Pearl Jam Superfan Aaron Paul Writes a Beautiful Letter About His First Record, Ten

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Aaron Paul  was once 12, and like many 12-year-olds, he was eager for even some minor level of freedom. For the actor, that freedom came from the ability to buy his very first album, Pearl Jam’s Ten, which also came out on his 12th birthday, Aug. 27, 1991.

To celebrate the occasion, Paul took to his Instagram account to post a picture of himself with Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder. The message accompanying the post sheds even more light on why Ten was such an important album for the actor, even past the fact that it was his very first:

The very first album I bought was Ten. Pearl Jams first album. I bought it with loose change I collected around the house and it was the only record I owned. Well at least until the Nevermind album came out one month later but that’s besides the point. That month I will never forget. That was the one time I owned only one album and I cherished that damn thing. It was mine. It was my 12th birthday and I showed up to this small record store inside of our local mall with a sock full of change that I collected specifically to buy this album. I came home with my new birthday gift I had just bought myself and I was beaming. Could not wait to listen to it. I opened the door to my home and I could feel the silence in my bones. My house was empty.

Now you need to know that I come from a very large family and to walk inside of our home with nobody there was extremely rare. I mean it was my birthday after all and nobody was home. I was alone.

Where was everyone?

So then of course I took advantage of the situation and put the record on and turned it up. For hours and hours just listening to this record over and over again. But where was everyone? Seriously.

Eventually the house phone rang with this music blaring in the background and I ran to pick it up hoping it was my mother singing happy birthday to me.

It was my mother but she wasn’t singing…

She said…”Honey, we’re at the hospital”...

My heart sank and time stood still and all I could hear was Eddie singing in the background.

My mother then explained to me that my sister had just given birth. She had given birth to a little girl the same day pearl jams first album came out. On my birthday.

So many emotions went thru me on that day and this man was a huge part of that.

I love coming of age stories. Goonies, stand by me, wonder years. Kids just trying to figure it all out.

I will never forget the end of that summer. The summer where I turned 12, listening to my first record, alone inside of my house, on my birthday, wondering where the hell everyone was.

Paul’s attachment to the album is probably justified—he’s got quite a story to go with it. 25 years later, the album is still as influential for the world as it was for Paul personally. Also, we should appreciate the fact that Nevermind came out only a month later. 1991 was a good year for music. Anyway, find Paul’s Instagram post below.

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A photo posted by @glassofwhiskey on

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