Toronto Mike

Crazy Mary


I've always liked a good cover.  There's something about a familiar song being interpreted by another band that I dig.  About five years ago we in the SLS committee threw together Cover Me Badd, 18 of our favourite new rock style covers of the day.  Just a couple of years ago, I listed my ten favourite covers.  This entry is about one of those songs.

Although I didn't rank it number one in that list of December 5, 2004, it should have been.  There is no cover I like as much as Pearl Jam's cover of Victoria Williams' "Crazy Mary".  I wrote a bit about what this song means to me when I included it as one of My Ten Tracks.  For more, let me take you back to 1993.

The Buffalo Bills became the first team to lose 3 consecutive Super Bowls, the World Trade Center was bombed, the Habs won their 24th Stanley Cup, River Phoenix died of a drug overdose outside of the Viper Room in Hollywood, Jean Chretien became the 20th Prime Minister of Canada and I entered university.  I had no older siblings or any idea as to what to expect, I just knew I was supposed to show up in some room in some building downtown at a certain time on a certain date.  That morning, my alarm went off.  CFNY was playing Pearl Jam's "Crazy Mary".  It was quiet and Eddie's words were crystal clear.  "That what you fear the most could meet you halfway".

By this point, I already loved the song and owned Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams.  Somehow, hearing those words so clearly at that moment on that day elevated this song in my eyes and ears.  I knew Eddie didn't write those words, but he was channelling them, and he was talking to me.

I've since seen Pearl Jam perform that song live three times.  Here they are performing it in 2000 at the ACC.

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