Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready said the band’s former drummer Dave Abbruzzese “should’ve been in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” during an interview on Sirius XM’s Feedback Tuesday. Abbruzzese was not included on the Pearl Jam roster when the band was nominated for the Rock Hall and has continued to rail against the snub since their induction.
“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. “And we had to have a drummer because things were blowing up really quickly and he was there right when that was happening.”
Abbruzzese played on two of Pearl Jam’s biggest records, Vs. and Vitalogy, but neither he nor the band’s other two ex-drummers Matt Chamberlain and Jack Irons were inducted. (Current drummer Matt Cameron and Dave Krusen, who played on the band’s debut Ten, entered the Rock Hall). After Abbruzzese lashed out at the snub, Pearl Jam invited every drummer to the induction ceremony. While Cameron, Krusen and Irons attended, Abbruzzese did not and later claimed Pearl Jam’s statement didn’t qualify as an official invitation.
Still, McCready only had kind words for Abbruzzese, saying the two were “the tightest in that band” and adding later of his contributions, “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.”
Elsewhere in his Feedback interview, McCready spoke about the sudden death of Chris Cornell, who died by suicide in a Detroit hotel room last month. “I’m still reeling from that,” McCready said. “It was a terrible tragedy. I really loved him like a brother.”
While McCready and Cornell both burst out of the Seattle grunge scene as members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, respectively, they also played together in Temple of the Dog, who released their one and only record in 1991.
“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,” McCready recalled. “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.”
McCready also spoke about his new book of Polaroid pictures, Of Potato Heads and Polaroids: My Life Inside and Out of Pearl Jam, which is filled with candid shots from throughout the guitarist’s career. McCready told the stories behind two photographs: One with Paul McCartney and Lady Gaga and one of book’s first pictures, which features McCready, Eddie Vedder, Heart’s Nancy Wilson and Chris Cornell.