Mike McCready’s 50 Greatest Moments In Honor Of Pearl Jam Guitarist’s 50th Birthday


Happy 50th Birthday to Pearl Jam’s guitar player extraordinaire, Mr. Mike McCready!
McCready, recently celebrated with a special 50th birthday show in Seattle. Cheap Trick played the bash with McCready and Eddie Vedder joining as special guests. To honor the legendary axeman, we take a look at McCready’s 50 greatest guitar moments – including Pearl Jam songs written by McCready, solos and live classics.

Pearl Jam kicks off their 2016 tour this Friday in Ft. Lauderdale.

Cheers Mike!


1. The “Alive” solo, where it all began
2. The “Reach Down” solo. “There’s something down there. He’s possessed, like he’s got problems. Good luck guys.” – Chris Cornell PJ20
3. “Nothing As it Seems” that first “E” note, chilling every time
4. “Given to Fly”
5. “Even Flow” solo, especially live
6. “Yellow Ledbetter”
7. The “Star Spangled Banner” ending occasionally put on “Yellow Ledbetter”
8. “Eruption,” Van Halen cover, played live 13 times
9. “Sirens”
10. Crazy Mary, outro solo and jam with Boom
11. The do do do do do dodo do “Black” riff
12. Mike McCready solo performance! When Ted Leo and the Pharmacists could not make it to Toronto to open, the band improvised solo opening sets (August 21, 2009)
13. “Angie,” Rolling Stones cover, played live 3 times
14. Playing “Superunknown” live with Soundgarden
15. “The Real Me,” the band blows the roof off the place, McCready’s energy is undeniable (July 17, 2008)
16. “Harmony,” from the Touring Band DVD
17. “River of Deceit,” from Mad Season
18. “Faithfull”
19. Covering “Black Diamond” by Kiss, where he sings the intro with Flight to Mars and Pearl Jam
20. The “Amongst the Waves” solo
21. The “Rearviewmirror” outro
22. The “Life Wasted” solo outro from the Late Show with David Letterman (May 4, 2006)
23. The “Save You” riff
24. “Brain of J”
25. The “Light Years” solo
26. “Mind Your Manners”
27. The “Go” intro and solo. A frantic pop right out of the gate, explained perfectly by Incubus frontman, Brandon Boyd
28. “Wake Up,” solo from Mad Season
29. “Masters of War” with Eddie Vedder. Bob Dylan 50th birthday at Madison Square Garden (October 16, 1992)
30. The “Immortality” solo, even better live
31. “Vodoo Child” cover from Hendrix Tribute, EMP Sky Church- Seattle, WA (November 17, 2012)
32. “Little Wing” Jimi Hendrix cover, played live 24 times
33. The “Corduroy” outro
34. “Porch” solo, especially the extended live version
35. “Black Hole Sun,” Soundgarden cover with Peter Frampton and Matt Cameron
36. “Bring it on Home,” cover with Stereo Embers live from Easy Street Records (March 19, 2016)
37. “Inside Job”
38. “I Want You to Want Me,” performed live with Cheap Trick and Eddie Vedder, McCready’s 50th birthday bash (March 25, 2016)
39. The “Hard to Imagine” outro. Subtle, less is more, but beautiful
40. “Rhyme & Reason,” with Dave Matthews Band. (September 7, 2013)
41. “Present Tense”
42. “Wild Horses,” with Brandi Carlile. Live at the Triple Door (September 8, 2012)
43. “Red Mosquito” solos
44. “Grievance” from the Late Show with David Letterman. Mostly the intensity and guitar smash at the end. Which is then given to Letterman for his birthday (April 12, 2000)
45. “Marker in the Sand”
46. “Stairway to Heaven,” with Ann Wilson and Total Experience Gospel Choir at the Boathouse in Seattle (June 6, 2015)
47. The solo on “Shell of Me” from Brett Scallions’ – World Fire Brigade record
48. Introducing Steve Gleason who then introduces Pearl Jam at Voodoo Experience at (November 1, 2013)
49. “Dissident” riff
50. “Severed Hand” solo

photo by jeff rouse