Sunday was Bob Probert Day in his hometown Windsor, Ontario. 800 motorcyclists turned out for a memorial charity ride supporting a local hospital’s angioplasty program. Chris Chelios was there and served as honorary “captain” for the ride. July 5th is the one-year anniversary of Probert’s death.
Later on Sunday, Chelios was on hand at Detroit’s Fox Theatre for his buddy Eddie Vedder’s solo show. Vedder is at the Chicago Theatre tomorrow and Wednesday night. This was a big thrill for Chelios. I guess he kind of had to be there. During Vedder’s two and a half hour set Sunday, he dedicated his version of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” to Chelios. Detroit wasn’t a scheduled stop on Vedder’s current U.S. tour until Chelios did some persuading on his friend and Pearl Jam frontman. To oblige, Vedder cancelled an additional planned show in Philadelphia.
Chelios and Vedder met in San Diego in 1980-81 in that beach community’s surfing scene, in the summer months where the Chelios clan lived. They also worked for a time at opposite gas stations across the street from each other. The pair didn’t keep in touch and Chelios never put two and two together even after Pearl Jam burst onto the scene ten years later and Chelios became a fan. Back in San Diego, Eddie Vedder was actually Eddie Mueller. But one night in 1997, Vedder was out with Dennis Rodman in Chicago and happened to be at the same bar as Chelios. Vedder recognized Chelios, but as he put it (Vedder wasn’t a hockey fan), not from being a star NHL player, but from their old haunts on the surf. Vedder recounted to Chelios how the two knew each other from San Diego, but didn’t introduce himself as the famous rock singer and Chelios still didn’t put that together on his own. Vedder walked away realizing Chelios hadn’t the faintest recollection or idea who Vedder was. Shortly after, one of Vedder’s bodyguards (he is legitimately 5’4”) walked over and clued Chelios in and the two exchanged phone numbers. At times Chelios has arranged his summer schedule around Pearl Jam and Vedder shows in Chicago and Detroit. In 2008, Chelios planned his two days with the Stanley Cup around a Cubs game and a Vedder show at the Auditorium Theatre. A night John Cusak, John C McGinley (Scrubs) and Sean Penn were also on hand for. Chelios got a mixed reaction from the Chicago crowd when he raised the Stanley Cup under a spotlight from a balcony box in a planned spot to start Vedder’s set.