Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready wishes he could re-record his Even Flow solo

Mike McCready of Pearl Jam performs during Budweiser Made In America Festival Benefiting The United Way - Day 2 at Benjamin Franklin Parkway on September 2, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Pearl Jam’s mammoth debut album, Ten, and to celebrate the milestone, PJ electric guitar player and Fender signature artist Mike McCready sat down with Guitar World for a long look back at the making of the landmark record.

Among the many nuggets of knowledge McCready revealed during the interview is that, if he could go back and change anything about the record, it would be to re-record the solo to one of the band’s most beloved tracks, Even Flow.

I’ve always wanted to do a better Even Flow solo than the one that’s on there,” he said. “I shouldn’t say that, because I think some people like it the way it is. Although when we’re playing it live I always want to do it better. But I don’t think there’s any other aspects I would have changed on that record. I mean, it was a dream come true.”

And while he may not have loved the Even Flow solo, McCready also admits that the rhythm parts were challenging in their own way.

In terms of Even Flow, I mean, we probably recorded that track 25 or 30 times, and we just never seemed to get it right,” he said.

“Jeff [Ament, bassist] would fucking run outside because he was so mad about it. And Stone [Gossard, guitarist] had these big charts... we just would make fun of the charts, [laughs] but we were never able to record it right. I think Stone heard something in it that we could never get. And I remember it wasn’t about the technique of it as much as it was about how it felt.

“That’s the only time we recorded a song that many times. But it was just this endless puzzle of trying to figure it out.”

For more insight into the making of Pearl Jam's landmark debut, you can grab a copy of the new Guitar World from Magazines Direct.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.