Neil is a good friend of Ed and the band and someone they look up to greatly. Their relationship goes back to 92 when Pearl Jam was first invited to play the Bridge School Benefits, and in 93 toured with Neil on a short stint through Europe. Pearl Jam served as Neil s backing band on his "Mirrorball" album, and Ed even contributes to some backing vocals (All PJ fans are recommended to check this great album out). The band (minus Ed) toured as Neil s backing band for a few weeks in Europe in support of Mirrorball. Pearl Jam recorded the Merkinball EP with Neil s help during the same recording session. You ll also find Pearl Jam covering the Neil s songs "Fuckin Up" and part of "Rockin in The Free World" on Live on Two Legs. These are just a few of the many Neil Young tunes Pearl Jam has whipped out in concerts over the years. PJ has also played at his Bridge School Benefit shows several times as well.