While working on the Temple of the Dog project, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament recorded a set of instrumental demos in August 1990 (known as the "Gossman Project"). Soundgarden's Matt Cameron contributed drums to ten of the tracks, and Shadow's Chris Friel contributed to two: "Times of Trouble" and "Black". Stone and Jeff shopped the tape (with working titles only) around to various connections including the Wilder Brothers in Los Angeles. They hit paydirt after giving part of the demo (known as the "Stone Gossard Demo '91") to former Red Hot Chili Peppers' drummer Jack Irons.
Featuring "Alive", "Once", "Footsteps", "Black", and "Alone", the Stone Gossard Demo was given by Irons to his basketball buddy Eddie Vedder in late September. While surfing, Ed came up with the lyrics to the song "Dollar Short". Using his 4-track recorder, Vedder layed down vocals for "Alive" (his title for "Dollar Short"), "Once" and "Footsteps". He compiled the songs onto the "Mamasan" tape and sent them back up to Seattle. Mike, Stone, Jeff and new recruit Dave Krusen loved Vedder instantly and enlisted him in the band.
The unnamed band began recording immediately upon Vedder's arrival. From October 8 through October 23, 1990 the group worked on their first demo tape. Taking the moniker Mookie Blaylock from a basketball trading card found in the demo tape package, the newly formed band performed their first live show on October 22 at Seattle's Off Ramp Cafe.
Eddie made several copies of the demo DAT (also known as the First Week Rehearsal demo) onto old R&B tapes and gave gave them to friends. While it's possible Mookie Blaylock recorded more than one demo tape, only the First Week Rehearsal demo has been verified. In the spring of 1991, Mookie Blaylock/Pearl Jam began recording "Ten" at Seattle's London Bridge Studios.