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 Pearl Jam— Jeremy

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The actual page for Jeremy is at this link:  http://www.sshep.com/jeremynew.htm

 

 

Photo taken Thursday, December 16, 2004


Background

Someone once told me the song Jeremy was about a student at a school I attended for a short while. I attended J.J. Pearce in Richardson, Texas, but went to Richardson High School for a few months. After hearing this several times, I searched the Internet for related stories and confirmed this to be true. To be sure, I checked the Dallas Morning News online archives and confirmed the article there and have reproduced it below.  Since publicizing this information on my site, a number of individuals who knew Jeremy have contacted me and this page has grown.  The more I learn about Jeremy the more I realize just how tragic this really was.  As one kind employee of Richardson High School has told me and discussed during a four hour interview at my home recently, "Jeremy was a good kid with a mountain of problems that he didn't deserve."  That interview will be posted here in the relatively near future.  See some details and facts from our meeting toward the bottom of this page. 

To follow are the Jeremy Video, the Red Rocks, Colorado version of Jeremy, the "Bill Clinton" version of Jeremy, the interview with Pearl Jam where they first discuss what Jeremy is about, both of the news articles from the Dallas newspaper the next day, and photos of the school where Jeremy died.  This page continues to evolve.  As more and more people see this page, I am being contacted and given additional information.  A link at the bottom of the page will put you on a mailing list for updates to this page if you would like to remain informed about changes here. (Your e-mail address will ONLY be used for updates to this page.)

Note from SS: At times life will get really rough people, even unbearable, and you just have to realize it is temporary, it too shall pass.  A good song to listen to when you are feeling bad is "Don't Give Up" by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, their live version.  Click the player at the bottom of this page to hear that song now while you read, just stop the video or other music/video that may be playing already.

The Idea for "Jeremy"

"Jeremy" is a song based on a true story about a student at Richardson High School in

Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas (photos below). Eddie Vedder saw the newspaper article (that also follows) by which he was inspired to write the song. Eddie states in addition to this there was a student at his school growing up whom also played a part in the song.

Photos History: The grainy image below left is the one that has been circulating the Internet since Jeremy died in 1991.  Three days ago, nearly 14 years later, I was able to take the photo below at right, and capture a better image of Jeremy.  Then on 12-16-2004, I finally obtained the image you see at the top of this page which is from his yearbook photo from the year before as he never appeared in the RHS yearbook.

[Jeremy Wade Delle                   

 

Jeremy, 87-88, in Junior High School

Actor from the Jeremy video (well cast for part, looks quite a bit like Jeremy)

Trevor Wilson - actor portraying Jeremy

Richardson High School - the school where Jeremy took his life

I stopped by Richardson High School in December 2003 and snapped some photos. They were re-doing the entrance with a modern look, however this is how it has looked since being built and how it looked when Jeremy attended Richardson High School.  To see a page with more photos of the school, shift - click on the photo below (holding your shift key down keeps this page open and music playing uninterrupted).

News Article about Jeremy - Two Articles appeared the next day, both follow

(names shown in bold have photos after article)

 

Richardson teen-ager kills
himself in front of classmates
By Bobbi Miller
Annette Nevins

Staff Writers of The Dallas Morning News

Tuesday, January 8, 1991

RICHARDSON - A Richardson High School sophomore, described as a loner who had been in counseling, fatally shot himself Tuesday in front of a classroom of about 30 students.
      Jeremy Wade Delle, 16, who had transferred from a Dallas school, died instantly after firing a .357-caliber Magnum into his mouth about 9:45 a.m. police said.
      Because he had missed class, the teacher in his second-period English class told Jeremy to get an admittance slip from the school office. Instead, he returned with the gun, police said.
      He walked directly to the front of the classroom.
      "Miss, I got what I really went for," he said, then placed the barrel in his mouth and fired, according to Sgt. Ray Pennington, a police spokesman.
      The shooting occurred before the students or teacher Faye Barnett could react, said school district spokeswoman Susan Dacus-Wilson.
      It stunned students and faculty members throughout the school at 1250 W. Belt Line Road.
      Brian Jackson, 16, said he was working the combination on his locker just outside Jeremy's English class when he heard a loud bang "like someone had just slammed a book on a desk."
      "I thought they were doing a play or something," he said. "But then I heard a scream and a blond girl came running out of the classroom and she was crying." Frightened, but curious, Brian looked into the classroom and saw Jeremy lying on the floor bleeding.
      "The teacher was standing against the wall crying and shaking," Brian said. "Some people were standing around her holding her as if to keep her from falling."
      Another student, Howard Felman, an 11th-grader, was in government class when he heard the shot. At first students joked about the noise, thinking that someone was playing around, he said.
      "But then we heard a girl running down the hall screaming," he said. "It was a scream from the heart."
      Sgt. Pennington said Jeremy apparently had given some thought to his actions because he left a suicide note with a classmate. Investigators would not disclose its contents.
      Principal Jerry Bishop said Jeremy's class attendance had been sporadic. Mr. Bishop said he had met with the boy and his father to discuss the problem.
      Police said that Jeremy had been in counseling with his father, but they did not know the specifics.
      Sgt. Pennington said police did not know where the youth got the gun and had no clue why he would kill himself in a crowded classroom.
      The classmates who witnessed the shooting were immediately ushered to a secluded room for counseling.
      About 30 members of the school district's volunteer crisis team arrived to counsel students.
      Classes continued throughout the day. Some students were allowed to leave early, but counselors encouraged them to stay at school and discuss their feelings.
 

      Lisa Moore, 16, said she knew Jeremy from the in-school suspension program.
      "He and I would pass notes back and forth and he would talk about life and stuff," she said.
      She said Jeremy wanted to discuss the boy she was dating and also mentioned that he was having trouble with one of his teachers. He signed all of his notes, "Write back." But on Monday he wrote, "Later days."
      "I didn't know what to make of it," she said. "But I never thought this would happen."
      However, Sean Forrester, 17, remembered Jeremy as friendly with no outward signs of turmoil.
      "He never looked like he had anything wrong with him. He always made a joke over everything," Sean said.
      Jeremy was the son of Joseph R. Delle of Richardson, with whom he lived, and Wanda Crane. The couple divorced in 1979, according to Dallas County court records.
      Mr. Delle could not be reached for comment. Ms. Crane, through a spokesman, declined to comment.
      Tuesday's shooting was the first known teen suicide in a Richardson school. It was the first by a Richardson student since 1988, when student suicides prompted the creation of the crisis intervention program in May that year.
      Three Richardson students committed suicide during the first half of 1988. They included a sixth-grader and two sophomores at J. J. Pearce High School. One of the sophomores hanged himself from a tree behind Mohawk Elementary School during a weekend.
      In 1985, a 17-year-old Arlington student shot himself in front of four fellow students in the drama classroom at Arlington High School.
      Earlier, and outbreak of teen suicides in Plano, where eight youths killed themselves in 1983 and 1984, helped focus national attention on the plight of suicidal teen-agers.
      Students and counselors agreed that the shock of Jeremy's public demise would have a lingering effect on the Richardson students, particularly the witnesses.
      "They are going to go through a ton of sadness, anxiety and fear," said Sheryl Pender, a counselor with Willow Park Hospital in Plano and former director of the Suicide and Crisis Center in Dallas.
Staff writer Jeffrey Weiss contributed to this report.

The second article in the Dallas Morning News that day:

 

Thumbnail of actual article, recreated below, shift-click for enlargement: 

Crisis teams respond quickly to teen’s suicide

By Annette Nevins

Staff Write for the Dallas Morning News

RICHARDSON-  A new peer counseling group at Richardson High School went to the aid of classmates Tuesday when a student killed himself during an English class.

It was the first big challenge for the 20-member group, which was specially trained last spring to help fellow students handle crisis situations.  The team was one of several counseling groups that began work within minutes after school district administrators learned of the suicide. 

Danny Glick, vice president of the peer counseling group, was among those who went to the classroom after sophomore Jeremy Wade Delle shot himself.

To his surprise, the room was not filled with hysteria. “It was catatonic.  No emotion,” he said.

Danny, 17, talked with one boy who had seen the shooting from the front row of the classroom.  He couldn’t tell me how he felt,” he said.  “He just kept telling me in detail what happened.  Over and over.”

Danny said some of the students he talked with knew that Jeremy had problems and expressed regret that they had not approached him. 

“Everybody I talked to said the ultimate same thing:  They wish they could have said something to him before he did it,” he said.  (SS Note - would have been difficult with Jeremy locked away in ISS for a month or two, where you are not allowed to talk to other students - similar to solitary.)

Pat Olney, director of a separate Crisis Intervention Team, said peer counseling is a valuable tool because students usually talk more freely with other students.

The district’s intervention team, which was formed just two years ago in the aftermath of other student suicides, includes psychologists, counselors, principals, the superintendent and other administrators.  Also on the scene Tuesday was a campus-based intervention team of administrators.

“The first thing we have to do is to help the students acknowledge their feelings about what they just experienced,” Ms. Olney said.

“Adolescents  are more fragile, and it’s often more difficult for them to deal with something like this,” she said.  “Their feelings range from fear and terror and sorrow to anger that it happened, and anger that it happened at school.”

Shortly after Tuesday’s shooting, she said, the crisis teams met as a group with the students and teacher who witnessed the shooting and offered individual counseling.

The team notified the students’ parents and wrote a note to each of the school’s teachers with information about the incident.  Another memo was sent to each classroom to be read to the students. 

The crisis teams plan to remain on campus for as long as needed. Ms. Olney said. Another community crisis team made up of doctors, police officers and clergy has been alerted and is standing by to help if needed, she said.

Teen suicides are increasing across the country, Ms. Olney said.  Many school districts have formed similar intervention teams.

In Richardson, a committee of parents, students, board members, medical professionals and community leaders began work in 1988 to form the district’s crisis-team following at least three student suicides.

The Plano school district also set up intervention programs when seven teen-agers killed themselves during the 1983-84 school year.  (SS Note – Plano is due north of RHS.)

But suicide intervention does not come without criticism.  Recently, Columbia University researchers wrote in a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association that teen suicide prevention programs in schools actually may stir up depressed feelings rather than help youths who have tried to kill themselves.

Ms. Olney, who knows of the report, said that study refers to one-time lectures on suicide and not the ongoing intervention programs such as Richardson’s, which involves follow-up visits and student monitoring.

A photo of two students appeared with this article with the subheading: “Richardson High School students Chris Ray and Tim Cullum talk about sophomore Jeremy Wade Delle.”  (Unfortunately the quality of the photo was too poor to reproduce for this page.)

Staff writer Jeffery Weiss contributed to this report.


Richardson High School Yearbook Photos (including photos of those from the above article)

Jeremy's photo is not in the yearbook, as he committed suicide before the year book was produced. He is not even mentioned in the "those not pictured for the year" section, however, the following two items are present in the RHS 1991 yearbook.  It was nice that Brandy, Melanie and someone else remembered Jeremy with the following memorials.  Shown below are his teacher, principal and several of the students who spoke in the news article.

    

Jeremy's Teacher in his English class where he committed suicide, and his school principal.  Jerry Bishop was the head principal I believe, but Joe Roseborough was the principal responsible for Jeremy.   I met Joe Roseborough in 1990 and only found out at the first of 2005 that he was Jeremy's principal at RHS.  I had produced an innovative catalog addressing multimedia educational materials for drug prevention, suicide prevention and other teen issues and Joe Roseborough had come to my offices to discuss promoting the catalog during his talks at other schools. 

Students who spoke in the news article above:

 

Lisa Moore and Sean Forrester, above, and Howard Fellman, below:

As shown below, Jeremy was not listed in the "Sophomores not pictured" section:

 

This is Jeremy's headstone at his grave.  I was driving to locate the grave and it is at Restland which is a very large cemetery.  As I turned and I mean as I was passing where his headstone was at about 20 yards away, at 11:14 am on Friday, January 5, 2007, the Jeremy song came on the radio at that very second.  It was eerie and the timing could not have been better.  It was being played on the Edge, 102.1 FM in Dallas.  The timing was beyond belief.  Anyhow, thanks to "Debi" for helping me locate Jeremy's marker.  Debi brought the beautiful yellow rose and the beads were already there.

 

 

UPDATE November 2004: NEW INFORMATION SENT IN - SEE THE FOLLOWING:

The following was posted to my website a few weeks ago.  I've contacted the person who left the message and we have tentatively agreed to meet and discuss Jeremy's situation.  They will be able to shed some tremendous insight into Jeremy and his situation.  Here are her comments left on my site: 

Comments

I was a key employee at Richardson High School when Jeremy committed suicide. I was one of the last adults that talked to him besides Faye Barnett. Some of the incidents you have from your research and some small ones (from the article) deviate from the truth. I would be happy to talk with you if you're interested. This was such a tragedy. Jeremy was a good kid with a mountain of problems that he didn't deserve.  If you want to talk e-mail me and then I will give you my address and phone #. Thanks. This is a wonderful site to go with an excellent song of awareness.

Our first meeting was held Monday, December 13, 2004; information from that interview will be posted as soon as possible.  If you would like to be put on a mailing list for updates to this page, use the Information Request button at the bottom of the page.  Your e-mail will only be used for notification about changes to this page.

INFORMATION UPDATE

I've been alluding to an interview being posted here.  My main goal was to get the photo of Jeremy updated.  That went really well and would not have been possible without my contact from RHS.  The other addition will be the interview with this former employee of Richardson High School who spoke with Jeremy that day.  I had the opportunity to meet with both this person and a close friend of theirs here at my place.  We talked for over 4 hours and a recording was made of the interview.  The information has to be edited but will be presented here as soon as possible.  Converting 4 hours of tape into text is going to take some time plus editing but will be done.  In the meantime, in the next week I will post some of the key information that came from this meeting.  Once you understand better how Jeremy came to be in front of his classmates in that classroom that day you will see how painful and unnecessary this tragedy was.  It was a classic example of flying through the cracks in society, especially at that time.   Bear with me - I am loaded down on some projects at this moment but will expedite as quickly as possible.  From everything I have gathered thus far, Jeremy was a pretty innocent kid.  He had some problems while at his previous school and was sent to a psychiatric hospital.  Sounded like when the insurance money ran out he was suddenly "cured" and was released.  He went to live with his Dad and his new step mom and transferred to Richardson High School as a result.  A fairly short time after arriving at RHS his locker was searched and some items that were apparently not illegal but considered controversial were found in his locker and he was put in ISS (In School Suspension).  He had also made some statements to several individuals about two faculty members at RHS after arriving that may have gone beyond derogatory.  Imagine getting out of a hospital under those conditions and going to a new school, a new start, only to be thrown into ISS shortly after arriving.  You'd be hoping for a fresh start and immediately you are placed in ISS and basically labeled a degenerate to some degree, a screw up at least.  The last thing Jeremy needed was isolation but that in effect is what he got.  And he was placed in there for a period of time longer than many, many students are.  The faculty put him in ISS because of the locker search and I believe the fact he had come out of a psychiatric hospital.  The comments he had made were not revealed to others until after his death.  There was also one other reason that I will cover later.  It was a convenient way to keep him in school but away from the students.  Many students stated in the articles below they wish they could have talked to Jeremy before this event, but they couldn't because no one had access to him.  Someone coming from a psychiatric hospital and into a new school would have really benefited from interaction with other students.  During ISS when I was there, you could not talk to other students and could barely sneak notes.  You were only supposed to speak to the teacher on duty, and they wouldn't engage you in conversation, just yes no answers.  Those of you who have ever transferred to a new school can understand how important communication would have been for Jeremy.  Also, my trip to Jeremy's old school and the fact I attended Richardson High School made me realize that Jeremy came from a more impoverished area than the one he ended up at.  So I am sure Jeremy felt some insecurity over his new school and being with "the rich kids."  Coming out of a psych hospital to a new school where a lot of kids got new cars for graduation would have left Jeremy very vulnerable.  I had a friend in high school whose parents put him in a psychiatric hospital for drug use and he was there for a year.  His initials were TT.  Mine are SS and I always suspected that was why we became friends.  It took quite a few months for him to get his sea legs back or to get back into the groove of things.  And anyone that comes out of a psych hospital, at least in the past and up to the recent past, the stigma of being a "nut case" causes them to doubt themselves and be quite introverted.  The more I discover about Jeremy's situation the more tragic it becomes.  Also, in Texas for sure and probably nationwide, back then if you had insurance and saw a mental health doctor, there was a tremendous push to get that person into a hospital environment, and as soon as your insurance ran out you were labeled cured.  It was atrocious.  There were instances of 3 year old children being hospitalized for depression, psychotic or hyperactivity it got so bad in Texas.  What 3 year old isn't hyperactive?  Certainly none in my family.  (My parents used to turn my baby pen over at night and put weights on it so I couldn't get out.)

 

NOTE: Clarification in the article.  Lisa Moore states on Monday Jeremy wrote a note to her stating "Later Days."  Jeremy took his life on Tuesday.  He didn't miss class the day before, he was assigned to the in the in-school suspension program at school and was supposed to be there when he appeared in Faye Barnett's classroom and Faye knew he was supposed to be in the in-school suspension (ISS) cave and should not have been there in her room that day.  She was telling him he needed a note to even be in her room at all.  I say cave because if you knew how the R.I.S.D. handled ISS students back then, they were put in a room (at Pearce in my case), 10 people maximum when I was there, and it was about the equivalent of a large storage room or closet.  No talking, no resting your head on the desk, you had to be constantly occupied.  It was monotonous.  I spent several weeks total in ISS myself over several incidents (result of serious class clown effort on my part) and it was very disturbing - someone who was ADD would go nuts.  Because you are not allowed to talk to others in the room, it is sort of what it would be like in solitary confinement in a sense.  I mention all of this because Jeremy was put in ISS shortly after transferring to RHS mid-year after his locker was searched, and had been in ISS for over approximately a month when he walked into Faye Barnett's classroom.   Anyhow, this and a lot of information will follow as soon as possible.   I appreciate this person coming forward.  It helps add a human dimension to Jeremy's story beyond a song and a newspaper article. 


Jeremy Video

(These videos are about 20mb in size, better if you have fast internet.)

Pearl Jam Jeremy Live at MTV Music Awards

Actual Original Jeremy Video in Black & White

If Video Doesn't Play try this by holding your shift key down and clicking the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNO6pAJBCs4

 


Jeremy Song Lyrics

At home, drawing pictures of mountain tops with him on top
Lemin yellow sun, arms raised in a V
And the dead lay in pools of maroon below
Daddy didn't give attention
Oh, to the fact that mommy didn't care
King Jeremy the wicked...oh, ruled his world...
Jeremy spoke in class today... 2x

Clearly I remember pickin´on the boy
Seemed a harmless little fuck
Ooh, but we unleashed the lion...
Gnashed his teeth and bit the recess lady's breast...
How can I forget?
And he hit me with a surprise left
My jaw left hurtin´...ooh, dropped wide open
Just like the day...oh, like the day I heard

Daddy didn't give affection, no...
And the boy was something that mommy wouldn't wear
King Jeremy the wicked...oh, ruled his world
Jeremy spoke in class today... 3x
Woo ... 14x
Try to forget this ...try to forget this...
Try to erase this ...try to erase this...
From the blackboard...

Jeremy spoke in class today...
Jeremy spoke in, spoke in ...
Jeremy spoke in class today...


Interview Where Eddie Vedder Discusses the Song Jeremy and its meaning for the First Time

This quote was taken from the Synergy's Echoes page ( December, 1991 Houston, Texas, KLOL FM Echoes of Exposure with David Sadof ) 

David Sadof: While Pearl Jam songs often deal with real-life occurrences, they manage to leave the songs open to the interpretation of their audience. Eddie Vedder explains this and talks about the song, Jeremy. 

Eddie: Actually, you know, I've kept a lot of songs or some of the lyrical content shrouded in mystery because just like the name we were mentioning before, it's been really great to get other people's interpretations and even inject themselves into the songs. That, to me, has been really fulfilling and then it becomes something bigger than just five guys in a band and this is their song. It allows somebody who's listening to it or has the need to listen to something intensely.. it allows them to be part of it...but I think, Jeremy, I decided I will start talking about what that song is about and actually, there's a place, a town called Richardson? There's a town called Richardson, is there? 

David Sadof: In Texas? Yeah, not far from here. 

Eddie: That's where it happened. It was in Richardson, Texas. I saw a small paragraph in the paper about a kid named, his first name was Jeremy and he took, he shot himself in the front of his English class. I think I'm going to have to go visit Richardson. I think we have some time...a day off in Dallas? 

Stone: We have a couple days off. 

Eddie: Yeah, it was Richardson High School, I think was the name. 

David Sadof: That wasn't that long ago, was it? 

Eddie: No, I wrote, I mean I literally wrote the song that night, I think...I don't know that much. I actually even thought about... I'm really divulging a lot here... and I should explain it...the fact that I thought of even calling up and finding out more, like I wonder why that happened? I wonder why he did it and it seemed like Richardson sounded to me like a decent suburb, middle if not upper class. The fact is, I didn't want to. I thought that was intruding completely and so... I actually knew somebody in junior high school, in San Diego, California, that did the same thing, just about, didn't take his life but ended up shooting up an oceanography room. I remember being in the halls and hearing it and I had actually had altercations with this kid in the past. I was kind of a rebellious fifth-grader and I think we got in fights and stuff. So it's a bit about this kid named Jeremy and it's also a bit about a kid named Brian that I knew and I don't know...the song, I think it says a lot. I think it goes somewhere...and a lot of people interpret it different ways and it's just been recently that I've been talking about the true meaning behind it and I hope no one's offended and believe me, I think of Jeremy when I sing it. "

Update: The following entry by David Sadof was placed in my guestbook a few months after posting the above article:

Date: Sunday, July 25, 2004
Time: 06:19:34

Comments

Hi, I'm David Sadof, the DJ who conducted the interview with Eddie and Stone that is included in your site. I came across your site and just wanted to say hello. I am a little amazed that something that came up in one of my interviews has been transcribed so many times on the internet and, as it turns out, really was the first time Eddie spoke out about it. Anyway, it's a very good website you have here. Take care.

David- thanks for stopping by and for the kind words.  I believe both your visit here along with the multitude of others that have visited this page attests to the amazing impact this song and video has had world wide.  I am thankful that Eddie saw the article that day.  My goal right now is to find a better photo of Jeremy, as I hate to see the grainy photo of him shown above which does not do him justice.  The fact that Jeremy committed this harm to himself and Pearl Jam made sure the world knew both Jeremy's story and his pain has I believe  helped others to deal with their own demons and the threat of taking potentially similar paths.


Thanks to Luke in Australia for bringing this interview to my attention.  It took place several years after the one above:

Rockline Interview 10/18/93

Host: Live via satellite from Seattle, Rockline and Rolling Stone Magazine present a very special evening with Pearl Jam. And you, one on one. How ya doing? I'm Steve Downs. Tonight, Rockline is very proud to be in Seattle, home of long time Rockline affiliate KISW to give you the opportunity to speak with Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament of hometown heroes, Pearl Jam.

Caller: Uh, yeah. There was this kid on Headbanger's Ball that took this school hostage and the parents were blaming the video, 'Jeremy' and stuff. I was wondering how they felt about parents blaming the music for violence and stuff?

Eddie: Wow! I didn't even hear about that. Now, uh, I remember one night in this basement when I was writing that … that I thought, man … I guess they can't sue us for this one because I'm writing about it after it happened, you know? Some kid did this. I didn't make that up and that's a fact. It came from a small paragraph in a paper which means you kill yourself and you make a big old sacrifice and try to get your revenge. That all you're gonna end up with is a paragraph in a newspaper. Sixty-four degrees and cloudy in a suburban neighborhood. That's the beginning of the video and that's the same thing is that in the end, it does nothing … nothing changes. The world goes on and you're gone. The best revenge is to live on and prove yourself. Be stronger than those people. And then you can come back. That's kinda what I did. Now all those people who were my enemies want to be my friends. They don't understand why, uh, I don't respond to them.

Host: That's a great answer...


ABOUT THE PEARL JAM ALBUM 10  (Eddie Vedder comments in bold)

Pearl Jam - Ten (Sony Hardplace Classics)
By Ian Dooley

The band's debut album was named after the shirt number of New Jersey Nets star Mookie Blaylock. Its phenomenal ten-million sales in the US were undoubtedly aided by the band's insistence that no singles should be released from the set. Ten's best known track is Jeremy, which tells the story of 16-year-old Jeremy Wade Delle from Richardaville, Texas (Author of article off on the City Name "Richardson"). Baited by his peers, he took out a gun and shot himself during an English class. "That kind of thing probably happens once a week in American schools," claimed vocalist Eddie Vedder, "It's a pointer to America's fascination, no make that perversion, with guns."

Although some critics accused Pearl Jam of cashing in on the tragedy, Vedder's concerns seemed genuine. He said: "I frighten myself to relating to it so much. It's as if he was saying 'I'm going down and it isn't my fault and I haven't done anything wrong, so if I am out of here I'm taking a few people with me." The accompanying promo for Jeremy won the Readers' Picks plaudit in Rolling Stone magazine, and no less than four categories at the Tenth Annual MTV awards. Vedder has always believed that the video destroyed his vision of the song and the band refused to play it at the MTV Awards ceremony. But Vedder reputedly did tell an astonished crowd: "If it wasn't for the music, I would have shot myself."

For their next album, Vs, Pearl Jam again refused to release any singles cuts and this time also said they would make no videos. Despite refusing to play the publicity game, it sold 950,000 copies in the US in the first week of its release - at the time, the highest figure in music history.


Bill Clinton's Version of Jeremy!

A short improv was brought into play at the 8/17/98 Deer Creek show when Ed sang the words, "The President spoke in court today" to the tune of "Jeremy spoke in class today".  (President Clinton testified before a Grand Jury earlier that day during the Paula Jones case regarding the Monica Lewinsky scandal.  At the same moment these words were being sung, President Clinton was appearing on National Television to apologize for the first time about deceiving the American People.  It was the first of four public apologies he issued in a 26 day period which followed that evening.)

 

DSL High Quality Version

 

For anyone who is depressed and needs to talk to someone, call 1-800-784-2433.  They offer 24 hour communication and local resource information in your community.

AND, if you know someone who has threatened suicide and don't know what to do, see this page:

http://www.preventsuicidenow.com/suicide-can-never-be-a-secret.html

"Suicide: a permanent solution to a temporary problem."


COMMENTS REGARDING JEREMY AND THIS PAGE

From Shelly:

Can't believe has been 16 years. Went to HS with him at BA. Used to write back and forth. Joked I was the older woman by one day. I actually had a crush on him but he was too into his madness to notice. A few days before he took his life, he called our friend Rachel and told her he was going away and would not be back. He was saying goodbye. I found this out just a few months ago. Jeremy would have rather have been dead than to feel anymore pain he hid so well. Thank you for remembering my Jeremy. He would be thrilled to know his legacy still goes on today each time his SONG is played. Always took my cigs too. Miss you "silly boy" and I am still older.

Well let me see, I was not aware he had a girlfriend at the time. Jeremy had a kind heart, he really did. Not very many people got close enough to see that. He hid behind a very dark yet macho cloud. Yet he was the most timid person I ever met. He had the most beautiful eyes too. They were very sad eyes like mine were. He and I would smoke together and he always took my cigarettes (I am going on 3 years now that I quit for good). I can't for the life of me remember the class we had together but I remember passing notes back and forth. I have my yearbook somewhere packed away. His mom basically abandoned him and his dad was no Saint either. In fact he was too wrapped up into his new wife to notice what was going on with Jeremy. I remember telling him about my horrible life and vice versa. Some of the things I must take with me as I promised to never say anything and I keep that promise even 16 years later! I was born on February 9th 1975 and he was born on February 10th 1975. So I am the oldest! I used to joke with him on that. One day I came to class and he was gone. They took him away to a mental hospital. I kept thinking thank god! He's going to get the help he needs. But I never thought for once he was suicidal! I never saw him again. :( So there it was and I met my horrible ex and he did not even let me go to Jeremy's funeral. He was that jealous. Lost many of our friends a few more to suicide, a couple to car accidents, one was killed by her jealous boyfriend, one was shot at Blockbuster in cold blood and I think one drowned. My on again off again boyfriend (also a HS sweetheart) Chris grew up with Jeremy and he never liked Jeremy always called him a Punk. If he only knew why he acted like such a Punk. Chris was very angry at Jeremy for taking his life and still to this day will not talk to me about it. So much of your article is right on the money and you have great sources. I was astounded when I learned of the Jeremy song by a band I did not even like. I played it over and over and can sing lyric by lyric to anyone. In fact it is on my work Windows Media Player. January 8th every year I play it. In memory of him of course. That's about all of Pearl Jam I can take. Love this song though. Don't understand why they have in with no shirt on? Jeremy was somewhat a degenerate as your article stated. He really had a knack for getting in trouble. Spent many a days skipping with our friend Rachel. I was Miss Goody Two Shoes and stayed in school. He truly did live in his own world. "Silly Boy" is a nickname I had for him. I had a huge crush on him. Don't think he ever knew or caught on. Or if he did he did not let it be known. He did not die a virgin or at least he told me he had intimacy with a chick from school that must remain anonymous. I was shocked to hear about a suicide happening close to home, even more shocked when I heard the name. I was sick to my stomach for days. He went to live with his dad after he got out of the hospital (should have kept him longer) and I believe that is where he lost it. He lost the drive to live. He did not want anymore pain. He would purse up his lips when he was deeply saddened. In fact most pictures I remember and memories I remember have him pursing his lips up. I kept thinking no not Jeremy. Not Jeremy. Our other friend named Jeremy told me and I was like no you are lieing, but he wasn't. It was not a lie. Jeremy really is gone. He's no longer suffering. Yea I really do think he would have been a little cocky at the fact he is world-known and has a popular band's song based and named after him. He loved that Rock type music where I was more into what else-pop. If I saw him today I would probably smack him and say Why leave us like that! As far as doing it in front of his class. I think maybe he wanted to leave a statement behind. Wished I knew what that was. I tried to contact his dad and he will not talk to anyone about it all. If we only knew what was written in his suicide note we'd have the answers. I hope I was able to share some of my times with Jeremy with you. Some day I will find that old box and see if I can't recover some photos for you. Til then add me to the list of updates. I will be in contact.

Shelly aka back then Shelly Hall

Yea he made fun of me name too. Smelly Hall, Shelly Belly, etc.... little dork. I miss him. 
 

Doug, RHS Class of '83

Thank you for maintaining this site. The Pearl Jam video and song struck a deep chord from the first time I saw it, and when I had heard it took place at my alma-mater, I assumed like most that it was just urban legend. When I discovered that this was real, I felt an incredible sadness that I relive each time it comes to memory. Where it touches me deepest, though, is in regards to Mrs. Barnett, who is one of the best teachers I have ever had in 16 years of school, and on many different levels, including mentor, friend, and neighbor. I haven't heard or seen anything regarding how she is doing. Do you know of any resources/links? 8-0

Rachel

Wow. That pretty much sums it up for me. I was a young teen when the song "Jeremy" came out by Pearl Jam, and until today, at this very moment had no clue about Jeremy Wade Delle. Call me naive or uninformed, but I really didn't know it was based on an actual situation that occurred in Texas in 1991. Thank you for this website and for informing people like me who otherwise wouldn't ever know for themselves. It's so scary. I knew a kid in high school who killed himself by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA. "They" found his backpack but obviously never found the body. Again, thanks for sharing. This is a really well put together website. Great job!

Sarah, Chicago, IL

Came across this site looking for more information about Jeremy the young kid who ended his life so tragically. Thanks for doing this site, as a memorial to Jeremy. The song and this site help so many in not only remembering that one life, but in the millions of lives lost out there, and cut too short by suicide. Your site helped me remember that pain I went through growing up and the many times I felt like Jeremy did. And this site reminds me to never forget and never stop trying to help others going through it.
Thanks for it.

Chris G.

This is a wonderful website. I had recently read that the song "Jeremy" was about a real-life event. For some reason (probably because I'm in one of my "moods") I wrote a reminder to look up the song on the internet. Well, I came across your site. Lot's of spiritual food here. Please note that I also intend to look up the song "Comfortably Numb" before I get back to work today.
 

Blake, Israel

Sorry about my engilsh but over than year i'm in your website about Kurt and Jeremy please i want to see THE interview of more than 4 hours.
Me and my friends in israrel and turkey still waiting for that. please i want to know more fact about jeremy and what was his problems.

Dee

The song was the 1st i ever heard of a little boy called Jeremy, the way it was sang, I knew instantly it was more than just a song, i read on it & learn more. Last i heard it, was in the 90's,as a child. Now 22 & still to this day, there's something about Jeremy & its not just the song, the song only reminds me of him, didn't know him, but he's still around somehow, it hurts to hear the song. Thank you for keeping this site up and running, I know its strange to get a thank you from someone who didn't know Jeremy, but strangely, it all means something to me. Reading all of this reminds me of something we all have inside of us, that we sometimes forget, but it shouldn't be, Jeremy shouldn't be forgotten.

Nionios

after so many years i can't understand the reason why this child killed his-self!!!so i want to know exactly the reasons about this sucide and it would be grateful if you could send me those reasons!!!!Thank you
PEARL JAM 4 EVER

Bryan G.

Hello, my name is Bryan. I am a Student at Berkner Junior High, but was trying to go to Richardson... I have always loved this song, and used it kind of as a guide line of mine... to me it shows what can happen from picking on someone, and how delicate of a balance life is... Its hard to explain for me, as its 4:40 am... and I am tired. I didn't have a clue what happened to Jeremy was at Richardson highschool until I read this page. I just wanted to say thank you, for making this page and doing the research.

Pablo, Argentina

I found your site looking for info on the tragedy that inspired the song. I knew there was a sad story behind it, but I wanted to know more, and I must say thanks for the great job you've done to show the truth.
On Pearl Jam's last visit here, they were on stage for more than 2 hours, and when "Jeremy" sounded everyone was joined together by a powerful feeling, as if thousands of people had one voice. I've seen many bands play live, and that was the only time I saw that.
This was a terrible tragedy, and Pearl Jam's is maybe the best tribute to Jeremy, as the song will remind us all of him and all he went through.
Anyways, great job. Greetings from Argentina.

Anurag

Pearl Jam is my favourite band and i read about the story of jeremy some years back when i had just started to listen to PJ.
i think this is the best informatition site on him.
it truly has affected a lot of people. jeremy. his action did affect so many people and i can relate to a lot of things.

Jeremy Wade *******

The story of Jeremy Wade Delle, seems to have a few eerie similarities to my life . You see my name is also Jeremy Wade. Some people might say big deal because Jeremy is a common name, however Wade is not a common middle name. Also, I was also a sophomore in 1991 and had just transferred to a new school in Tennessee right about that time. When we moved I introverted and didn't talk much. After the bullying started, I was hurt and angry. When the song came out, I bought the album and would listen to it over and over again. I made it through high school, but the year after I graduated a student brought a gun to my school and killed two people.

Donnie T.

I am currently a senior at Richardson High School, and your website gives 110% more information on the Delle shooting than anything our school is willing to divulge. My Psychology teacher taught his classes in the room directly below where the shot was fired. I wanted to let you know how helpful this website was for me. RHS is now treating the entire subject of Jeremy as if it were some taboo scandal. Thank you again for all the information that you have offered to me, and my peers.

Matt M.

Hi. I just came across your site and began reading about Jeremy Wade Delle. I didn't realize this occurred so close to home. We were the same age and I almost went to RHS. Anyway, I had a close friend commit suicide just last month, he also shot himself. I find it helpful to visit his grave, and have been doing so on a regular basis. I'm interested in paying my respects to Jeremy as well. Reading your site has really made this hit home, I didn't know all of those details before. I'm hoping you can give me the general area of the cemetery where I can find his grave, otherwise i'll be wandering around there forever. Thanks for any help you can provide

YCCM

Hi, i just wanted to say that I've just read the Jeremy article in your site. I m studying to be an English Teacher..even though those things don't happen here in my country, and students aren't taken away from their class to ISS for ex, we must learn about everything that happens in a school..Sometimes principles or teachers don't realize the huge harm that they can make.

Bob B.

All I can say is: WOW....
This song has always pulled at my heart, the lyrics combined with the music, is almost over whelming. You can identify quite easily with Jeremy's feelings of isolation, and how the world can spit on you and not even blink. How sad that such a young adult must go through these feelings, and not know that there are people who do care, even though it might not feel like it. FRIENDS.... do not despair, time is on your side, reach out and touch your soul, show the world that you can be better than that.

James F.

Hello, I found the link to this site from www.ebaumsworld.com
Of course I wanted to check it out, Pearl Jam being one of my favorite bands of the time along with the entire grunge genre. At the time I was attending Trinity High School in Euless Tx. I had no Idea this song hit so close to home.
I browsed the site and found it to be very interesting, its a shame that such a great song was the result of this tragedy.
Thank You very much making this available for all to see, like I said befoe I found this to be interesting Im sure many others will as well.

David

Thanks for assembling the information about the song "Jeremy". I was born in '79, so I grew up with that music in middle and high school. Pearl Jam was one of my favorites, and I always wondered what it was about. I once saw an interview (long long ago) where Eddie would not discuss the meaning of the song.

Elkay

Just wanted to say that I think it's great what you are doing to shed some light on "Jeremy", both the person as well as the song.

Sean B.

Just wanted to thank you for your site and the coverage of Pearl Jam's song Jeremy. I was one of those kids, like Jeremy, that dealt with more problems than I knew how to handle. I made it through my own struggle, but it is important to remember that there are those out there that did not make it. There are also those that are still struggling today.
Sean B
Mental Health Matters http://www.mental-health-matters.com

Mike

I just found your website today while doing some random browsing on the web. Must say that your info about "Jeremy" is a great addition to the world wide web, and many would do great to see it and spread the word. I've loved Pearl Jam, and the song specifically since it first aired. Thanks.

Crystal W.

How very sad the entire story is. I am very interested to find out when new information regarding Jeremy's backround is updated. I am surprised that more research has not been done overall. So many times people are simply forgotten, as is the lesson that we can all learn from them, their problems and their mistakes. Thank you for your enlightening website.

Marlene

I just wanted to say this is a great resource for the prevention of similar tragedies & the identification of this horrible tragedy. It has no doubt helped people come to terms with it. Thank you.

Kerry

The story of Jeremy Wade Delle is tragic. Please keep me updated of any new information.
R.I.P Jeremy You Will Always Be Remembered.

Colie

hey, my name is colie and i wanted permission to post some of what you wrote about jeremy on my blog. suicide hurts, but what hurst worse of all is they dont listen to us when we tell them we hurt. i almost died 2 times from suicide, my dad hung himself, and my mom came close when i was 8. if there is anything i can do to help,

Brooke L.

i first heard about this song when i was a freshman at parker high school in janesville wisconsin..i was sitting in my health class and my teacher was telling us about jermey i was really shocked that something like that would happen...then my teacher played the music viedo...the first time i watched this video i really didnt uderstand what was happeniing so my teachers played it again and i finally relaize what happend...i am now a softmore at my school..every time i hear this song it makes my cry..

Debi

SS, great website! i went to richardson h.s. with jeremy, but actually had known him before. my h.s. boyfriend went to bryan adams with him and that's how i met him. it's now been so long since he died, but whenever i think about it, it seems like only a few weeks ago. there were so many suicides in our area within a couple years back then and i hope that anyone who is even contemplating suicide will come across your website and realize exactly what you said about it being a permanent solution to a temporary problem. i'm sure you've saved lives by having this site. great job and keep it up!

Robert F.

I would just like to thank you for a very well set out site dedicated to this unfortunate story.
I am 17 myself, and have only been into Pearl Jam for about 2 years and only found out what 'Jeremy' was about, around a year ago. Since then i have been very interested in this saga, and want to thank you for the information on your page.
Thoughts are still with the family of Jeremy Delle.

Maz

i've been around for a while and i've heard about the Jeremy shooting before. now i live in dallas, just moved here a few months ago. it blows my mind that that poor kid went through all of that with so many more options than what small town west texas kids are left to deal with. he had to have been hurting on the grand scale of 10X more than my most depressed friend... it's 16 years later and i still cry for him.

Garnet

Your page on Jeremy / Pearl Jam is a powerful and moving piece of work. All those I've shared it with are in agreement. Thanks much.

Jessica A.

JUST A QUICK FYI ON JEREMY. I HAVENT SEEN IT MENTIONED ON HERE, BUT HE WAS ALSO A DRUMMER. HE WAS ONE OF ONLY A FEW DRUMMERS I HAVE LISTENED TO THAT COULD PLAY "WIPEOUT" FROM BEGINNING TO END WITH ALMOST NO MISTAKES, AND THAT WAS WHEN HE WAS LIKE 13 OR 14. I WONDER WHAT HE COULD HAVE DONE WITH THAT TALENT IF THINGS HAD BEEN DIFFERENT. OH WELL JUST SOME MORE INFO FOR YOU.

Anonymous

It says jeremy was quiet, but the way I see it, he spoke volumes that day. However, were it not for Eddie most of us would never have heard his story. I think the 'hail hitler' scene expressed Eddies veiw of how people learn, to hate and discriminate against problem individuals such as Jeremy [segregate them into ISS or make them feel inferior(like the jews were)]...any thoughts? Eddie said the best revenge is to live on and prove yourself. If you commit suicide all you get is a small paragraph in the paper. I think Eddie felt everyones life should be a big deal so he made a whole song to help express what jeremy couldn't from the grave.

Amanda

I heard as a teenager that the song Jeremy was based on a real life case, but I thought it was just some urban legend of sorts.
Why put a boy who had "a mountain of problems he didn't deserve" in ISS for a month? The problems he was facing then are still the same as that of many teens in our society. Do we plan on locking up these kids too? Maybe if someone had actually made the attempt to understand Jeremy, he wouldn't have felt like his only option was to end his life and he would still be here.
To Jeremy: Rest in peace

Doug

Hi. My name is Doug and I was looking at your website about Jeremy Delle. I was in the classroom the day Jeremy killed himself. I was in the 1st chair of the 2nd row, so I was close to him when it happened. If you want to talk about it, write me back and let me know.
I still live in the Dallas area. Thanks.

ADDITIONAL COMMENT BY DOUG: Jeremy was actually standing in front of a bookshelf that was located next to the blackboard. After he killed himself, he was slumped up against that bookshelf with his eyes open, looking very serene and peaceful. I think there may have been someone coming in the classroom after him, but there was no one directly behind him.
That year I was Mrs. Barnett's student aide. So during 5th period I was tasked with grading her quizes/tests and doing other clerical work for her. I bring this up because one week (before the suicide) I was grading vocabulary tests and came across Jeremy's. He hadn't answered most of the questions on the test and had written a note to Mrs. Barnett apologizing for his not performing well on the quiz. After his death, I dwelled on that note. I thought that, although I never knew him personally, the note really illustrated the kind of heart that Jeremy must of had. I still believe to this day that our 2nd period English class was a place that he felt comfortable and, hence, was why he chose to end his life there.

Christopher

I'm doing an analytical essay for my english class, and I chose Pearl Jam's lyrics vs. what really happened to Jeremy on that day. I want to thank you for searching and posting everything you have, its really helped me. You've found so much more than I did on my own, a great site you have here. I look forward to any updates you have. Jeremy was a tragic story, I'm glad people are still remembering him.

Roger

I really enjoyed your website. I had no idea of the true story surrounding Jeremy until I found it here. I was wondering if you plan to update the rest of the story as you said. I think that it is a story that needs to be told again and again and never forgotten.

Jessica

YES JEREMY HAD A WONDERFUL FUNERAL. I WENT TO THAT FUNERAL AS DID MANY OF MY FRIENDS. IT WAS STANDING ROOM ONLY AT HIS FUNERAL, AND IT WAS A GOOD SIZE CHURCH. THE CHURCH WAS IN DALLAS ON GUS THOMASSON NEAR HIS OLD NEIGHBORHOOD. RIP JEREMY, YOU ARE MISSED. :-(

Mary N.

I live here in Richardson and I have had two daughters graduate and one there right now. I have heard from older mothers that have been around that the reason Jeremy was having problems is because he had a good friend who drowned in white rock lake one night while a group of friends including Jeremy were playing football on the banks. Supposedly Jeremy was dealing with the guilt of not being able to save him. I do not know how true this is but it might be something to look into.

Michelle

I went to school with Jeremy Delle before he x-ferred to RHS. The yearbook picture you have is from 90-91. That is likely the reason he is not listed in the "Not Listed" section of Richardson's yearbook.
I didn't know Jeremy very well, although he was close friends with my high school sweetheart and their group (I was a year behind all of them.)

Leah

I just read all you have written on Jeremy Delle. I went to middle school with him. He was a good friend. I was brought to tears by the photo of the Richardson High School yearbook's memorial: Your eyes will forever be in our memories. That is what I can bring into my mind still so vividly. And his freckles. He played the trumpet. He was funny. He was kind. I guess I never knew the troubles behind that smile, nor he mine. I wasn't around when all this happened.

Linda

Nice website you have developed here with all the information on Jeremy. For some reason I've been singing this song over and over in my head the last couple of days, so I decided to look up the song and find the real meaning. Thanks to your website, it's has more information than I could ask for. I wish things could have been different for him and he would still be around today. But maybe this website will help someone else. Thanks.

Robert B.

Jeremy would be thrilled to see all the attention he has gotten since he died. He was a close friend of mine as we both went to Bryan Adams and to Casa View Baptist Church together. All he ever wanted was attention, as he didnt get much at home. Rest in Peace brother...you are still missed.

Thanks to each of you for writing in and sharing. SS


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Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush

Don't Give Up:  A beautiful, soulful song.  (Song only, no video.)

"Don't give up, don't give up, don't give up!"

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