(via Ted Raymond and Jackie Perez, CTV News Ottawa)


Rock and roll stars are known for making a racket, but on Friday in Ottawa, one big name frontman turned up to a local sports centre without one.

The Rideau Sports Centre posted to social media that Pearl Jam lead singer and guitarist Eddie Vedder turned up to play tennis but he needed an important tool.

“He borrowed our CEO and Founder’s (Nicki Bridgland) tennis racquet. What a thrill it was to meet him,” a post on the Rideau Sports Centre’s Facebook page.

Pearl Jam was in town to play the Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday. Bridgland told CTV News that Vedder’s visit was a surprise.
“One of our staff came running up the stairs and asked the front desk manager, ‘Do we have any racquets we can borrow? Eddie Vedder is in the lobby,'” Bridgland said. “And I looked at him and said ‘Are you joking or are you serious?”
Vedder and his manager played on court four, Bridgland said. As a thank you for lending her racquet, Vedder offered Bridgland tickets to the show.

“’Alive’… ‘Even Flow’…I graduated in 1995 this was the playlist of my time,” she said.  I feel very fortunate that timing and serendipity worked out and I had the opportunity to visit with him and he got to use my racquet.”

Those who play regularly at the RSC were excited to hear of the musician’s visit.

“I don’t deserve to play on this court anymore,” said Doug Lai. “I’m sure he was much better than me.”

“It’s cool he hung out in the city and didn’t just pass through,” said Mitch Guazas.

The team at the RSC clearly enjoyed Saturday night’s concert, writing on Facebook that it was “INCREDIBLE.

“Thank you for bringing such joy to Ottawa!”