Eddie Vedder and his grunge rock group Pearl Jam are nice guys. How do we know this? Because according to the Boston Herald when the band found out that a guitar they singed especially for a sick fan had been stolen from his family they did what any nice guy would do, they replaced it.
The story goes that back in 1992 the band gave the signed Fender guitar to Josh Hardy, a 17-year-old fan who was dying of brain cancer, when he made a trip to the grunge capital of America, Seattle, to meet the band thanks to the Make-A-Wish foundation.
Sadly Josh died three months later, but his younger brother Ben cherished the guitar that he kept as a memento of his departed sibling. The guitar was recently stolen in a burglary at Ben’s house where thieves ransacked his home and stole a large number of musical equipment, including the guitar.
“Things were thrown all over the place,” Ben said in an interview at the time. “I made an inventory of everything taken — a new amplifier, power tools, a sound system, clothing … but the guitar was the one thing I wanted to get back more than anything else.”
Local news reports led to the eventual arrest of the burglars and police were able to recover most of the stolen items. However when they had found the guitar the would-be criminals had scrubbed off the autographs so that no one would recognise it when they tried to sell it.
Disappointed, Ben had resigned himself to accept the loss of the guitar that had given his sick brother so much joy. But this story does have a happy ending. Just before Ben left to meet family for Christmas a FedEx package arrived on his doorstep.
“FedEx delivered a new guitar,” Ben told the Boston Herald. “In a note Pearl Jam said they’ve been following the story and this is what they decided to do. It’s an amazing gesture of goodwill. It exceeds expectations … They went above and beyond.”
Ben and Josh’s mom, Donna Hardy, was also moved by the kind gesture from the band. “It’s a blessing for our family to have all this happen. This is our Christmas story. Pearl Jam is amazing and to think that they remembered Josh after all these years is incredible.”