Although Pearl Jam has been surreptitiously mentioned here a few times, they haven't really been discussed as a serious rumor. However, I think they might just be one of the headliners this year. Here's why:
1) 2008 will mark the 15 year anniversary of Pearl Jam's infamous "Shoe the Shoeless" show at the Empire Polo Grounds (ie, Coachella's turf) in 1993. They practically broke in Indio and the Polo Grounds for concerts; very few shows had been played there before them. Quoted directly from a USA Today article about Coachella:
"1993: Pearl Jam plays the Empire Polo Club. The 25,000 fans it attracts fill only a corner of the vast polo field, convincing Coachella co-founders Paul Tollett and Rick Van Santen they could draw a sizable crowd with several stages and multiple bands, offering music that can't be heard on radio."
2) According to the L.A. Times blog, "Next week, you can expect an announcement of the roster, which I was told cryptically might include a surprising veteran act or two (not David Bowie)."
Although not enough to be considered a strong hint at Pearl Jam, PJ is definitely a veteran act, and would seem to be a surprise, especially since a few years ago they proclaimed that they would no longer play festivals. (Only recently have they changed their mind on that, and in the last year have played a few festivals, including Lollapalooza.)
3) At the beginning of January, the band's website sent a message out to its e-mail subscribers. Here's what it said:
"We're all really excited about 2008 and we really hope you are, too. While it's still too early to make any big announcements, we want to let you all know that the band is looking forward to a busy year ..."
Hmm...excitement about 2008..."too early" for announcements, but hinting that there are some to come...the band looking forward to a busy year (sounds like a tour)...that's more like it.
4) Pearl Jam has been strongly rumored to be playing a festival in 2008. Most people have assumed Bonnaroo, but why not Coachella?
5) The band hasn't been on the road much in the last year, and as a very significant touring band, they are itching to get back on the road. Coachella would be a great place to kick it all off.
6) Eddie Vedder has been on a roll recently, culminating with him picking up a Golden Globe award for best song on a film soundtrack a few days ago. If not the whole band, how about an Eddie solo set?