soon enough got into Eddie Vedder & Nusrat’s collaboration for the Dead Man Walking soundtrack. This anecdote of Vedder answering what it was like to work with Nusrat is great:
Well, it was intimidating on many levels. We worked together for a few days – we were put together by Tim Robbins for the Dead Man Walking soundtrack – and everything had to go through an interpreter because I was told he didn’t really speak English. He was very centred, like a Buddhist statue in many ways and he looked like he was made of stone! And when he sang, it was like he was channelling something incredibly powerful and spiritual.
After two days of talking through the interpreter, we were left in the room alone, and he looked at me and said, in perfect English: “You have a very nice voice.” And it was like that scene in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, where the Indian guy finally talks to Jack Nicholson. I thought, you son of a bitch!
Here’s a clip of Rahat filling in for his uncle and ustad at a show in Seattle. Eddie and Rahat’s embrace at the end is moving.