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Pearl Jam Worldwide Tour Brings Memories of 'No Code' Album Cover

By Sarah Wilson    2/19/13

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Pearl Jam fans are looking forward to experiencing the music of their favorite living legends as two tour dates have been added to a 2013 worldwide tour of the musicians. A July 19 live concert will take place at Wrigley Field in Chicago, three days after a stop at the Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario. As we think back to the musical history of Pearl Jam, you may remember their curious album cover (for their 1996 project titled, 'NO CODE'), which was riddled with hidden as well as blatant imagery.

Pearl Jam's 'No Code' album cover is broken up into a myriad of squares measuring 2x2 inches – each space offering one of 144 Polaroid photos. The photos seem random at first – ranging from Dennis Rodman's eyeball (who was a friend to Pearl Jam and former Chicago Bulls ball player) to a shot of band member Vedder's foot following a stingray sting. However, when the photos are seen from afar – there is a clear and distinct symbol that forms in the center of the collection – a triangle with an eyeball inside.

When decoding the album cover for 'No Code,' the following symbols are encountered:
  • Triangle with Eye Inside: The triangle with an eye inside is not just any random image to appear in the middle of all of the Polaroids. It is clearly deliberate…but the question to ask is why. This symbol (also known as the Eye of Providence, Eye of Horus, and the all-seeing eye) has meaning to those who believe in Lucifer and secret societies with questionable agendas. Whose idea was it to place this piece of imagery on the front of the 'No Code' album cover?
  • Single Eyes: Eyes are a reoccurring piece of imagery for the 'No Code' album cover. Some possess a distinct ode to ancient Egyptian culture, and scream 'Eye of Horus.' The single-eye symbolism is often linked to the Illuminati, and is typically seen as playing a role in the occult and mind control.
  • Lightning Bolt: Lightning bolts and electricity are represented in a few of the Polaroids. Throughout history, lightning bolts have had connections to Lucifer, the Nazis, and the Illuminati, and has been embraced by shady characters, such as the leader of the Church of Satan.
  • The Number Five: One of the Polaroids shows an image of the number 5 pool ball. Numerology deeply figures into messages related to the occult, as well as stands for deliberate symbolism. The meaning behind choosing this particular number is unknown.
  • Masonic Emblem: The square occupying the bottom left-side corner of the album cover displays the letter 'G' inside of a triangle – a known symbol associated with the Masons. This Masonic emblem is one that often appears on the rings worn by members.
Past Controversy for Pearl Jam

Despite participating in years of social and political activism (as well as charitable organizations), Pearl Jam is not without its controversy. At one time, MTV placed restrictions on the airing of the music video for their song 'Jeremy,' which included violent imagery regarding youths. An unedited version of the video shows a student placing a gun in his mouth, and then pulling the trigger. Viewers thought that 'Jeremy' killed his fellow classmates at the end of the video instead of himself – either way, the imagery was violent and offensive to many. Another version for the same song shows what appear to be his classmates making the Nazi Hitler salute.

Later on, a high school shooting occurred, where three lives were lost. The shooter's legal defense team stated that he was influenced by the edited version of the music video for 'Jeremy.' Following a few other violent outbursts and massacres in the school setting (such as Columbine), the video is now rarely ever shown.

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