As time rolls on, I’ve been reflecting back on Jewel’s career and her relationship with you (The EDAs). We’ve changed the name a few times over the years, but I first began sharing a form of these monthly EDA blogs back in August of 1999, which is now 19 years ago. We’ve never missed a month, making this one our 229th blog in this ongoing series!
With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to revisit my very first EDA blog, since in all likelihood many of you may have missed it first time around. For the first decade or so, prior to Jewel and West thankfully joining in at writing these blogs, I tended toward the investigation of Jewel’s songwriting and attempted to convey how particular songs came about.
In the first EDA blog I focused on the song “Don’t,” one of the first songs Jewel ever wrote. We included unheard archival audio of her talking about the song and performing it at The InnerChange Coffeehouse during the live recording sessions for her debut album Pieces Of You. The audio components were recorded during the spring and summer of 1994 - 24 years ago now.
Those were the days when most of us used handles instead of our real names. I was no exception and went by the moniker MrBB. So here we go, back to the early days....
Presented here is a live performance of “Don’t,” recorded at the early show of July 29th, 1994. I thought you would enjoy hearing this, not only for it being an unheard outtake from the live sessions for the Pieces Of You album, but because it conveys a number of interesting things, not least of which is just how far Jewel has
developed as a singer, songwriter and musician in the 5 years since.
Despite it being some time ago and one of the first songs Jewel ever wrote, it contains qualities that would continue to draw listeners in, such as the expressiveness of her voice and unconventional song structures. Here’s some of what Jewel recalls about writing it:
“I wrote this when I was 16. A junior in high school. I did not write it about anyone in particular - just made up a sad story. I think I imagined feelings and experiences I hoped to have one day - the deep longing and bitter sweet burden of a love deeply felt. Be careful what you wish for! I think its interesting to see how little I knew about songwriting structure. There is no real bridge. I had to rely on my lyrics to try and hold the listener’s attention - as with a lot of my early songs.”
In the audio we’re about to share, “Don’t” is sandwiched between two relevant interview clips recorded earlier that same year. In Jewel’s dialogue preceding the song, she explains how the song developed. In the clip following the song, she conveys an emerging confidence and her sense of humor. In addition to the audio, you can also view a scan of Jewel’s hand-written lyrics.
We hope you find our first EDA blog an enjoyable, amusing and interesting glimpse back at the early days of Jewel’s career. This live performance of “Don’t” was recorded when Jewel had just turned 20 and the interview clips when she was still 19 years old.
— MrBB (AKA Alan Bershaw)
Click the button in center of this photo to play the audio: