Eddie Vedder was looking for a familiar face in the crowd. He hadn’t seen the Dutch woman who had charitably given him a ride home on a bike after a show in 27 years, but he was sure he would recognize her.
During one of Vedder’s two solo concerts in Amsterdam this month, he asked the audience: “Is the woman who gave me a lift to my hotel in 1992 maybe here tonight?” She was not, but a local newspaper and others were on the case and they found her.
Valeska Custers told Het Parool that she went to Pearl Jam’s show in Utrecht in 1992 to see a friend who was a member of the supporting act. She says Vedder approached her backstage afterwards and asked her if she wanted to get a drink. She initially declined, but went to the café he had mentioned anyway where they ended up talking for hours. Vedder didn’t have a ride home or money for a cab so she gave him a lift on the back of her brother’s bike.
“He was so shy and modest. That also made him so nice,” Custers remembered about their good-bye that night. “I still remember thinking ‘I’m not going to give myself to him. He’ll be somewhere else tomorrow and I’ll be one of the thousands of girls.”
After Het Parool tracked Custers down and published the article, someone in Vedder’s backing band read it and showed it to him. She was invited to the next show in Brussels where the two finally reunited backstage. They reportedly talked about their spouses and kids, and Vedder told Custers she still had the same smile.
“I have thought about (reuniting) so many times, but I didn’t know how I would arrange it,” Custers said. “It would be great to meet again. He kind of feels like my soulmate.”
Watch Vedder perform "Hard Sun" from one of those recent Amsterdam shows.