Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready welcomed his recent Mad Season collaborators, Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan and Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin, to his 14th annual “Flight To Mars” benefit concerts over the weekend, held at the Showbox in Seattle. Proceeds from the shows benefited the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America’s Camp Oasis program. McCready has suffered from Crohn’s disease for more than 20 years but only began discussing it publicly in the last five years.

McCready has also suffered from addiction and other issues in the past, but said a while back that his bandmates in Pearl Jam have helped him through his struggles:[“The band has stuck by me in those situations a hundred times. Stone (Gossard, guitarist) specifically has definitely kind of got me…I’m glad that I’m still in the band, I’m glad that I’m still alive in all these kind of situations, and Stone has been integral in keeping me in this thing, and as I think everybody else has been that way too, so I feel very positive to be in it. It is a close, cohesive unit when it comes to that.”] SOUNDCUE (:20 OC: . . . comes to that.)

  • The benefit over the weekend featured McCready and his guests performing songs like Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades,” AC/DC‘s “Let There Be Rock” and more.
  • Pearl Jam’s latest tour ended on May 11th in Toronto. The band will next play at Tennessee’s Bonnaroo Festival on June 11th. They’ve also lined up two-night stands in August at Boston’s Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes periodic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and symptoms such as severe abdominal pain or sudden diarrhea. 
  • Flight To Mars is the name of McCready’s cover band, which plays songs by British hard rock act UFO.

CHECK IT OUT: Watch McCready and friends perform “Ace Of Spades” at the benefit:

Here they are with Duff McKagan on “Let There Be Rock”:

INTERNET COMMENTS at Alternative Nation — agree or not?

Stone Gossardish wrote: “Can we see Mike using those kinda guitar tones for some Pearl Jam songs again?”

AMM wrote: “Mike’s new project with Barrett and Duff seems to be bringing those tones.”

Mod wrote: “That seems true, and the PJ live tones are better than they’ve been in a long time.”

Valhalla wrote: “If that project can find a full time singer, it could get some real studio legs on it.”