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Dave Abbruzzese

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Title: Dave Abbruzzese  
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Subject: Pearl Jam, W.M.A. (song), Even Flow, Alive (Pearl Jam song), Eddie Vedder
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Dave Abbruzzese

Dave Abbruzzese
Background information
Birth name David James Abbruzzese
Born (1968-05-17) May 17, 1968
Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.
Genres Grunge, alternative rock, rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Drums, guitar
Associated acts Course of Empire, Pearl Jam, Hairy Apes BMX

David James Abbruzzese (born May 17, 1968) is an American musician who was the drummer for the American rock band Pearl Jam from 1991 to 1994. He replaced drummer Matt Chamberlain in 1991, shortly before the release of the band's debut album, Ten. Abbruzzese played on the band's next two records, Vs. and Vitalogy.


  • Biography 1
    • Early life 1.1
    • Pearl Jam 1.2
  • Other musical projects 2
  • Musical style and influences 3
  • Equipment 4
  • Personal life 5
  • Discography 6
    • Pearl Jam discography 6.1
    • Green Romance Orchestra discography 6.2
    • Contributions and collaborations 6.3
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Early life

Dave Abbruzzese was born in Stamford, Connecticut, but grew up in Mesquite, Texas, where he attended Vanston Jr. High.[1] Abbruzzese grew up drumming on his dad's tackle boxes.[2] While living at home the only thing in his bedroom (besides a bed) was his drum set. Abbruzzese dropped out of North Mesquite High School at an early age and began to focus on playing more than ever.[3] He started playing in the Texas music scene, performing in such bands as Segueway, Flaming Hemorrhoids, and Course of Empire, and along the way, he formed a band called Dr. Tongue, a three-piece, funk-influenced band that gigged in the Dallas and Denton area.[3]

Pearl Jam

In 1991, Abbruzzese got a call from drummer and friend Matt Chamberlain, whom Abbruzzese knew through the Texas music scene, in regard to filling in for him in the band Pearl Jam when he left.[2] Chamberlain had his eyes set on G. E. Smith's band on Saturday Night Live. Abbruzzese left for Seattle, Washington to meet and become acquainted with the members of Pearl Jam. Although his musical tastes were far diverse from the other members, Abbruzzese chose to join Pearl Jam, playing his first show on August 23, 1991. Initially, Abbruzzese was reluctant to join the band full-time. Then after his second show with Pearl Jam, Abbruzzese went straight down to his local tattoo parlor and had bassist Jeff Ament's stick figure drawing from the sleeve of the "Alive" single tattooed onto his left shoulder.[4] Abbruzzese joined the group and played the rest of Pearl Jam's live shows supporting the Ten album. Abbruzzese toured extensively for Ten and performed on MTV Unplugged and a Saturday Night Live appearance. The band found itself amidst the sudden popularity and attention given to the Seattle music scene and the genre known as grunge.

With Abbruzzese, the band recorded its second studio album, Vs., released in 1993. Upon its release, Vs. set at the time the record for most copies of an album sold in a week,[5] and spent five weeks at number one on the Billboard 200. Vs. was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 1995.[6] From Vs., the song "Daughter" received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and the song "Go" received a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance.[7] Abbruzzese toured extensively for Vs. and performed on a Saturday Night Live appearance. Abbruzzese wrote the music for the Pearl Jam songs "Go," "Last Exit" and "Angel" (from the 1993 fan club Christmas single). He played with Pearl Jam through April 17, 1994. In 1994, the band began a much-publicized boycott of Ticketmaster.[8] Although Abbruzzese performed on the band's third studio album, Vitalogy, he was fired in August 1994 due to personality conflicts with the band members, four months before the album was released.[9] Ament stated, "Dave was a different egg for sure. There were a lot of things, personality wise, where I didn't see eye to eye with him. He was more comfortable being a rock star than the rest of us. Partying, girls, cars. I don't know if anyone was in the same space."[9] Guitarist Stone Gossard said, "It was the nature of how the politics worked in our band: It was up to me to say, 'Hey, we tried, it's not working; time to move on.' On a superficial level, it was a political struggle: For whatever reason his ability to communicate with Ed and Jeff was very stifled. I certainly don't think it was all Dave Abbruzzese's fault that it was stifled."[9] Abbruzzese stated, "I didn't really agree with what was going on. I didn't agree with the Ticketmaster stuff at all. But I don't blame anyone or harbor any hard feelings. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't furious and hurt for a long time. But now I just wish there was more music from the band I was a part of."[9]

Other musical projects

On September 30, 1997, Abbruzzese's newly formed band, the Green Romance Orchestra, released Play Parts I & V. The album saw Abbruzzese bring his own songs to the drawing board, as well as play the role of a producer. Play Parts I & V is a release of Free Association Records, which was formed by Abbruzzese in 1996.

In 1997, Abbruzzese rehearsed with Axl Rose during the making of Guns N' Roses' 2008 album, Chinese Democracy.[10] However, none of the material from the sessions ended up on the album.[11]

Afterward, Abbruzzese worked with HairyApesBMX. He mixed, produced, and engineered the band's 2000 album, Out Demons. Abbruzzese also lent the band a hand behind his drum kit on its Midwestern tour.

Abbruzzese is currently on the IMF tour. With Jara Harris, Stevie Salas, Bernard Fowler.

Musical style and influences

Abbruzzese has cited John Bonham, Sly & the Family Stone, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers as influences.[2] Abbruzzese's trademarks include heavy use of splash cymbals, the double-stroke roll, and a fast right foot. Abbruzzese refused to use two bass drums or a double-kick pedal, instead concentrating on playing the best he could with a single pedal. Abbruzzese is also known to be a particularly hard hitter, which may be reflected in him having suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome at one time.[12]


On his earlier, pre-Vs. Pearl Jam recordings, such as the tracks recorded for Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and the video version of "Even Flow", Abbruzzese is known to have used Ludwig drums. As of the Vs. record, he endorsed and used Drum Workshop drums, Sabian cymbals, and seemed to favor an 8x12 Brady snare drum.[2] Abbruzzese also had his own line of signature drumsticks, manufactured and marketed by Pro-Mark, but the model bearing his name appears to have been discontinued.[13]

Personal life

Abbruzzese married his childhood sweetheart, Laura Whisman, on September 2, 2006.[1] He currently lives in Texas, in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Abbruzzese has a daughter, Francesca, from a previous relationship. She was born in Jerome, Arizona in 2003 and is currently living with her mother in TX.


Pearl Jam discography

Year Title Label Track(s)
1992 Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Epic "Breath" and "State of Love and Trust"
1993 Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams Thirsty Ear/Chaos "Crazy Mary" (with Victoria Williams)
Judgment Night: Music from the Motion Picture Epic "Real Thing" (with Cypress Hill)
Vs. Epic All
1994 Vitalogy Epic All except "Bugs", "Satan's Bed", and "Hey Foxymophandlemama, That's Me"
1998 Chicago Cab: Soundtrack Loosegroove "Hard to Imagine"
1999 Movie Music: The Definitive Performances (Also part of the box set, Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century.) Columbia/Epic/Legacy "State of Love and Trust"
2000 Wild and Wooly: The Northwest Rock Collection Sub Pop "Even Flow" (live)
2003 Lost Dogs Epic "Hard to Imagine" and "Dirty Frank"
2004 Riding Giants: Music from the Motion Picture Milan "Go"
rearviewmirror Epic "Even Flow", "State of Love and Trust", "Animal", "Go", "Dissident", "Rearviewmirror", "Spin the Black Circle", "Corduroy", "Not for You", "Breath", "Daughter", "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town", "Immortality", "Better Man", and "Nothingman"

Green Romance Orchestra discography

Year Title Label
1997 Play Parts I & V Free Association Records

Contributions and collaborations

Year Group Title Label Track(s)
1992 Course of Empire Course of Empire Volcano "God's Jig"
1995 Corey Glover, Eric Schenkman, Billy Cox, and Dave Abbruzzese In From the Storm: Jimi Hendrix Tribute RCA "In From the Storm"
Doug Pinnick, Eric Schenkman, Noel Redding, and Dave Abbruzzese In From the Storm: Jimi Hendrix Tribute RCA "Burning of the Midnight Lamp"
1996 Nicklebag 12 Hits and a Bump Iguana "Sweet Thang"
1997 Stevie Salas Alter Native Gold Pony Canyon All
Nicklebag Mas Feedback Lizard Group "Sweet Thang"
1998 Stevie Salas The Sometimes Almost Never Was Pony Canyon Some
2000 HairyApesBMX Out Demons Free Association/We Sell Soul Some
2006 Bernard Fowler Friends with Privileges Peregrine "Pop That Thang"
Stevie Salas Be What It Is R&C Ltd. Some
2007 Stevie Salas The Sun and the Earth, Vol. 1 Arbor Some


  1. ^ a b Green, Kathleen. "They’re Still In Harmony". The Dallas Morning News. October 23, 2006.
  2. ^ a b c d Peiken, Matt (December 1993). "Dave Abbruzzese of Pearl Jam".  
  3. ^ a b Wen, Howard. "Un-rock Star". Dallas Observer. October 24, 1996. Archived 15 February at WebCite
  4. ^ Neely, Kim. "Right Here, Right Now: The Seattle Rock Band Pearl Jam Learns How to Celebrate Life". Rolling Stone. October 31, 1991. Archived 15 February at WebCite
  5. ^ "Pearl's Jam".  
  6. ^ "Awards Database".  
  7. ^ Pareles, Jon (February 26, 1995). "POP VIEW; Playing Grammy Roulette". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  8. ^ DeRogatis, Jim. Milk It!: Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the 90's. Cambridge: Da Capo, 2003. ISBN 978-0-306-81271-2, pg. 58
  9. ^ a b c d Weisbard, Eric, et al. "Ten Past Ten" Spin. August 2001. Archived 15 February at WebCite
  10. ^ "Chinese Democracy". Archived 15 February at WebCite
  11. ^ James, Del. "Axl Rose Insists Original Guns N' Roses Lineup Is Dead and Buried". February 27, 2009. Archived 15 February at WebCite
  12. ^ Crowe, Cameron (October 28, 1993). "Five Against the World".  
  13. ^ "TX2BLN: Hickory 2BL Nylon Tip".

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