Eddie Vedder's Reunion with a Dutch Pearl Jam Fan Was 27 Years in the Making

Eddie Vedder's Reunion with a Dutch Pearl Jam Fan Was 27 Years in the Making
Photo: Marcel Wagenaar
Following a 1992 gig with Pearl Jam in Utrecht, Eddie Vedder met a Dutch woman named Valeska Custers, who ended up giving him a lift back to his hotel on her bicycle. This past week, an offhand reflection on the memory from Vedder during a solo show led to the two reuniting nearly 27 years later.

Vedder told the story during a recent solo performance in Amsterdam, asking the crowd, "Is the woman who gave me a lift to my hotel in 1992 maybe here tonight?… I am almost certain that I would still recognize her face." 

While no one in the crowd came forward, Dutch paper Het Parool did the detective work for the Pearl Jam frontman, tracking down Custers and asking for her recollections of their encounter those many years ago.

As Custers recalled, she was in attendance at the Utrecht show to see openers City Pig Unit and was approached by Vedder backstage. "He was extremely shy," she told the publication. "But I really felt a connection with him."

Custers met with Vedder later on in the evening at a café, where they talked until the early hours of the morning. Though she offered to hail him a cab, Vedder instead hitched a ride on the back of Custers' bike, holding tight to her backpack that he forgot to return before heading back to his hotel.

"I still remember thinking: I'm not going to give myself to him," Custers told the publication. "He'll be somewhere else tomorrow and I'll be one of the thousands of girls… He feels a bit like my soulmate."

After the first Het Parool article found its way back to Vedder, the artist's tour managers invited Custers and her husband to a show in Brussels. A second story from Het Parool confirms that the two reunited backstage, with Vedder reportedly telling her, "you still have that same smile."

Vedder also noted that he had attempted to return the backpack. "I made you write down your address in order to do so. I'm not sure if I still have it now, but I kept it for years at least," he said.

Find a photo of the pair below.