Pearl Jam shared the uncensored version of its “Jeremy” video for the first time to coincide with National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday (June 5).
The Mark Pellington-directed video for the song “Jeremy” — which appeared on Pearl Jam’s 1991 debut, Ten — tells the troubling story of a bullied teen who ends up shooting himself with a pistol in front of his schoolmates.
“The increase in gun violence since the debut of ‘Jeremy’ is staggering. We have released the uncensored version of the video which was unavailable in 1992 with TV censorship laws,” Pearl Jam wrote on Instagram. “We can prevent gun deaths whether mass shootings, deaths of despair, law enforcement, or accidental.”
“Jeremy” was inspired by the true story of Dallas 16-year-old Jeremy Delle, who killed himself in front of his classmates in 1991 after years of torment. The video went on to win four MTV Video Music Awards in 1993, including Video of the Year.
“I remember I [felt] chills while I was shooting it and editing it,” Pellington recalled to Billboard on the video’s 25th anniversary in 2017.
Pearl Jam is also raising awareness of gun violence through the re-release of its “Choices” T-shirt from the early 1990s, which features a little girl reaching for a handgun lying amid scattered crayons. The back of the original shirt reads, “9 out of 10 kids prefer crayons to guns,” while the new version states, “10 out of 10 kids prefer crayons to guns.”
Proceeds from purchases will go toward the band’s Vitalogy Foundation, which works with organizations around the U.S. to reduce gun violence.
Pearl Jam released its latest album, Gigaton, through Monkeywrench/Republic Records in late March. The set debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart and landed in the top five of the Billboard 200.