This Day In Music 05.04.2016
Michael McCready was born in Pensacola, Florida on April 6 1966, but moved to San Diego as a baby and then to Seattle at the age of four. At the age of 11, Mike had his first guitar, a Matao Les Paul, from his parents and began taking lessons from Mike Wilson.
His first band was called Warrior, followed by Shadow, with which he moved to Los Angeles in an unsuccessful bid at rock stardom.
Shadow split up soon afterwards, and McCready lost interest in guitar for some time, before finally joining another band called Love Chile. A high school friend, Stone Gossard, heard the band, appreciated McCready's work, and asked if he wanted to join a band he was forming. The two worked together and recruited bassist Jeff Ament. Together with drummer Dave Krusen (who would later be replaced by Matt Chamberlain, then Dave Abbruzzese, then Jack Irons, and currently Matt Cameron) and Eddie Vedder, the group formed the band Pearl Jam (originally known as Mookie Blaylock).
It was during this time that McCready took a central role in the Temple of the Dog project, combining members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.
By the end of 1991, Pearl Jam became one of the most famous modern bands with the release of 'Ten'. McCready frequently soloed, and added a blues touch to the music (influenced by Stevie Ray Vaughan). McCready's guitar style is usually an aggressive bluesy nature, and he never plays the same solo twice. His live renditions of songs have slightly different solos due to his fondness of improvization, and sometimes he treats the crowd to a full-on improv. He is extremely energetic live, and is commonly found dashing around the stage, playing to the crowd, throwing plectrums and soloing with the guitar behind his head.
McCready played with another side band called The Rockfords, named after one of McCready's favorite TV shows The Rockford Files. The band features McCready's former high school friends from Shadow, plus vocalist Carrie Akre of Goodness.
McCready plays guitar in the band Walking Papers which includes former Guns N'Roses bassist Duff McKagan, Screaming Trees/Mad Season drummer Barrett Martin and singer Jeff Angell.
According to Gibson's Daniel Eriksson “It might seem like an obvious choice, but Mike McCready’s 2-minute solo in “Alive” is one of the most inspiring pieces of music he’s ever recorded”. Listen to!