Stone Gossard

Stone Gossard

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Stone Gossard
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist

Img_capt = Stone Gossard on stage with Pearl Jam in Madrid, Spain on June 9, 2007
Img_size = 250
Birth_name = Stone Carpenter Gossard
Alias = Carpenter Newton
Born = birth date and age|1966|7|20 Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Occupation = Musician, Songwriter
Years_active = 1984–present
Instrument = Guitar, vocals
Label = J, Homestead, Sub Pop, Stardog, Mercury, A&M, Epic, Sony, Redline
Associated_acts = Pearl Jam, Brad, Hank Khoir, March of Crimes, The Ducky Boys, Green River, Lords of the Wasteland, Mother Love Bone, Temple of the Dog

Stone Carpenter Gossard (born July 20, 1966 in Seattle, Washington) is an American guitarist and songwriter. He is the rhythm guitarist and, along with Jeff Ament, Mike McCready, and Eddie Vedder, a founding member of the American rock band Pearl Jam. Gossard is known for his work in grunge rock bands based in Seattle through the 1980s prior to Pearl Jam, and he has also made contributions to the music industry as a producer and owner of a record label and a recording studio.


Early life

Stone Gossard was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, along with his two sisters Shelly and Star. [ "Stone Gossard"] . Internet Movie Database.] Gossard's father was an attorney and his mother worked in the city government. [Garbarini, Vic. [ "Mother of Pearl -- The Stone Gossard Interview"] . "Musician". May 1995.] Gossard learned guitar by playing in the hallways of Seattle's Northwest School during his junior year. [Stout, Gene. [ "Rockers strengthen ties to school with benefit show"] . "Seattle Post-Intelligencer". March 19, 2005.] Gossard graduated from the Northwest School in 1984.

The first band Gossard joined was March of Crimes, [ Official Sony Biography] ] a band of which future Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd was a member. Although Gossard's time with the band was brief, [Neely, Kim. "Five Against One". Diane Publishing Company, 1999. ISBN 0-7567-7409-8] it introduced him to the emerging music scene in Seattle. Gossard formed a close friendship with fellow guitarist (and future Mudhoney member) Steve Turner, who also had attended the Northwest School,Prato, Greg. [ "Stone Gossard: Biography"] . Allmusic.] and joined Turner in his band The Ducky Boys. Turner's interest in punk rock had a significant influence on Gossard, and in turn on the ethos of the band. [Wilber, Ken. [ "Interview with Stone Gossard for Integral Life"] January 2008]

Musical career

Green River

Turner went on to form Green River with vocalist/guitarist Mark Arm, drummer Alex Vincent and bassist Jeff Ament. Gossard was asked to join Green River in order to allow Arm to concentrate exclusively on singing.Huey, Steve. " [ Green River Biography] ". Allmusic.] By the time the band finished the recording of its debut EP, "Come on Down", Turner decided to leave the group, citing his distaste with Ament and Gossard's heavy metal leanings. He was replaced by Ament's former Deranged Diction bandmate, Bruce Fairweather.

The band released the EP "Come on Down" in 1985 and followed it up with "Dry As a Bone" in 1987, the first release on Sub Pop records. [ Sub Pop Records biography] ] The band's only full-length studio album, "Rehab Doll", was released in 1988. In-fighting within the band lead to the group's break-up during the recording of "Rehab Doll". A stylistic division had developed between Ament and Gossard on one side, and Arm on the other. [Azerrad, Michael. "Our Band Could Be Your Life". Little Brown and Company, 2001. ISBN 0-316-78753-1, pg. 422] Ament and Gossard wanted to pursue a major-label deal, while Arm wanted to remain independent, viewing the duo as being too careerist. The band achieved a considerable local reputation in Seattle and had a significant influence on the genre later known as grunge, with Green River being described as "arguably the first grunge band."

Mother Love Bone

Following Green River's dissolution, Gossard established Mother Love Bone in 1988 along with former Green River members Ament and Fairweather, former Malfunkshun frontman Andrew Wood, and former Ten Minute Warning and Skin Yard drummer Greg Gilmore. The band quickly worked on recording and performing locally and by late 1988 had become one of Seattle's more promising bands. In early 1989 the band signed to PolyGram subsidiary Mercury Records. In March of that year the group issued its debut EP, "Shine".

In late 1989 the group returned to the studio to record its debut studio album, "Apple". It was planned for a March 1990 release. Only days before the release of "Apple", however, frontman Wood, who had a long history with drug problems, overdosed on heroin. After spending a few days in the hospital in a coma, Wood died, effectively bringing Mother Love Bone to an end. "Apple" would see release later that year.

Temple of the Dog

Gossard reacquainted himself with a childhood friend named Mike McCready after watching McCready jam with a local band and being impressed with his work.Greene, Jo-Ann. [ "Intrigue and Incest: Pearl Jam and the Secret History of Seattle" (Part 2)] . "Goldmine". August 20, 1993.] Gossard had known McCready from back before high school when the two would trade rock band pictures with each other.Rotondi, James. [ "Blood On the Tracks"] . "Guitar Player". January 1994.] The pair started playing together shortly after Wood's death, eventually including Ament in their lineup.Wall, Mick. "Pearl Jam". Sidgewick and Jackson Books. 1994. ISBN 0-283-06207-X] The trio were attempting to form their own band when they were invited to be part of the Temple of the Dog project founded by Soundgarden's Chris Cornell as a musical tribute to Wood. Cornell had been Wood's roommate. The band's lineup was completed by the addition of Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron.

The band started rehearsing songs written by Cornell on tour prior to Wood's death, as well as re-working some existing material from demos written by Gossard and Ament.Alden, Grant. "Requiem for a Heavyweight." "Guitar World". July 1997] Gossard described the recording process as a "non-pressure filled" situation, as there were no expectations or pressure coming from the record company.cite web|title=KISW 99.9 FM: Seattle, Radio Interview by Damon Stewart in The New Music Hour with Chris Cornell, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard|author=Nicholls, Justin||url=|accessdate=2007-10-03|date=1991-04-14] This project eventually featured vocalist Eddie Vedder, who sang a duet with Cornell on the song "Hunger Strike" and provided background vocals on several other songs. Vedder had arrived in Seattle to audition to be the singer for Ament and Gossard's next band, which later became Pearl Jam, after being sent a tape of Gossard's demos, recording his own lyrics and vocals over the top. The band decided that it had enough material for an entire album and, in April 1991, "Temple of the Dog" was released through A&M Records. Three of the songs on the final album were musically credited to Gossard, including the single "Pushin Forward Back". Gossard asserted that he thought Wood would be "blown away by the whole thing."Turman, Katherine. "Life Rules." "Rip Magazine". October 1991]

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam was formed in 1990 by Ament, Gossard, and McCready, [cite web | last = Crowe | first = Cameron | url = | title = Five Against the World | work = Rolling Stone | date = 1993-10-28 | accessdate = 2007-06-23 ] who then recruited Vedder and drummer Dave Krusen. The band signed to Epic Records in 1991. Drummer Dave Abbruzzese joined the band a few months later following the completion of the band's debut studio album, "Ten". "Ten" broke the band into the mainstream, and became one of the best selling alternative albums of the 1990s. The band found itself amidst the sudden popularity and attention being paid to the Seattle music scene and the genre known as grunge. Upon its release, the band's sophomore album, "Vs.", set at the time the record for most copies of an album sold in a week, [cite web | url=,,308749,00.html | title=Pearl's Jam | accessdate=2007-08-31 | publisher="Entertainment Weekly" | date=1993-11-19] and spent five weeks at number one on the "Billboard" 200.

Feeling the pressures of success, the band decided to decrease the level of promotion for its albums, including refusing to release music videos. [Ashare, Matt. "The Sweet Smell of (Moderate) Success". CMJ. July 2000.] In 1994, the band began a much-publicized boycott of Ticketmaster, which lasted for three years and limited the band's ability to tour in the United States. [DeRogatis, Jim. "Milk It!: Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the 90's". Cambridge: Da Capo, 2003. ISBN 0-306-81271-1, pg. 58] Gossard took an active role during Pearl Jam's dispute with Ticketmaster in 1994 over prices and surcharges. Along with Ament, Gossard testified before a congressional subcommittee, arguing that Ticketmaster's practices were anti-competitive.Van Schagen, Sarah [ "Jam Session" - Interview with Stone Gossard] . July 21, 2006.] Later that same year the band released its third studio album, "Vitalogy", which became the band's third straight album to reach multi-platinum status.

Following the firing of Abbruzzese in 1994, drummer Jack Irons joined the band. The band subsequently released "No Code" in 1996 and "Yield" in 1998. The band once again changed drummers in 1998, with Irons leaving the band due to dissatisfaction with touring. [cite web | url= | title=Off He Goes | accessdate=2007-06-28 | author=Fischer, Blair R | publisher="Rolling Stone" | date=1998-04-17] Irons was replaced by former Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron, who has been with the band ever since. In 1998, Pearl Jam recorded "Last Kiss", a cover of a 1960s ballad made famous by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. It was first released on the band's 1998 fan club single; however, by popular demand, the cover was released to the general public as a single in 1999. "Last Kiss" peaked at number two on the "Billboard" charts and became the band's highest-charting single. In 2000, the band released its sixth studio album "Binaural" and initiated a successful and ongoing series of official bootlegs. In 2002, the band released its seventh studio album "Riot Act" and in 2006 the band released its eighth studio album, the eponymous "Pearl Jam". The band has begun preliminary work on its ninth studio album.

ongwriting and influences

As a songwriter, the formation of Pearl Jam led to Gossard's music becoming the basis for many of the band's early songs. Eight of the eleven tracks on Pearl Jam's seminal debut "Ten" were musically penned by Gossard, including "Alive", "Even Flow", and "Black". He has since made less of a solo contribution to the band's work, instead becoming part of the collaborative efforts; however, he was credited as being behind the relatively more recent hits "Do the Evolution" and "Life Wasted". His songwriting contributions to Pearl Jam have not been limited to music with Gossard having written the lyrics for the songs "No Way", "All Those Yesterdays", "Strangest Tribe", "Thin Air", "Of the Girl", "Rival", "Fatal", "Mankind" and "Don't Gimme No Lip". As well as guitar contributions, Gossard has also played mellotron, bass guitar and resonator guitar as well as often providing backing vocals. He was even given lead vocal duties for two of the Pearl Jam songs he had written both musically and lyrically: "Mankind" ("No Code") and "Don't Gimme No Lip" ("Lost Dogs"). His role in the dynamic of each song is not pre-defined despite being primarily a rhythm guitarist and consequently he can be heard playing lead guitar on many of Pearl Jam's more recent songs.

Gossard is known for his hard rhythm style of playing, and his sense of beat and groove. His major influences are said to be Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Jimi Hendrix, and Van Halen, as well as funk and rap.citeweb | last = Hiatt | first = Brian | url = | title = The Second Coming of Pearl Jam | work = Rolling Stone | date = 2006-06-16 | accessdate = 2007-06-22] He once said of himself: "I like rhythmic things that butt up against each other in a cool kind of way." ["Single Video Theory". Pearl Jam. Video. Epic, 1998.] Vedder was quoted as saying that it is extremely difficult to collaborate with Gossard, as he outright refuses to work on anything remotely like anything he's done before. [Scaggs, Austin. [ "Eddie Vedder: Addicted to Rock"] . "Rolling Stone". April 21, 2006.]

Other musical projects


In 1992, Gossard joined with members of the fellow Seattle band Satchel to form Brad. Brad released its debut album "Shame" in 1993, and have since released "Interiors" (1997), "Welcome to Discovery Park" (2002) and the compilation "Brad vs Satchel" (2005). The band's fourth studio album, tentatively titled "Best Friends", has been recorded but is still awaiting release. [Prato, Greg. [ "Brad Finishing Up Fourth Album"] . "Billboard". January 18, 2006.]

"Mirror Ball"

Gossard performed with other members of Pearl Jam on Neil Young's 1995 album "Mirror Ball", and subsequently took part in an eleven-date tour of Europe as part of Young's backing band. This tour proved very successful with Young's manager Elliot Roberts calling it "One of the greatest tours we ever had in our whole lives." [McDonough, Jimmy. "Shakey: Neil Young's Biography", Anchor, 2003. ISBN 0-6797-5096-7 [] ]


On September 11, 2001, Gossard became the first member of Pearl Jam to go solo, releasing the album "Bayleaf" through Sony. The album features ten songs written over a span of four to five years.Stout, Gene. [ "Gossard Picks Up the Mike on Solo Album"] . "Seattle Post-Intelligencer". September 11, 2001.] On "Bayleaf", Gossard showed himself as being a talented multi-instrumentalist, contributing drums and piano work, as well as vocals, guitar and bass.

econd studio album

Gossard will be releasing a follow-up to "Bayleaf" in 2008. Several songs have been made available as digital downloads via Pearl Jam's official website in the weeks since September 17, 2008. [ [ "Stone Gossard"] .]

Record label and studio owner

Gossard formed the record label Loosegroove Records with fellow Brad member Regan Hagar as a subsidiary of Sony in 1994, becoming independent in 1996. [ [ " Music website"] . Last accessed 2008-04-15.] Loosegroove signed many up and coming artists from various musical genres, especially rock and hip hop. Significantly, Gossard signed Queens of the Stone Age to Loosegroove, releasing the band's debut album in 1998. Loosegroove Records closed in 2000. [Endino, Jack. [ "Endino Newsletter 5.0 (3/2000)"] . March 2000.]

As a producer, Gossard has worked with a variety of artists including many on his own record label. His most notable production roles have been for Satchel, Green Apple Quick Step, Weapon of Choice and Critters Buggin. During his time as owner of Loosegroove Records, Gossard opened his own recording studio, the prestigious Studio Litho, in Seattle. Most of Gossard's production work was based in this studio, which still operates today, with Gossard as the owner. Many high profile artists including Soundgarden, Deftones and Staind as well as Brad and Pearl Jam have recorded in Studio Litho. [ [ Studio Litho - List of Clients] . Last accessed 2008-04-15.]

Other work

Gossard had a brief acting cameo in the 1992 movie "Singles", along with Jeff Ament and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. He appeared as himself, playing guitar in lead actor Matt Dillon's backing band, Citizen Dick.

Gossard has been active in environmental pursuits, and has been an advocate of Pearl Jam's carbon neutral policy, offsetting the band's environmental impact. He has also extended his conservationist ideals and serves as a member of the Board of Directors at the Wild Salmon Center, an international conservation organization based in Portland, Oregon. [ [ Wild Salmon Center Board of Directors] . Last accessed 2008-04-15.]

As an artist and painter, Gossard's work can be found on many Pearl Jam releases, especially material distributed through Pearl Jam's fan club.


In a review of Pearl Jam's 2006 self-titled album, "Rolling Stone" editor David Fricke mentioned that both Gossard and Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready were erroneously excluded from the publication's 2003 feature "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". [Fricke, David. [ "Pearl Jam": Review"] . "Rolling Stone". April 21, 2006.] In February 2007, Gossard and McCready were included together by "Rolling Stone" in its list of "The Top 20 New Guitar Gods" under the title of "four-armed monster." [Fricke, David. "The Top 20 New Guitar Gods". "Rolling Stone". February 22, 2007.]

Personal life

Gossard and his wife Liz Weber are the parents of one child, Vivian Sparks, who was born in 2007. [Celebrity Baby Blog. [ "Stone Gossard brings along daughter Vivian to radio station"] . "Celebrity Baby Blog, 16th October 2007".]


Green River

Pearl Jam



External links

*MySpace|stonegossard|Stone Gossard
* [ Pearl Jam's official website]
* [ Brad's official website]
* [ Studio Litho]
*allmusicguide|Bw40e4jo70waq|Stone Gossard
*imdb name|0331600
* [ Given to Wail] – Information on Stone Gossard's equipment in the Gear section of the site dedicated to fellow Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready

NAME= Gossard, Stone
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Gossard, Stone Carpenter
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Musician, Songwriter
DATE OF BIRTH= birth date and age|1966|7|20
PLACE OF BIRTH=Seattle, Washington, U.S.

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