Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hmmm.... another book on Grunge

The press release below is for a new book about grunge by some New York author. I'll wait to pass full judgment until I've read it, but... the press release says "Never before has a book attempted to examine the scene as a whole" and goes on to describe a book that sounds almost exactly like Clark Humphrey's "Loser" but not near as completest. And I have a hard time seeing this as being that great when it's a New York writer that seems to focus on the arena rock bands that got called grunge, rather than the bands that were a lot rougher around the edges and slugging it out in Seattle's dark and dirty club scene. At least they actually interviewed Mark Arm and Jack Endino.

Long Island-based Author Releases Grunge Tome on 15th Anniversary of Cobain Suicide

Fifteen years after Kurt Cobain's suicide on April 5th, 1994, comes the authoritative story of grunge. 'Grunge is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music' (released April 1, 2009, via ECW Press) by Greg Prato is the definitive story of the Pacific Northwest music scene of the late '80s and early '90s. Never before has a book attempted to examine the scene as a whole. Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament says, "Finally, a book about the early years of our little scene in Seattle. I can't wait to hear all the different perspectives from the people that were actually there, not the so-called experts, who didn't show up until the '90s."

Prato will sign copies of his new book at The Book Revue in Huntington, NY on Wednesday, 8-April at 7pm (313 New York Ave), and also at Easy Street Records & Cafe in West Seattle on Saturday, 25-April at 6pm (4559 California Ave SW). These events are free and open to public (for more information, visit and

Taking the form of an oral history, Prato's tome contains over 130 original interviews conducted for the book over a three-year period. No outside interviews are included and most of the interviews are published here for the first time. Some of the original interviews include:

Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam singer
Jeff Ament, Pearl Jam/Mother Love Bone bassist
Kim Thayil, Soundgarden guitarist
Susan Silver, Soundgarden/Alice in Chains' manager, ex-wife of Chris Cornell
Duff McKagan, Guns N' Roses bassist
Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney, Alice in Chains guitarist and drummer
Nancy Layne McCallum, mother of late Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley
Mark Arm, Mudhoney singer
Chad Channing, Nirvana drummer
Jack Endino, producer Nirvana/Soundgarden/Mudhoney
Charles Peterson, photographer
Bruce Pavitt & Jonathan Poneman, founders Sub Pop Records

'Grunge is Dead' begins with a retrospective of the '60s and '70s that explains the rise of the Seattle music scene. Additionally, a large number of previously unpublished photographs appear in color and black and white throughout the book. The result is the complete first-hand history of grunge. 'Grunge is Dead' will allow rock fans to discover a unique chapter in music history, through the experiences of the people who were actually there.

Greg Prato is a Long Island, New York-based journalist whose writing has appeared in All Music Guide, Classic Rock Magazine, and Goldmine Magazine, and is the author of the books 'A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon' and 'Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story.' He has interviewed many noted rock musicians over the years, including members of Rush, Kiss, Jane's Addiction, The Ramones, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and others.


doug said...

Awesome, another book I can not read.

howardx said...

theres some truth to this

"not the so-called experts, who didn't show up until the '90s."

where were you in 82?

Rich said...

this book is a collection of quotes, pretty weak if you ask me.
I'd rather read a book by a 19 year old, if it's well researched and it out together well.
I'd take that over the
"where you there" factor any day.

Dan 10Things said...

Rich, you should check out "Loser" if you haven't already, it's THEE well-researched documented history of Seattle area music. Granted it leaves out a lot of punk bands I loved, but for the whole picture, it's pretty damn thorough. Hell, even 10 Things got plugged with a few other music fanzines during the 90s era. I do think a book mostly comprised of quotes can work in some cases, Leggs McNeil's "Please Kill Me" and "We Got the Neutron Bomb" both took a similar approach, and I think they are two of the most important books on punk history... and they are exciting to read. Where as "England's Dreaming" was much more researched and thorough, but can be a bit boring in parts.

Camille M. said...

I do like the over-intellectual literary references in England's Dreaming, though. I started reading serious literature because of that book and another one that pointed out the influence of Graham Greene's Brighton Rock on the punk movement. Who'da thought?

Dan 10Things said...

That's funny Camille. And don't get me wrong, I loved England's Dreaming and that approach to history, but Please Kill Me was a much more lively read.