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Pearl Jam — Off He Goes
Album: No Code
Avg rating:
7.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1871









Released: 1996
Length: 5:40
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Know a man
His face seems pulled and tense
Like he's riding on a motorbike
In the strongest winds

So I approach with tact
Suggest that he should relax
But he's always moving
Much too fast

Said he'll see me on the flip side
On this trip he's taking for a ride
He's been taking too much on
There he goes with his perfectly unkempt clothes

There he goes...

He's yet to come back
But I've seen his picture
It doesn't look the same
Up on the rack

We go way back

I wonder about his insides
It's like his thoughts are too big for his size
He's been taken
Where I don't know
Off he goes with his perfectly unkempt clothes

There he goes

And now I rub my eyes
For he has returned
Seems my preconceptions are what should have been burned
For he still smiles
And he's still strong

Nothing's changed but the surrounding bullshit
That has grown

And now he's home
And we're laughing like we always did
My same old
Same old friend

Until a quarter-to-ten
I saw the strain creep in
He seems distracted
And I know just what is going to happen then

Before his first step
He is off again
Comments (197)add comment
Eddie can be sooooooo mellow.
 hayduke2 wrote:
these lyrics break me down as I read em, if you have a brother, a dad, an important guy who you see off on some deep depressing bend ... this song brings forth those remembrances, and tears man
good to hear now and again though

 
Thanks for your comment. I've heard this on RP for years, but never stopped to listen or read the lyrics. Agree with the tears...
{#Frown}-Ugh.
these lyrics break me down as I read em, if you have a brother, a dad, an important guy who you see off on some deep depressing bend ... this song brings forth those remembrances, and tears man
good to hear now and again though
 I think it is about himself to himself?
ice-9 wrote:

I've always assumed it's a song about Neil Young.  It describes him pretty well, and the line "... but I've seen his picture.  It doesn't look the same upon the rack" sounds like a reference to the record store rack.

Then again, I guess that would make it a song about friendship.

 


love

this song has that feeling to it imo 
 Cueburned wrote:

Open it and rip it.  But it's kind of like opening a vintage wine isn't it?  You wouldn't serve that to just anyone...  

 
Here I sit still wondering to open it up.  Maybe for New Years.
 Lauriea wrote:
a song about friendship?

 
I've always assumed it's a song about Neil Young.  It describes him pretty well, and the line "... but I've seen his picture.  It doesn't look the same upon the rack" sounds like a reference to the record store rack.

Then again, I guess that would make it a song about friendship.
 kurtster wrote:
Have this on vinyl, unopened.  Still trying to decide whether or not to open it and rip it or get the big bucks for a sealed copy.

 
Open it and rip it.  But it's kind of like opening a vintage wine isn't it?  You wouldn't serve that to just anyone...  
Have this on vinyl, unopened.  Still trying to decide whether or not to open it and rip it or get the big bucks for a sealed copy.
 AhhtheMusic wrote:
An honest voice and honest musician.  I love that RP plays his music on a regular basis.  Love this one in particular.  :) :)

 
Thank you for that post. I've carped/joked about Eddie's voice many times before but you're right: he's got an honest, unpretentious voice and approach. What you hear is what you get. I really liked Eddie's two songs on the soundtrack for "Dead Man Walking" for the same reason. 

I've posted this on RP before but...I remember hearing a Fresh Air interview with Al Kooper, who actually was the lead singer for Blood, Sweat and Tears before David Clayton Thomas (older RPers might say "Well, duh" but this blew my mind). Kooper quite freely admitted that Thomas was a better singer but said "I never believed a word of what he sang." Boom! 
Kind of a warped vinyl feel to this one.  I can't feel comfortable.  By the way, my singing career bombed when I was about 10.
The band sounds great but Eddie's voice is uneven. Should have done another take.
An honest voice and honest musician.  I love that RP plays his music on a regular basis.  Love this one in particular.  :) :)
i love this station
 robpratley wrote:

What planet do you reside passion ?
 


 passsion8 wrote:
The second worst voice in music, behind Tom Waits. At lease Tom's has made his fun. Jon Hiatt ranks down there, too.

 

What planet do you reside passion ?
Beautiful song. One of my favourite Pearl Jam songs.... 'comment sandwich'
The second worst voice in music, behind Tom Waits. At lease Tom's has made his fun. Jon Hiatt ranks down there, too.
Beautiful song. One of my favourite Pearl Jam songs....
Love Eddie and the boys
this song's great imo, strong music and thoughtful lyrics, I could never tire of really listening to it
 mojoman wrote:
I wonder what he did with the money his mom gave him for singing lessons.

 

I dunno, but lots of folks enjoy listening to him sing.  Did you take singing lessons, and if so, how's your singing career coming along as compared to Eddie's?
 mojoman wrote:
I wonder what he did with the money his mom gave him for singing lessons.

 
This song doesn't do much for me, not because of his voice though.  How many relevant rock singers have ever had singing lessons?
Is it strange a comment like "no comments"? Love it...
 Jannne wrote:
a great sound - love this song

 
👍💜💜
I love this song so much.
a great sound - love this song
a song about friendship?
awesome song           10

Love this song. 
guess you don't have very good ear for music......



I wonder what he did with the money his mom gave him for singing lessons.

 


I wonder what he did with the money his mom gave him for singing lessons.
Wow - surprisingly nice acoustic guitar work and Eddie Vedder isn't screaming. Like it!
The first few bars remind me of a modulated cover of the Beatles' "And I Love Her"...


 jersey_birdman wrote:
Was just thinking the same thing...  instead we get Sugar Mountain

iTuner wrote:
Would have liked this song followed up with Neil Young's Unknown Legend.
 



 
This sounds like a wholesale ripoff of Unknown Legend...
Lovely tune - I hope Pearl Jam have a few more in the tank... {#Cheers}
Wow great set the last 4 or 5 songs! Burn all Cars records and you've really got something here RP! (Just kidding...RP is great. Serious about please never play another Cars record!)
Was just thinking the same thing...  instead we get Sugar Mountain

iTuner wrote:
Would have liked this song followed up with Neil Young's Unknown Legend.
 


 sirdroseph wrote:
. . . At least Eddie is not trying too hard on this one.
 
I've never been much of a PJ/Vedder fan but I definitely prefer their/his ballads to the rockers, as Eddie's "quiet" voice is much more palatable, IMO. Plus, any band that takes on those Ticketmaster motherf•ckers is OK by me!
I love this song and Eddie Veder.  {#Tongue}
Would have liked this song followed up with Neil Young's Unknown Legend.
 Reckoner978 wrote:
Thank you Bill, for all the Pearl Jam songs you air. I'd also love to hear some of my personal favorites: Sleight of Hand, Present Tense, In Hiding, Nothing As It Seems, Hail Hail, Red Mosquito.....someone stop me now please xD
 

Present Tense is one of my all time favorites with a great great message.
 Byronape wrote:

This is true, but not always because of PJ's greatness.  There are better bands of the era that would have had a career as long and successful if not more so, had all the members managed to stay alive. 

 

Yes - It's tragic that Kurt and Layne died, and that Dave and Jerry had to move on without them, and that clearly changed their trajectory in terms of both the quality and range of output and their sucess.

PJ was lucky in the that sense.  But don't forget that they had their genesis in a tragic death as well.  If Andy Wood had lived, we might all be talkin about how Mother Love Bone was still going strong 25 years later.
 sirdroseph wrote:
This is actually an improvement over most of their dreck, this is just boring. At least Eddie is not trying too hard on this one.
 
{#Lol} {#Yes}

 Byronape wrote:

This is true, but not always because of PJ's greatness.  There are better bands of the era that would have had a career as long and successful if not more so, had all the members managed to stay alive. 

 


 grungepuppy wrote:
Great song by one of the best bands of the past 20 years. Think about it. There are few other bands from that period with the catalog that Pearl Jam has created.
 
This is true, but not always because of PJ's greatness.  There are better bands of the era that would have had a career as long and successful if not more so, had all the members managed to stay alive. 

This is actually an improvement over most of their dreck, this is just boring. At least Eddie is not trying too hard on this one.
Thank you Bill, for all the Pearl Jam songs you air. I'd also love to hear some of my personal favorites: Sleight of Hand, Present Tense, In Hiding, Nothing As It Seems, Hail Hail, Red Mosquito.....someone stop me now please xD
One of the few.
Thank you Eddie.
How other artists could learn about truth and soul from you.
Just caught Ed on his solo tour where he did a beautiful version of this.

 PhoenixArtDj wrote:
Bill, you magnificent bastard!
 
woowooooahhhh, the 'B' word!! Couldn't have put it better meself.. after a week of mucking out pigs a bit of Pearl Jam just puts you back in the groove.
Bill, you magnificent bastard!
Pearl Jam does Neil Young...not a fan, but its not horrible.
Great song by one of the best bands of the past 20 years. Think about it. There are few other bands from that period with the catalog that Pearl Jam has created.
VERY NICE!
Maybe I'm not the world's greatest Pearl Jam fan. But this one always makes me listen.
This song is a perfect fit for a dear, dear friend. I smile with a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat when I hear it.
Ahhh, another Pearl Jam song.  Man, when these guys first emerged, I really had no use for them at all. I didn't like their sound. Then, I went to work on a job rotation for the Hearings Unit, where I had to actually THINK, because my co-workers were Administrative Law Judges with minds like quicksilver.  One of them was a Pearl Jam fan, and when he began to expound on the song "Jeremy," I figured I better take note. That was the beginning of the... beginning.

Pearl Jam is a rather amazing group. Love them or hate them (I've done both), but either way, they're pretty tough to ignore.  And I really, really love this song.{#Daisy}
this is really good. i had to dust off the album. didn't realize this track was on there.
Very nice — a bit over produced — I sit here as as own of those early 90's grunge fan supremes, but, saying that, I wish to #%& that Eddie would find his father.  I guess that pain makes great music but no one has worn me out more that Eddie... Love the first two...
 crockydile wrote:
A little whiny, no? {#Ask}
 

No
Very nice song... I hadn't heard this one.

I'm also getting a little tired of Pearl Jam, but I've noticed Vedder's voice doesn't quite sound like he's in pain, when singing something slow... I like this.

{#Good-vibes}
 rjewyo wrote:
wake me when it's over....
 
not so bad go to sleep with this!!

A little whiny, no? {#Ask}
wake me when it's over....
Getting a little tired of the Ed.  Such simple, depressing tunes.  Don't see a lot of good in either of those qualities.
Very nice!!
 flatpicker wrote:
Terrific song.

Vedder's voice works so well with these folk-type tunes.

 
yeah somehow he becomes more noticeable.you could say he shinesmore


 myknjul2 wrote:
yawn
 

"Nothing's changed but the surrounding bullshit that has grown."
One of my all time faves from one of my all time faves.
Terrific song.

Vedder's voice works so well with these folk-type tunes.

 sutcliff wrote:

I really 'mankind' on this album as well.

 

As physicsgenius once said, "this sentence no verb".
 DaveInVA wrote:
Not my favorite Hurl Jam but not to bad...
 
OIC what you did there.
Anyways, love this song.  This album is my favourite Pearl Jam album as well.

Not my favorite Hurl Jam but not to bad...
Pearl Jam does Neil Young.

wow, I think Bill has a man crush on Eddie. Mmmm.

Can we blame him?


yawn
{#Yes}
{#Stop} Help me not fall asleep !!!

Once I get past the fact that this is Eddie Vedder singing, I really like this song
 a_genuine_find wrote:
"Yo Dawg, that wasn't half bad. A little pitchy in spots, but you're getting better.'
 
LOOOOOOOL {#Bounce}

I was going to go with *yawn*
 rdo wrote:


This and "Who You Are"  are the outstanding tracks on this CD.
 
I really 'mankind' on this album as well.

 JavaJones wrote:
Love this one. Underrated album as a whole methinks.
 

This and "Who You Are"  are the outstanding tracks on this CD.
i thought it was bruce for the first minute.  
 
lmic wrote:
I never noticed how Eddie, with his nasality, does a pretty decent impression of Bruce. I mean this in a good way.
 


Always dug this. One of those tunes where it seems like I know the guy in the tune's story...
Love this one. Underrated album as a whole methinks.
I never noticed how Eddie, with his nasality, does a pretty decent impression of Bruce. I mean this in a good way.
 buckeyes wrote:
The story of "Off He Goes" concerns a friend who periodically comes whirling in and out of the protagonist's life. In an interview, Vedder revealed himself to be the friend. Vedder said, "The song "Off He Goes" is really about me being a shit friend. I'll show up and everything's great and then all of the sudden I'm outta there..."<2> It is also notable to point out that in a Pearl Jam performance in Katowice, Poland on June 16, 2000, Vedder said before starting the song that "this is about being friends with an asshole,"<3> and right after he made the statement he pointed at himself.
 
Eddie Vedder is one of the few big rock "stars" who had remained genuine and genuinely decent and true to himself.  I have a lot of respect for him.

The lyrics and comments are very interesting.

I was never a Vedder or Pearl Jam fan until the "Into the Wild" soundtrack and ensuing comments here.

Pretty cool how RP can foster appreciation for artists that I never paid much attention to.

"Yo Dawg, that wasn't half bad. A little pitchy in spots, but you're getting better.'


I used to hate Pearl Jam and as time has gone on I have developed such appreciation, especially after seeing into the wild and hearing that soundtrack.
The story of "Off He Goes" concerns a friend who periodically comes whirling in and out of the protagonist's life. In an interview, Vedder revealed himself to be the friend. Vedder said, "The song "Off He Goes" is really about me being a shit friend. I'll show up and everything's great and then all of the sudden I'm outta there..."<2> It is also notable to point out that in a Pearl Jam performance in Katowice, Poland on June 16, 2000, Vedder said before starting the song that "this is about being friends with an asshole,"<3> and right after he made the statement he pointed at himself.
Atlantis wrote:
This is the song all my friends say is about me! *sniff*
Funny, me too. I am always on the run, and never to stay.
This is the song all my friends say is about me! *sniff*
This is my all-time fav PJ album! Red Mosquito kills! Live on Two Legs has a great live version of same.
cc_rider wrote:
I REALLY like this side of Pearl Jam. Very nice, even if it does make you want to slit your wrists... Happy Listening! c.
Music lyrics are sometimes low but they make me think, not make me want to slit my wrists, nothing does. Don't think it , never do it. Celebrate life:)
:hug: :kiss: :kiss: :hug: ">
This song is fricken great.
no less than 8!
My goodness, what a great song this is! Wonderfull lyrics!
joshfm wrote:
Bottom line: Pearl Jam is one of the best bands in the world. This song: thought to be written about Vedder himself. This album: No Code. A prime example of brilliant, timeless rock-n-roll that just happened to come out of frenetic Clintonian years. For news on the disgraceful Bush II regime see 2006's "Pearl Jam" (with the avocado on the cover) it will rock you straight to headbangerness.
i salute to you my hardrocking pearl jam friend, always nice to have fellow jammers around rp!!! :clap:
When this album first came out, it was said that he wrote this song for Kurt Cobain. For whomever, it is of an impeccable taste.
naqutn1 wrote:
Fantastic song from their overlooked and avant-garde album! This is Pearl Jam at their best! Unfortunately, they have not been as daring lately!
I agree! This is my favorite album.
many also say he wrote it about Neil Young.
Fantastic song from their overlooked and avant-garde album! This is Pearl Jam at their best! Unfortunately, they have not been as daring lately!
tripi wrote:
Yeah, apparently frontman Eddie Vedder wanted it to mean that. Copied from wikipedia: Lyrical meaning - The story of "Off He Goes" concerns a friend who periodically comes whirling in and out of the protagonist's life. The friend is famous, and sometimes the old friendship can be reassembled despite the consequences of that fame, and sometimes it cannot. In an interview Eddie Vedder revealed himself to be the friend. Vedder said, "The song "Off He Goes" is really about me being a shit friend. I'll show up and everything's great and then all of the sudden I'm outta there..."<2> It's also notable to point out that in a Pearl Jam performance in Katowice, Poland on June 16, 2000, Eddie Vedder says before starting the song "this is about being friends with an asshole", and right after he makes the statement he points at himself. Although sad I love this song,.. especially the last verse.
Bottom line: Pearl Jam is one of the best bands in the world. This song: thought to be written about Vedder himself. This album: No Code. A prime example of brilliant, timeless rock-n-roll that just happened to come out of frenetic Clintonian years. For news on the disgraceful Bush II regime see 2006's "Pearl Jam" (with the avocado on the cover) it will rock you straight to headbangerness.
GChevy410 wrote:
After reading the lyrics I like this song even better, and I would have to disagree about this song being depressing. I seems to me that its about good old friends that have drifted apart in spite of really enjoying each others company. They are still able to have fun like the good ol times, but the friend has stuff to do and cant just hang out anymore...I bet these characters cant wait to retire.
Yeah, apparently frontman Eddie Vedder wanted it to mean that. Copied from wikipedia: Lyrical meaning - The story of "Off He Goes" concerns a friend who periodically comes whirling in and out of the protagonist's life. The friend is famous, and sometimes the old friendship can be reassembled despite the consequences of that fame, and sometimes it cannot. In an interview Eddie Vedder revealed himself to be the friend. Vedder said, "The song "Off He Goes" is really about me being a shit friend. I'll show up and everything's great and then all of the sudden I'm outta there..."<2> It's also notable to point out that in a Pearl Jam performance in Katowice, Poland on June 16, 2000, Eddie Vedder says before starting the song "this is about being friends with an asshole", and right after he makes the statement he points at himself. Although sad I love this song,.. especially the last verse.
musikalia wrote:
I must chime in with the numerous others who've said how surprised they are to find a Pearl jam song that they like. I usually cannot stand PJ and mute immediately- though I can hear their talent, it's just not for me. But this song is pretty good. Not excellent, but good enough to listen to indeed. A solid 6. However, Eddie Veder's voice will never sound good in my ears. Can't help it.....
That is just what I was thinking.
i didnt know that Pearl jam had this jem in them. my opinion of pearl jam just notched up a bit.
I must chime in with the numerous others who've said how surprised they are to find a Pearl jam song that they like. I usually cannot stand PJ and mute immediately- though I can hear their talent, it's just not for me. But this song is pretty good. Not excellent, but good enough to listen to indeed. A solid 6. However, Eddie Veder's voice will never sound good in my ears. Can't help it.....
This tune made me rediscover Pearl Jam, and mostly this quiet and ballad side of them, powered by strong lyrics... I think they are getting better and deeper with age, like good wine... Thanks Bill, once again...
After reading the lyrics I like this song even better, and I would have to disagree about this song being depressing. I seems to me that its about good old friends that have drifted apart in spite of really enjoying each others company. They are still able to have fun like the good ol times, but the friend has stuff to do and cant just hang out anymore...I bet these characters cant wait to retire.
keller1 wrote:
Man is this song depressing.
Well, yeah. 'Jeremy' and 'Daughter' are real toe-tappers in comparison. Kidding. PJ ain't exactly 'feelgood' music regardless. I REALLY like this side of Pearl Jam. Very nice, even if it does make you want to slit your wrists... Happy Listening! c.
What? No Code? :flamed: I want my code!
It's debateable (in my head) but this might be my favorite PJ album. Great tune. :music:
what a wonderful song on a friday afternoon, 2 hours before tori amos plays in vienna tonight... thanks bill, d.
I love Eddie forever
On_The_Beach wrote:
I definitely prefer Ballad Eddie to Rockin' Eddie, when he seems to make his voice sound silly for no apparent reason.
that's why i love 'em!
Jeremy spoke in...!