Guitarist Mike McCready from the mammoth band ‘Pearl Jam’ was born in 1966 in Florida but was raised in San Diego. McCready grew up listening to his parent’s music, which included guitar gods like ‘Jimi Hendrix’ and ‘Carlos Santana’, sparking his love for guitar and influencing his future musical taste.
McCready is a natural guitar player, playing by ear rather than from a technical viewpoint. His aggressive bluesy guitar style and use of alternate tunings are a vital component of the Pearl Jam sound.
McCready started learning the guitar at age eleven after being inspired by legendary rock bands such as ‘Kiss’ and ‘Aerosmith’. He formed his first band; ‘The Warriors’ who would later be known as ‘Shadow’ while at Roosevelt High School, the band performed both covers and their own material. ‘Shadow’ moved to Los Angeles in search of a record deal but returned having been unsuccessful, and split up in 1988.
In 1991, McCready was invited to join an established band called ‘Temple of the Dog’. They recorded their one and only self-titled album, which was released by A and M records.
‘Temple of the Dog’ led to the birth of ‘Pearl Jam’ who signed to the record company, Epic and released their first album ‘Ten’ in 1991. The Seattle based grunge scene was gathering momentum and Pearl Jam fitted right into that category.
1993 saw the release of ‘Pearl Jam’s’ critically acclaimed album ‘Vs’ and was also the year when ‘Pearl Jam’ received four awards at the 1993 MTV music video awards. The band has gone onto release nine albums in total – the most recent “Backspacer” in 2009.
McCready has also worked on several side projects, which include working on ‘Neil Young’s’ 1995 album “Mirror Ball”. After meeting fellow grunge artists in rehab, McCready formed the band ‘Mad Season’ who produced one album “Above”. Another mentionable side project is ‘The Rockfords’, which consisted of ex- ‘Shadow’ members. ‘The Rockfords’ released a self-titled album in 2000.
McCready along with his fellow ‘Pearl Jam’ band members, continue to perform sell out concerts at stadiums around the world, they are one the most influential bands of all time.