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Eddie Vedder Covers John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ in Concert

Eddie Vedder‘s been in the news a lot this past week for a profanity-laced anti-war rant he delivered at a Pearl Jam concert in England on July 11. Although he didn’t mention any countries by name, many observers assumed the diatribe was directed at Israel and its recent military actions in the Gaza Strip.

“I swear to f—in’ God,” the singer said, between swigs from a wine bottle, “there are people out there that are looking for a reason to kill. They’re looking for a reason to go across borders, and take over land that doesn’t belong to them, and they should get the f— out.”

Vedder later clarified his comments with a post on Pearl Jam’s website, which included a quote from John Lennon’s 1971 hit ‘Imagine.’ Over the weekend, he took it a step further, performing ‘Imagine’ at a solo show in Portugal.

Vedder introduced the song with another rambling anti-war monologue, this time clearly attempting to tone down the angry rhetoric of his earlier rant and explain his position more clearly.

“If you’re anti war, it doesn’t mean you are pro one side or the other in a conflict,” he told the audience. “However it does make you pro many things: Pro peace, pro human, pro evolution. Makes you pro communication, pro diplomacy, pro love, pro understanding, pro forgiveness. You know some people don’t understand how you can be pro soldier. If you are anti war you’re pro soldier because you don’t want the soldier to be put in harm’s way.”

You can watch the performance above.

In introducing ‘Imagine,’ Vedder added, “I think it is the most powerful song ever written. Which is why I have never played it. It seems like maybe there is a reason to play it. If you’d like join me or use your voices or hold a light, there might be some people out there that need to know they are not alone.”

Next: 10 Best Pearl Jam Songs

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