"This is a song I wrote as a goodbye to my friend Chris Cornell" – Pearl Jam's Mike McCready performs rare live vocal performance with tribute song

Mike McCready
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for PJ)

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready played a rare show with his occasional band The Rockfords at the Showbox in Seattle on 29 July, and it featured an even rarer solo song performance from the guitarist.

McCready played a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar to debut Crying Moon,  deeply personal song he wrote as a tribute to his late friend and Temple Of The Dog bandmate, Chris Cornell.

"This is a song I wrote as a goodbye to my friend Chris Cornell," McCready wrote on Instagram. "Crying Moon is part of my process in dealing with his death. Chris opened up my world to new heights when he let me play on Temple Of The Dog. When he agreed to sing on Mad Season as part of the Sonic Evolution show with the Seattle Symphony, I literally jumped for joy! The Temple Of The Dog reunion at that show inspired us to tour, which was amazing. Playing War Pigs live with Chris was a dream. I love and miss him..."

"Chris was such a sweetheart to me," said McCready introducing the song at the Showbox. "He let me play on the Temple record, and that was a huge intro to my new life at that time. And I'll always love him for that." 

In turn, Cornell was a great admirer of McCready's and was happy to showcase his talents of the Temple Of The Dog project – including an extended guitar solo for the song Reach Down. The 1991-released album was recorded in late 1990 before the release of Pearl Jam's debut album Ten as a tribute to Cornell's former flatmate, Mother Love Bone vocalist Andy Wood.

Wood's death in 1990 signalled the end of Mother Love Bone with bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard going on to form Pearl Jam alongside McCready and vocalist Eddie Vedder. All of whom feature on the Temple Of The Dog record. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.