My old friend Dave Abbruzzese is in trouble. News reports yesterday stated that the former Pearl Jam drummer is being sought by Texas authorities on a drug warrant dating back to September in Denton County.
Dave, it seems, was busted for manufacture and possession of an unnamed controlled substance sometime last year. The former's a felony, the latter (possession of less than an ounce) a misdemeanor. He apparently blew off court appearances.
Dave's from Mesquite, Texas. I met him when he was hired to replace Dave Krusen in Pearl Jam. A major marijuana smoker and advocate, he sought me out when I worked at High Times. We met at Lollapalooza in New York in the summer of 1992. They shared the bill with Soundgarden, the Chili Peppers, Minstry, Ice Cube, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Lush. I went backstage and hung out with Dave and the guys in their trailer. I'd later get to know Stone Gossard; he and Dave were the biggest stoners in the band.
That fall, I was charged with running the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. The event was not yet open to the public. We invited special guests to join us in the judging. Dave was one of those guests. I remember us eating bowls of Dutch pea soup in one of the cafés. But what I remember most was Dave helping pay the food bill at the restaurant where we staged the awards dinner (Homegrown Fantasy was the big winner that year). High Times had not given me enough money, so I asked a few people to pitch in. Dave was quick to offer.
Dave's tenure with Pearl Jam was relatively short. He played on the Vs. and Vitalogy albums, But by 1994, he had a falling out with band member and was fired. I'd heard that Eddie Vedder was ticked off that Dave had taken a guitar endorsement.
Dave contacted me when he formed the Green Romance Orchestra in 1997. He went on to work with Bernard Fowler, Steve Salas and Jae Harris. Over the years, I lost touch with him.
As a side note, another musician I got to know when I was at High Times - Puddle of Mudd's lead singer Wes Scantlin - was also recently in the news for joyriding on an airport baggage carousel at Denver Airport in January. He was arrested for the stunt.
It's tough being a rock star when you're time has passed. I hope Dave and Wes get it together and the legal system gives both of them a break.