Fender Is Recreating A Famous Pearl Jam Guitar

By Katrina Nattress

September 8, 2023

Pearl Jam 2022 North American Tour - New York
Photo: Getty Images North America

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready is the latest musician to get their famous guitar replicated by Fender. The guitar manufacturer teased the release on Instagram, saying that "the Mike McCready Stratocaster is coming soon." How soon? From the look of their website, September 12. Fender went into great detail about the 1960 Strat the guitarist famously wields. Here's the full description:

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready has earned his place among the giants of rock 'n' roll guitar. Best known for playing a '59 Strat®, his searing leads are steeped in blues and classic rock reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend and Keith Richards, and his peerless work on hits, including "Yellow Ledbetter", "Even Flow", "Nothing As It Seems" and countless others, helped pave the way for Pearl Jam's 2017 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. McCready's guitar work in Seattle supergroups Temple of the Dog and Mad Season also featured instantly recognizable Strat riffs, such as those heard on "Hunger Strike" and "River of Deceit".
Inspired by Stevie Ray Vaughan, McCready set out early on to acquire his own '59 Strat, and, serendipitously, with his first ever vintage guitar purchase, he found "the one" that has been his primary Fender instrument ever since. Now some 28 years later, McCready's iconic Strat can be heard featured on tracks "Superblood Wolfmoon" and "Dance Of The Clairvoyants" from Pearl Jam's most recent studio LP, Gigaton.
In this first-time collaboration between Fender and McCready, the Fender Custom Shop is honored to re-create this incredible instrument in exact detail, and in doing so a long held secret about the guitar's lineage was forced to be revealed to its owner: the Strat was actually constructed in 1960, not 1959 as had long been believed.
For this limited 60-piece Masterbuilt run, the Custom Shop's Vincent Van Trigt carefully disassembled the guitar in order to note and measure every detail, curve and scratch - and there are plenty of scratches, thanks to McCready's exuberant style! The recreation features an ultimate Relic® lacquer finish on a two-piece select alder body; a flat-sawn flame maple neck with a 1960 "oval C" profile; and a flat-lam rosewood fingerboard with 21 vintage frets. Custom Josefina hand-wound pickups matched to the originals are connected to a five-way switch and vintage wiring, including a "treble bleed" tone capacitor. Other features include a three-ply vinyl pickguard, vintage-style synchronized tremolo with Callaham bridge block, vintage-style tuning machines, bone nut, and wing string tree with metal spacer. Includes deluxe hardshell case, strap, polishing cloth, McCready case candy kit and certificate of authenticity.

As for Pearl Jam, the band's currently on a brief US tour and are working on a new album.

Pearl Jam
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