By Ray Rahman
Updated September 21, 2012 at 05:17 PM EDT
Rick Diamond/Getty Images

“It’s very upsetting to hear a presidential candidate be so easily dismissive of such a ginormous amount of the population,” the Pearl Jam frontman said at a fundraiser for the president in Tampa yesterday. Vedder went on to tell the Obama donors that were Romney elected president, “none of those 47 percent of people would have a voice.”

And he has reason to be upset, too: the singer was once a 47%er himself. Vedder recalled the government training program that helped prepare him for his massively successful career as… a security guard.

Well, kind of — it was that gig that funded his artistic ambitions. “It was that job that allowed me to also afford the guitars and tape recorder and microphones I needed to let me afford keep working on music,” Vedder said. “It was also the job I reluctantly left to move up to Seattle for less pay, in order to join a band. It all worked out.”

Indeed it did! The musician went on to play a four-song acoustic set that included “Rise,” “Without You,” and James Taylor and Neil Young covers — “Millworker” and “Rockin’ in the Free World,” respectively. But he wasn’t done making political jabs; at one point during his set, he pulled his ukulele and, to prove that it was really from Hawaii, said, “It’s got a little birth certificate right in there.” Don’t quit your day job, Eddie Vedder!

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