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The 90's was a definitive time for me as this short era contained all of my teenage years. It's well known that as teens we are constantly trying to define ourselves as individuals. One of the ways that we are heavily influenced during this search of ourselves is through music. I became a music nerd during this time. I guess you could say that when I was looking for who I was I found satisfaction with the music nerd label.

Most everyone should remember the "Seattle Grunge" boom. However, it was much more than what most knew it to be. It had nothing to do with the clothes that most of you mentally pictured upon hearing it, but had everything to do with a great story. I'm talking about the music. Seattle during this time became a music hot spot off the rising fame of a couple of bands (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam). Later, Nirvana would gain explosive stardom and send the name "Seattle" into the mouths of every Generation X'er. From the media attention, countless bands got signed that had no business getting attention, but still many others got righteously noticed and continue to sell thousands of copies of their albums a decade after their break-ups.

I was one of the kids that became a fan of these bands only after their rise to success. Naturally, being pre-internet days, there was no way to be a long distance fan of a local band, so I was introduced to them after their national releases were made. I fell in love with the music and went seeking more. I had to go backwards, though, as I had already picked up their most current work. So, I started grabbing up earlier albums, bootlegs, and side projects.

My whole point to this blog is that I envy what was going on in Seattle at this time. Not the national attention that they were getting, but the music community that was built. Bands formed and fell apart just to create other bands from other bands. Bands worked together to make albums. Great music was made through people who knew everyone else. Recording studios were set up to be affordable and readily available. I love hearing the stories.

One great story was the one of Mother Love Bone. The lead singer (Andy Wood) died of a heroin overdose. This band was on the verge of stardom and lost their frontman. Two other members (Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard) were asked by Andy Wood's roommate (Chris Cornell) to make a single together. Cornell had written two songs and through practice an entire album was developed (Temple of the Dog). They had held open auditions for backing vocals and decided to go with a San Diego surfer (Eddie Vedder) who had recently moved there. The album that was written in dedication received little national notice until months later when Soundgarden released their epic "Badmotorfinger" album and the newly formed Pearl Jam released their debut "Ten".

There are hundreds of these stories (not all with heroin overdoses) that tie all these bands together. It really shows the tightness of the music community that is really lacking today. If you are interested in learning more of what I am talking about you should should check out the documentary called "Hype". It's an entertaining and informative show that is chock-full of interviews with band members, producers, and pulicists from Seattle that were right in the mix of it all. There is a lot of great footage that you won't see anywhere else and great music in front of and behind the scenes.

1 comments:

Oh my goodness I think you're the only peson I know that's heard of Mother Love Bone. I actually own their 2 disc cd that they had. Temple of the Dog also had a really great CD.
Lets not forget about Alice in Chains though. It was at your apartment that I was turned on to Jar of Flies and ended up buying every AIC cd I could with a few bootlegs. But then when you talk about AIC that leads to Mad Season .

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