Pearl Jamm, a British Pearl Jam tribute act — obviously — claims to have received a cease and desist letter in September 2020 and as a result, they’ve now changed their name to Legal Jam.
While the legal doc has not been seen, Pearl Jamm indicate that the band with only one “m” requested they change their name and logo, claiming that it was too close to Pearl Jam’s actual name and logo, designed by PJ bassist Jeff Ament, which it owns under intellectual property and trademark laws.
“Pearl Jam had not raised any concerns about any aspect of our existence whatsoever, having acknowledged both our name and logo usage for years,” the ersatz lineup wrote. “Quite the contrary. In fact, Pearl Jam have expressed gratitude and best wishes to our band.”
It’s unclear how that gratitude and wishes reached the members of Legal Jamm. They claim that a June 2018 gig at London’s Borderline, booked for the night that Pearl Jam had canceled their show at London’s O2 Arena, had been acknowledged by band drummer Matt Cameron. Legal Jamm posted that they “gave an extremely well-received performance, spurred on by an acknowledgment we had received from Matt Cameron earlier that evening, via Pearl Jam’s agent, in response to our invite for Matt Cameron to join us on stage that night.”
Apparently, the real band’s management asked the tribute act to transfer ownership of their domain name, www.pearljamm.co.uk, to Pearl Jam, as well as remove and destroy all Pearl Jamm merchandise. A check of that site shows only three sold-out posters for sale, none of which have the “Stickman” logo.
The cover band feels that the cease and desist, coming during the lockdown, was “aggressive and extremely insensitive” on the part of the Seattle rock giants.
Legal Jam did not immediately reply to a request for comment or to produce a copy of the cease and desist. A rep for Pearl Jam had no comment.
Legal Jam’s singer left the group last year, and the lineup addressed the change with a note on their website. “It is with immense sadness that we announce our amazing singer, Santi, will be leaving Pearl Jamm. Santi has done an incredible job for us and endeared himself to our audience,” it said. The singer apparently returned to his native Spain due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Irish tribute band Pearl Jem changed their name after apparently receiving a similar cease and desist and are now known as Light Years, claiming, “We have worked with Pearl Jam on choosing our new name and will be continuing to celebrate their wonderful music when we will see you at a show in 2021.”