Pearl Jam's Pirate-Radio History
Before the internet, before Napster, before cassettes and compact discs, and even before television, there was radio. Radio tuned you in to what was going on in the world or became your aural companion during work or play. Sometime in the early 1980s, radio seemed to lose its way as corporate media companies swallowed up radio stations, turning them into automated marketing puppets. Having grown up with great Rock-N-Roll radio stations and at the height of their popularity, the members of Pearl Jam decided to recreate the lost art of radio through satellite radio shows and pirate radio broadcasts, once again proving that old-fashioned radio broadcasting was more powerful than any advertisement, in-store promotion or other gimmick.
Monkeywrench Radio (MWFM) is the name of Pearl Jam's mobile pirate-radio station, based on the social definition of the term "Monkey Wrench" - meaning "something that disrupts". Whether via Satellite or low-power transmission, this travelling radio station has given fans everything from 4-hour Radio Events to all-day concert coverage, including the broadcasts of the shows themselves and the appearances of many of artists who performed with them on tour. In 1995 and 1998, Pearl Jam claimed the airwaves for 4-plus hours and played live, spun records, and presented social issues. Used almost exclusively on the 1995 U.S. Tour, Monkeywrench Radio was a wonderful companion for what most fans consider to be Pearl Jam's most difficult yet triumphant year as a band. The live show broadcasts were a way to shun the corporate radio giants who were begging Pearl Jam to repeat their highly successful Easter Broadcast from the year before. The pre- and post- DJ sessions also helped the band communicate with fans during a year where many thought the band would collapse under the stress of putting together a non-Ticketmaster tour and dealing with being in the spotlight for nearly four straight years.
The goal of this site is to encapsulate these historical broadcasts into an interactive tour. All the information is encapsulated in these sections:
Innovative 4-hour-plus Satellite Broadcasts reach fans worldwide
The band hits the states and broadcasts pre- and post- show DJ sessions and six entire shows
Formal and Informal events involving Pearl Jam and Radio
We welcome feedback on the site and suggestions to improve it. In addition, we encourage you to contact us if you have information on the events surrounding Monkeywrench Radio that haven't already been presented here.