Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready sat down with Sirius XM’s Feedback Tuesday yesterday to promote his new photo book,Of Potato Heads and Polaroids: My Life Inside and Out of Pearl Jam. In addition to talking about his career in polaroids, he discussed Chris Cornell’s sudden passing and former Pearl Jam drummer Dave Abruzzese being snubbed by the Rock n’ Roll hall of Hame.
“I’m still reeling from that. It was a terrible tragedy. I really loved him like a brother,” McCready said of Cornell, who he collaborated with in Temple of the Dog. “He was really instrumental in kind of getting me to play on his record. He allowed me to play on the Temple of the Dog record and let me take chances when he didn’t have to do that. He was always that way with me … In terms of playing music, and the Temple tour, that was just a dream come true for me.”
Meanwhile, McCready had nothing but praise for Abbruzzese, who played on Pearl Jam’s second and third records, Vs. and Vitalogy. Neither Abbruzzese nor two of the band’s other ex-drummers, Matt Chamberlain and Jack Irons, were inducted into the RRHOF alongside PJ earlier this year. Abbruzzese was very vocal about this displeasure at the snub, calling it “a slap in the face.” Pearl Jam ended up inviting all three drummers to the induction ceremony, but while Chamberlain and Irons attended, Abbruzzese did not, saying that Pearl Jam’s offer didn’t qualify as an official invitation. Current drummer Matt Cameron and original drummer Dave Krusen, who played on the band’s debut Ten, entered the Hall with the legendary Seattle band.
“Dave was integral at the part when we were starting to take off, and we were playing at Lollapalooza and we were opening for the Chili Peppers and Soundgarden and all that stuff,” McCready said during the interview. “He rode that wave and helped us through that, and so I felt like he should’ve been a part of that and he should be acknowledged because he was an amazing drummer.” As you can hear below, McCready also stated that he and Abbruzzese were “the tightest in that band” at the time.
McCready’s Pearl Jame bandmate, Eddie Vedder, recently gave a stirring tribute to Cornell. Read it and watch the crowd’s reaction here.