Mike McCready 1977 Matao Les Paul Copy

In 1977/78 at the age of 11, Mike, with the help of his family got his first electric guitar. He bought it at Kennelly Keys Music in WA for around $100.

Acquiring this guitar strongly helped shape Mike’s musical taste. It allowed him to join his first bands “Shadow” and “Warriors”, and eventually landed him a gig at a talent show.


The guitar was a knockoff or to be more “gentle” – a replica of the famous Gibson Les Paul model.

Embellished in Cherry Sunburst along with two humbuckers modeled after the original PAFs, the Matao was surprisingly a well-made instrument. This particular model was often a go-to choice among other aspiring musicians from that era. It was relatively inexpensive, pretty well made, and readily available. 

The instrument was manufactured in Japan by a company named Hoshino which was responsible for the birth of Ibanez.

Mike recalls at one point breaking the neck of the Matao and later on getting it fixed along with chiseling of the black finish and later on covering it with a gold top paint job.

He claims that he owns the guitar to this day.

It was a hundred-dollar guitar (laughs). I got it from Kennelly Keys Music. […] I started playing in bands very quickly; in seventh grade I joined a band called Warrior. I played it in The Portables and at a talent show. There’s a picture of me hucking that guitar up in the air – because that’s what I thought rock and roll was (laughs).

I broke the neck when I threw it one time trying to impress a bunch of people, so we had to get it fixed. But it was a pretty good guitar. I remember that I – don’t do this at home – I chiseled off the black finish and spray-painted it to make a “goldtop.” I might’ve got a few splinters doing that (laughs).

Mike McCready Strat Swap: Fender CS Mark Anniversary of Ten
Submitted by: Mikolaj


GroundGuitar counts on your criticism and feedback. In case you notice anything wrong with the information posted on this page, or you have knowledge of something that you would like to share, be sure to leave a comment below.

In case you want to talk to me directly and privately, please use the Contact Form and I will get back to you as soon as possible. (Dan)

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments