Mike McCready was born on April 5, 1965 in Florida, but was raised in the Seattle. He grew up surrounded by the music of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. His parents were rockers. When his tastes began to branch out he began listening to bands like KISS and Aerosmith. He wanted to create his own music, and fulfilled that desire through the guitar. While still in junior high, McCready founded a band called Warrior, who changed their name to Shadow when they started playing school functions and birthday parties. They were a metal cover band, playing the music of KISS, Iron Maiden, and Def Leppard. Soon, though, Mike began writing his own songs, and his influences shifted towards riff-heavy bands like Van Halen and Black Sabbath.

After high school, Shadow moved to Los Angeles. McCready took a day job at a record store while the band began gigging. Unfortunately, the L.A. club scene was sinking fast, and they wound up shipping back home, where they almost immediately split. Disillusioned and unsure about a career in music, Mike elected to go to college to obtain a degree. For a while he gave up guitar entirely, until a friend convinced him to get back into it. He had soon formed a blues band dubbed Love Chile, and was once again playing out in the Seattle club scene.

It was at a party one fateful night that Mike was playing along with an SRV album, and guitarist Stone Gossard heard him. Gossard was at that time a member of Mother Love Bone, who were just about to break through into the national mainstream. The two hit it off well, and so it was that when Andrew Wood, the lead singer of MLB died soon afterward, Gossard called up Mike to ask him to start a new band. Mike said yes.

And so it was that Pearl Jam was assembled. Gossard brought along MLB bassist Jeff Ament, and the three of them scored vocalist Eddie Vedder and drummer Jack Irons. When their debut album Ten was relesed only a few months later, Pearl Jam was thrown instantly to the forefront of the alternative music scene. McCready also worked on several side projects and collaborations, the most notable of which are Layne Staley’s Mad Season, and Temple of the Dog with Chris Cornell and Matt Cameron of Soundgarden.


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