Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder was once punched in the face by Paul McCartney, and kinda liked it

Eddie Vedder and Paul McCartney
(Image credit: Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images, Neil Mockford/GC Images)

Being acknowledged by a rock god in any capacity, be it via a friendly handshake or a passing comment, is a moment that many music fans would hold close to their hearts. For Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, a run in with one true titan of modern music unfolded a little differently.

During a guest appearance on Sirus XM's Beatles channel in 2017, the grunge vocalist fondly remembered being punched in the face by none other than Paul McCartney.

As he explains however, it wasn't an intentional act of violence, per se. It appears that, while hanging out in a Seattle hotel with the former Beatle, Vedder was accidentally struck when listening in on the star's story about hitting another man. As McCartney was explaining how he hit the person, he acted out the moment with his arms, and as Vedder was standing just a little too close, he got an accidental blow during the music legend's dramatic re-enactment. 

"I was fortunate enough to be with Paul McCartney in the corner of a Seattle hotel bar" recalls Vedder, "and he kind of was illustrating how he hit this guy. And when he did that he kind of shot out his left arm as if he was hitting this guy and I was standing there, and I got hit. He hit me! He didn't quite pull back the punch you see...

"It was a great, incredible personal story. I caught the end of it, and as I was listening, I thought, 'Paul McCartney just hit me in the face, and it hurt.'

"I think I remember tasting a bit of blood, he got me right on the side of [the face]. And he apologised quickly so it wouldn't get in the way of the story."

On how he felt about being walloped by the ex-Beatle, the singer continues, "It was a great time in my life actually, to be hit by Paul McCartney. And I remember it hurt for a few days, and I remember when it went away when the pain subsided, and the swelling went down, I kind of missed it."

Vedder has long been a fan of The Beatles, which probably helped ease the pain. In fact, Pearl Jam's leader has covered the Fab Four on a number occasions, as evident in the compilation video below, where he tackles songs such as I've Just Seen A Face, Blackbird, Rain and more.

On September 8 this year, the musician performed The Beatles' 1969 song Her Majesty during a show at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, who died that same day.

Vedder collaborated with a Beatle for his 2022 solo album Earthling, released in February, recruiting drummer Ringo Starr to guest appear on Mrs Mills.

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.