Eddie Vedder Is Having A Great Year

In happier news, Pearl Jam popped up in Oakland, California, last Friday, opening the first of four stadium shows with The Rolling Stones. The band introduced some new material -- songs called "Wish List," "Do The Evolution" and "Given To Fly," off the group's upcoming album "Yield," which is due out in February. And how was Eddie Vedder? Well, on Friday he told the "Los Angeles Times" that 1997 had been "the best year of my life," and he certainly seemed chipper on-stage.

EDDIE VEDDER (on-stage): As long as I have a microphone, and there's this many people... And you know, if the Promise Keepers can happen, I sit and watch TV and watch the Promise Keepers, I thought, "Man I want a microphone, I want to tell some people something." So anyway, I was watching the news last night after going home and watching The Rolling Stones, and it was really kinda, I have to admit, like a beautiful thing 'cause everyone was just listening to the music and so f**king happy. And all this war

sh*t. And it's gonna happen and it really just pisses me off. They're just building us up to accept that there's a war about to happen. And I was just thinking, if Bill Clinton's sitting in the front row and then Saddam Hussein, well, put him in the back row, or wherever you put him, but just get him in and get 'em listening to this music. Like, "Brown Sugar" could save the world.

On Wednesday, Pearl Jam's last night opening for The Rolling Stones, Vedder joined the headliners to duet with Mick Jagger on the song "Waiting On A Friend," and then, when it was over, not only kissed Jagger on the cheek, but also handed out hugs to Stones guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood, who, according to one reporter on hand, looked, "befuddled."