Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready admits he doesn’t know how to play the intro of Alive

“Stone Gossard does that so I don’t know how to do it!”


Image: Jim Bennett/Getty Images

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more

Despite being one of Pearl Jam’s biggest songs – not to mention a staple of their live setlist since its release in 1991 – the intro of Alive has eluded guitarist Mike McCready until now. He doesn’t know how to play the track’s intro because Stone Gossard handles that part, he explains.

In a recent episode of Chris Shiflett’s Shred With Shifty, McCready was asked to walk the audience through the solo from the band’s debut single. However, when Shiflett asked him to play the intro, things took a turn.

“Stone [Gossard] does that so I don’t know how to do it”, McCready says, before attempting to play the first few bars.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever played it,” he exclaims. “I can’t wait to tell Stone I’ve almost figured his riff out on your podcast,” the guitarist says with a laugh.

Of course the guitarist then goes on to ace the solo, and surprisingly, according to McCready he doesn’t “do the solo the same live all the time”.

You can watch the full interaction below:

In more news, McCready revealed that he was playing his new Mexican-made signature Fender Strat on Pearl Jam’s recent tour.

McCready was seen playing a prototype version of his Roadworn Strat on tour earlier last year, and the finished product later became part of the Pearl Jam show, alongside his favourite 1960 Strat.

“I wanted to make sure I was playing this thing live so I could have the confidence to go, ‘Oh yeah it’s something that’s worth buying’,” says McCready. “I played it on Indifference, I played it on [Yellow] Ledbetter, Daughter… I’ve played it on six other songs. Strat-type songs, just to see if it can hold up to what my real 1960 does. And it does.”

Related Artists

Related Tags


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.