Charles Samuels, the youngest member of Richmond City Council by nearly a decade, made a Pearl Jam reference during a meeting yesterday that sources said “instantaneously flew over” the rest of the 9-member group.
The Pearl Jam-based miscommunication, sources said, came after Councilman E. Marty Jewell made an offhand mention of his refusal to cut funding to a citywide housing-assistance program.
“Look folks, the housing market in Richmond is weak. People need help buying homes,” Jewell said, “but don’t get me wrong: the market here is very much still alive.”
“Ha, yeah, like the Pearl Jam song,” the 33-year-old Samuels quickly noted, referencing the grunge band’s 1991 hit “Alive,” which was met with blank stares from fellow members. “You know, like how the song goes, ‘Whoaaa I’m still a-live, aye-yeah…I’m…still…’ Anyone? No one?”
After glances were exchanged among the rest of the “utterly lost and discombobulated” council members, each trying – to no avail – to comprehend Samuels’ allusion, sources said discussion fell back into the housing-assistance program.
The 2nd District Councilman, who was in high school during the rise of Pearl Jam and owns 38 of the band’s official bootlegs and all their albums on vinyl, has experienced a number of missed references due to the generational gap in recent months. Notable misfires have included what would have been considered – in the correct crowd – a well-timed and humorous Dumb & Dumber quote, and just last week, an unfortunate request aimed at Councilman Jewell to play “Mafia Wars” on Facebook.