Apologies for being a year and half late, but I had to chime in to this very interesting thread. I'm a recent discoverer of gigposters, a 21 year resident of Seattle, a half assed collector of posters, and a designer of one poster on this site. I must say to be here in Seattle for the ride that was the "Grunge Years" was intense, both fun and ultimately sad. Seeing Soundgarden in 1987 opening for Redd Kross (Linda Blair gigposter) was the first time I realized that this local crap could possibly appeal to the masses. I've wondered if I would have even liked the music from that time if I didn't grow up around it, and I won't ever know because I did. Certainly there was lots of hype, but I don't think straight up lies. In an early Sub Pop catalog, the caption for Bleach said, "They're from Olympia, they own their own van, and they're going to make us rich" That was like in 1989. So there was vision. And Bruce Pavitt would be right there in the pit with the rest of us rolling on the floor. He wasn't faking it, he believed his hype/lies. Plus for me, I don't think I'll ever participate in anything like the numerous Mudhoney shows that ended in such chaos, that the lines between band and crowd were completely blurred. That happened a lot in the "early years". If I miss anything, it's the feeling of being part of something bigger than myself happening around me that couldn't be explained. It was bigger than just music, it truly was a self sufficient community for a short while. Then it got wrecked or discovered or whatever. Long live Joe Strummer and Kurt Cobain.
Well, I could see how one would think that, but I really wouldn't consider St. Louis a rap town. We have a couple of rap stations, that actually do some interesting programming. Yeah, Nelly and the St.Lunatics are from here, but they really didn't play out too much around here. There are only a couple of clubs that do hip hop and from what I've seen, they aren't really doing that much better than the rock clubs. No, the only rap acts that draw well are the big nationally known ones. Even some of the more interesting ones like De La Soul, Jurassic 5 and Dilated Peoples only play to a place that holds 500 people and it's half full. The Roots have played a place that holds about 2000 to only half full capacity.
No, St. Louis is a town of mediocrity. People here seem to like stuff that is easy to categorize. The big local rock bands, that get commercial airplay and draw the BIG crowds, don't really rock. The bands that are supposed to be funky aren't really that funky. The rap bands don't really have anything that interesting to say. You know, mediocrity.
A lot of my friends around here, who are in the bands that I like, get plenty of press in the big "alternative' New Times paper. But even tehn, they're lucky to get 50 to 60 people on a weekend. I have some real good friends who actually got signed to Dionysus. Recently did a tour with The Load Levellers and had a full page article written about them in said paper. They're a band that could really put this town on the map. Should be touring all over the country and maybe even Europe. They're lucky if 30 people come out to see them on a weekend. Had them open up for "Demons" last night and Mike Lavella of Gearhead was there and he was right up front checking them out and the guys in "Demons" were all watching intently and tapping their toes. This band is damn good. But few here know who they are. I'm pretty much to the point where I know what to expect, around 60 to 80 people, and I can plan accordingly.
And Seripop, yes the shows that bring out the kids do the best. But the kids here don't like anything that's not emo, pop-punk, or nu/rap metal. None of which I'm particularly into. And I'm sorry, but if I don't even like the style of music a band plays, I'm not going to book them. I haven't particularly cared for the last couple of Makers albums, but I would book them in a heartbeat if I ever had the chance. Because I like their old stuff and the style they at least used to represent.
I think Postermistress hit on the nail. The Seattle scene was hype and Nirvana made millions for the records label and they still are. That's what its mostly about. I worked with Slaughter in the big hair 80's, I mean come on, with the way promotion was pushed and they toured with Kiss, the girls ate the shit up and the dug they music. We out sold Kiss in merchandise. It's in the way its presented to the public. Every little teenager felt for Cobain, the more they felt, the more CD's sold. The Sex Pistols, everyone fell for Sid, I dug that it was a time of rebellion. Music sucked during that time, so like Kozik said, it was a big fuck you and the record companies saw dollar signs. But during that time a few lives were taken because the industry can fuck you up. Darby Crash of the germs, was really a nice guy, got caught up with the image of it all. Lee Ving (still living), a nother nice guy. I am been teaching my daugher everything about music from punk rock to classical. It's a very important lesson in life. I took my kid to see Billy Idol, she is almost 4 years old, she dug the stuff. I disagree with Seripop, girls really do like the music for what it is. When you put on a cd of band that brings you back to a certain time in your life, that's cool. I am woman, music was and still is my life. Cute guys are a bonus. The Clash rock and every song they sang, sent a message of what was going on: poverty, rioting, violence on and on. For Courtney Love, if its true about what they say about her killing Cobain to gain control over his money, boy she is shrewd she got away with it and became famous.
that kind of stuff gets real tricky. as far as i know they lived primarily in oak harbor (that's where tom hazelmeyer was stationed in the marines(?) and where he started amphetamine reptile records so he could release the accused, halo of flies and the thrown-ups - ed fotheringham's band). the accused toured so much, i'm not so sure they had fixed addresses. i know that soon after a while they broke up a few times. now the core of the accused is the fartz again. ya know, i get so confused on that one... were they the accused first, then the fartz, or the other way around? and gruntruck was in the middle of all that somewhere. where's dana collins when you need him????
still, calling the accused a 'seattle band' is like calling the sonics or the wailers or the kingsmen 'seattle bands'. sure, seattle (being the biggest local city) always took the credit, but actually had no real claim to them. they were from elsewhere in the region - cities with their own traditions and styles.
olympia should be commended for resisting the suckhole drag of seattle for so long. of course, eventually, even most of those bands started releasing on subpop and shit.
I prefer "I don't Care about You" by Fear myself. I am like Jermaine. I bought in to the Nirvana thing the first time I heard Dive. That song still rocks the house. I was really into the Florida Death Metal scene that was blowing up HUGE around the time Teen Spririt came out. It made go back and get out all of my old punk albums and start listening to Black Flag and Discharge and stuff. Even though it was exactly "punk" that dumb song felt enough like punk to get me back into it.
Art, even though the Accused arnt exactly from Seattle they settled and lived there I believe? That makes them Seattle enough for me. Homebase was Seattle if I remember correctly. You know more about it so I could be wrong. I still consider them a Seattle band. The most original one in my opinion. Nobody (except my band) ever tried to sound like the Accused that I can recall.
See...my 'awakening' was essential a 'Punk' experience..where it was 'your deal SUCKS, we are gonna make our own'. Sounds corny, but for 'my generation' of sociopaths it was all about 'fuck off do your thing'..so the essential core message of 'loser rock' was appaling to me.
'my' scene was about 'doing' not 'thinking'.
hence my 'career' and opti-assholish outlook.
all that morbid victim-worship late 80's crap can go suck a big fat dick.
a friend of mine who used to be a street junkie in sf for years (lived in a cardboard box in an alley for FOUR YEARS!!!) has great stories about turning tricks with courtney in the old days. but she became deeply afraid of her even back then. had to run...
"hmm....well, I have to say that the band that 'talked to me' that way was probably FEAR.
But it turned my confusion and depression into ACTION...not an excuse to shoot dope, watch TV and the complain about it all."
But NIRVANA turned my feelings into ACTION too. In fact, your poster for NIRVANA was the one that REALLY made my mind up that Id do this one day. It was a combination of the pointless image (from my standpoint), but done with such fervor, talent, and 'pseudo meaning'...just like NIRVANA music.
Know what Im saying?
hmm....well, I have to say that the band that 'talked to me' that way was probably FEAR.
But it turned my confusion and depression into ACTION...not an excuse to shoot dope, watch TV and the complain about it all.
well...froma ll accounts he was no brain surgeon...so like this doofy guy gets all famous, hooked on dope and marries a fucking cuntrag...no wonder.
He should told the band and the bitch to stick it oand gone off to like Fiji.
seriously, THAT was the whole point. We were all mad and tired and angry and frustrated...and like, NO ONE was saying it like Kurt did. Kurt was like, 'Im miserable and I dont know why'. You can say how stupid it was, but its true...and the proof is in the pudding. I remember that song TEEN SPIRIT like hitting EVERYBODY and like flooring em...white, black, whatever. Id go shoot ball with my boys and make mix tapes...and like after some EPMD and Papa Sun, then TEEN SPIRIT would crank, and they were like, 'Man thats sweet.'
I SAW that happen...so Im a believer. And if it means the corporate monster infected me, then I guess I was infected.
i saw nirvana at every stage of their career. toward the end they were just going through the motions. they got REAL depressing to watch. that last tour was awful. it was like watching somebody slowly die in front of you. when it was announcd that 'a body was found' at curtandcourtney's house (on my birthday, no less), there was no question in anybody's mind what had happened. when they announced his death, there were already hundreds of people holding a vigil. shock, but not a lick of surprise.
the poor bastard really should have had a big "L" tattooed on his forehead.
but i still can't listen to 'teen spirit' without getting a lump in my throat. did that to me from the very beginning.
OK Jermaine...yer a chick.
I never fell for this crap. I'd heard bleach when I was like fourteen and I thought that Nirvana wrote songs that forgot to rock. Then at 16 I heard that smells like crap song and said oh shit. These dudes have wrote an anthme to nothing. The kids are gonna love it. Sounds good and sounds like I'm supposed to rebel against something but they never come out and say what. All sond and look and no substance. I get it now, but at 16 I was under the impression that thier should be some message(how silly of me) but their was nothing there for me so I discarded them.
yea, but everything 'good' eventually accquires 'lemmings'.
I know HENDRIX had his 'lemmings': he still rocked tho.
I saw em once in 1990, then again in 91: at the Axiom and then at The Vatican.
BOTH times, it rocked.
And when Courtney killed him, yea...I was sad...but like, not destroyed like some of these folks. May sound cruel, but I was initially grieving for MYSELF: the fact that Id hear no more new NIRVANA. Isnt that horrible? Its horribly human.
subpop almost went bankrupt at least three times. mudhoney GAVE them "every good boy" just to keep their pals afloat. geffen's breaking nirvana saved their bank accounts.
they survived off the kindness of their friends. i did work for them when nobody else in town would touch them. lisa orth and charles peterson and jack endino never got paid for their efforts. most of the bands never got a dime in royalties on those early records - until their lawyers forced the issue. sub pop was viewed as a community effort by all in seattle, but when the money started to flow, it suddenly became bruce and jonathan. they abandoned all those people who saved their asses and started spending HUGE money on outside 'talent'. classic record label behaviour. exploitation and screwing the friends.
to be fair, bruce (after he quit the label with literally millions of dollars) became one of the best rich guys i've ever met. he helped out many many firends unselfishly. good on him.
as for the label, people stuck with them hoping they'd get some return and because they were the only show in town. most everybody continued to lose their shirts on that operation. there's one great legend of jesse bernstein forcing them at gunpoint to go to the bank and take out all of the money they had (something like $75) to pay him for the track on subpop 200. true or not, that's how bad it got.
Well..I saw them like twice before the 'got big'..and like the 'big deal' at the second, more crowded show was he had blue hair and 'was cute'.
Musically and lyrically I found them boring. But then I hate whiny
So to me, it was TOATTLY CONFUSING when this guy achieved such a 'god status'. Like when the dumbass offed himself, all those candle light vigils and shit?
what the fuck?
Kozik, in my case, that aint true dude...
a) 'Handsome' Kurt? NOT TRUE to me: Kurt looked like an average white cat...the kind of nowhere, nothing kids Id sneak off and skate with.
b) NOT TRUE part 2: When I first heard NIRVANA, I was caught. Id never seen them before in my life. No lie, the first pics of Cobain I saw were on the BLEACH cover...like 6 months after Id first heard em on RICE UNIV. RADIO ktru. And even then, you cant really SEE him, just some skinny white kid with hair in his face. Dude, they looked like SO many other bands.
everybody thought it was cute that 'little curt' has his own band. he took his haircut from mark arm. he took his walletchain from steve turner. he took his clothes from hat the dykes had worn is seattle for years. but that voice! those songs! that whiney self-pity! amazing stuff. still holds up. still a monster. and he will never get old and fat and bald and ugly. the best in ghoulishness - they'll be another doors in ten years.
A guy I know..he loaned Pavitt the 800 bucks Subpop DIDNT have to
record 'Bleach'. Thought it was money thrown out. In return he got 10%...
he's made something like 300 grand thus far on that 800 dollar loan.
Coke money too......
the sad and dirty truth about subpop is that they never 'broke' a single band. geffen broke nirvana. a&m broke soundgarden. warner broke mudhoney (literally). subpop exists on back catalog sales of the original releases made before bruce quit the label in disgust back in the early 90's. jonathan poneman (the other partner) is still looking to prove he's a hitmaker, but has not ever pulled it off.
effective insular local press plus cash from Sony, desperate to make some dough off anything that seemed 'cool'.
I put it down to those few photos of Cobaine where he looked all beautiful in his ratty sweater.
His looks sold the whole thing.
all of it.
I dont think SUBPOP had nothing to do with NIRVANA at all. That was all Kurt. That boy did something. Some of you older and wiser folks may have saw through it, but after I heard Negative Creep...dude, he may as well have been singing about me. He had me at that point...and I was along for the ride. I SO miss Nirvana.
OK, lemme ask you this. Are there any precipitating factors that lead to what happened in Seattle back then? I mean, were there like 'tell tale' signs that all of this was about to happen before it happened?
Reason Im asking is because Im wondering if it can be predicted before it happens again in another town...
I mean, how much of it was a real scene that was built by kids and got 'usurped' by 'the man', and how much of it was architected by 'the man' from the start?
Yep. Sub Pop put a big move on like a bunch of th bands I had on Mans Ruin..all the Swedish crap..Hellacopters, Gluecifer etc...I tired to warn the bands, but they got all starry eyed about how 'Su Pop would make them the next Nirvana'...and it all flopped.
i wish i was in texas for the thick your (real) scene. i'm envious of you guys.
i haven't been able to even look at anything subpop since they very consiously started mining the garage rock scene (and estrus and even my estrus design work) a few years back. for awhile subpop seemed bound and determined to put estrus out of business. it was scary. they literally went after every single band estrus had released. thank god most of those bands were smarter than to step into the subpop grinder. they may not have stayed with estrus, but at least they avoided subpop. just look at the makers.
I see what youre saying.
Sometimes I wish I had been up in Seattle (and in the right circles) to see it for myself, cause Ive heard many inside folks say the same thing youre saying...how it was all a sham...and I believe it.
But back in 91, I was like around 20 years old, and so pissed that our 'scene' was being 'ignored'...know what Im saying?
hey man I listened to all that stuff..boring.
Fuck, I usually ended up buying Sub Pop stuff just for the cover art. THAT was the secret to the success...and getting Sony to bail them out.
...for me...the 'hype' had the opposite effect...I just dismissed anything coming out of the area(except for Estrus bands) after 1991 or so.
anyways..all the idiots are lapping up that 6th rate strokes/hives crap this week.
bleh. a pox on them. may they get cancer of the eyes.
this isn't about 'texas vs seattle' scenes. i'm talking about what was really happeneing up there. hald of the settle bands had texas connections. texas bands were fantastic. i can't the difference between poison 13 and mudhoney and tales of terror and soundgarden. it was all mid-80's american punk rock that had been artificially divvied up by idiots trying to sell it to idiots.
there was no 'seattle sound'. that was the hype that everybody talks about. evey band sounded totally different. there was no 'grunge'. that was a word bruce pavitt made up to promote the fake 'scene'. the media ran with it (it wasn't the first word he tried, but it was the one that caught the popular fancy). i dare anybody to define what 'grunge'sounded like. IT DIDN'T EXIST!
The 'Seattle' sound didnt touch ANYTHING in Texas...which is why I could never understand all the press for Seattle.
Take ANY Seattle band you want, and the SUrfers (circa 1990) could destroy them on stage.
The drummer from the fluid plays in Alta May, now.
Seattle is great to visit...but...I dont know. Ive lived there only briefly...but like, theres this 'cold'...unhealthy, 'creeping' thing thats still in that town.
I dont care if the sun is shining and its all beautiful...you can feel it. Its in the fabric of the community.
I always felt like everyone was on the verge of a mass suicide when I lived there...
the melsvins were from aberdeen and larry reid (and i think bruce and russ bataglia) had put out records by them in the mid-80's. then they broke up. it wasn't until long after the 'seattle scene' started that they re-emerged as godheads. it was still ages before subpop put out anything by them.
courtney was from eugene oregon. she had already spent years trying to break into the sf scene and the la/hollywood scene before she got sucked up into seattle. she was a classic tyope that showed up there - pure horroshow. there were lots of courtneys, but she was just one of the most ruthless.
max (and anybody who gives a shit - frank stop reading now) -
the way the 'seattle scene' happened was this: first there was no scene beyond a hundred or so hipster/punks hanging around. bruce pavitt started a record label (actually his second try) modeled after his pal calvin johnson's 'k' records. he started putting out records by bands from a huge geographic region. seattle is like an island surrounded by huge distances peppered with smaller cities. he put out rcords by bands from all over. the fluid was from denver! he even went overseas! but the core bands were from a radius of about three states (that's like saying san francisco includes los angeles). then he literally conspired with a guy named everett true in england to write a fake story in melody maker about the magical scene in seattle that really rocked and touted all of these bands nobody ever heard of. before you know it journalists and musicians and hipsters from all over the world came to seattle to get rich. and the 'seattle scene' was born. the supersuckers were from phoenix. tad was from boise. soundgarden was from chicago and tacoma. nirvana was from aberdeen. girl trouble was from tacoma. cat butt was partly based in austin. screaming trees were from ellensburg. pearl jam were from montana and la. on and on and on. to be fair, the fastbacks and jese bernstien and mudhoney were actually from seattle. but, again. to say the screaming trees were from seattle, or the accused were from seattle is like saying that akron ohio is part of chicago. after awhile bruce abandoned seattle and then began trying to exploit scenes all over the place. that's the way subpop worked. if there was a scene somewhere, they'd move in and try to sign a couple of the hot bands and throw out a couple of records to see if they stick to the wall. if not by the second record, they usually got abandoned for the next scene. classic record label behaviour.
that's the REAL 'seattle scene': exploitation built on lies. it's what made america great.
max - sad to say the accused were from oak harbor. they weren't a seattle band. in fact the only band on your list of seattle bands that was ACTUALLY from seattle was mudhoney. even tad was from boise idaho.
and sadly, st. louis is really dead in the water. there is some local talent that's worth checking out - the electric, ded bugs, the cripplers, even nadine - but there is no scene here. never really has been. people like kopper and bigdumbrock are really trying - a guy name of jerome gaynor has made some really huge efforts in that area - but nothing really gets going. but you can still see chuck berry perform once a month at blueberry hill for $25. he can still (wheez!) duck walk and everything!
Sorry I didn't mean anything by the Seattle scene. Music has its way coming around in a circle almost repeating itself in a different style. I just commented on the difference in Lobos and the Clash, the Seattle band and the Clash. The Clash, pistols all evolved from the same thing. The Roots of Rock n'Roll
I find it very intersting that you're discussing the relevance of local music scenes. Just be thankful there was a vibrant and productive music scene there or wherever any of you were. Because there never has been one in St.Louis. Not since the 50's and early 60's anyway. Chuck Berry got his start here. Ike and Tina. Miles Davis got started in the area. Albert King was based here for a little while. But it's long gone and pretty much forgotten.
Yeah sure, we have Nelly now. Him selling 6 mil finally knocked Miles Davis' Kind of Blue out of the top spot for best selling album ever by someone from the area. And back in the late 80's and early 90's we had the alt-country thing with Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, Son Volt and The Bottle Rockets. But none of them were ever really from here. Hell Wilco and all of them are scattered all over. And while they are artistically better than the few "alternative" bands that got signed to major labels, then promptly dropped after a couple of albums because they didn't sell, that and they pretty much all sucked,none of it has rocked. And besides maybe the alt-country thing, none of it has made a damn bit of difference to anyone outside of here. Maybe Nelly will. I'm not a hip hop fan, but I could see it. He's charismatic.
But I doubt very seriously there are kids sitting in basements, in other cities beside St.Louis, trying to figure out the guitar parts to songs by The Urge or Gravity Kills, or any of the other mediocre to lame ass bands the local "alternative radio" stations rammed down everyone's gullet until they got signed by a major, then promptly chewed up and spit out.
I still vividly remember sitting in my basement with my guitar, wearing out my tape player trying to figure out Cantrell solos. Or figuring out how low I had to tune my guitar to play Blew. The first time I ever used dropped d tuning was when I figured out how to play Flower. So, this kid in the midwest took the prank very seriously and has several great memories because of it.
Very interesting take on the whole thing from Chloe. I got bit a little by the Seattle bug. I knew it was not 100% pure but it was SO much better than Galm Rock. The Accused are still the best Seattle band ever in my opinion. Both sides of my family are from Seattle. Mom from the West side, Dad from White Center. I have a little history in that area so I guess it hit a little closer to home. I mean... no matter what you really think, lots of good music came from that scene. Mudhoney, Tad, Melvins, Early Soundgarden, Nirvana. Lots of really influencial music.
if you think the fartz are strange, I caught the Clash at the Long Beach arena, and they had of all bands open for them Los Lobos. Those guys didn't have a chance. The sex pistols had performed a few nigts before, so the energy was still hot....I never saw so much spit in my life.
Seattle is finally getting back to what made it cool before all the bullshit, bands playing music because they want to play music and not because the think their going to get a 10 album record deal. It sucked for a long time, now we have bands like Me Infecto and the Cripples and the swarming hordes. The only problem now is that every club in town sucks dick.
well even if it was a sham it had a huge impact ALL OVER THE WORLD to kids who were just comming of age at the time.
the nw thing and the dc thing seriously built stuff all over the world.
didn't matter that half the bands sucked.
it was fact that other kids like us, just abit older, were making shit happen in places other than la and nyc.
to someone in junior high at the time it was a very big deal
i'm sure if i had been in my 20's i would have rolled my eyes the way i do at all the "hype" bands now like the strokes and andrew w.k but at 13 grunge was a godsend
maybe the austin hip squad was too cool for school, but the rest of the word bought it hook, line and sinker. the impact was undeniably enormous. a joke gone seriously mad.
great stuff, horrible stuff. can't deny it. it's there whether you like it or not.
I don't know..by the time 'seattle grunge hype' hit austin...no one in the 'real scene' much gave a fuck. To us Nirvana and so forth was like 'corporate rock' and we didnt care at ALL. I mean I dug the Umen and Tad and Melvins...but That was back in like 84-88...the '91-93' explosion...fuck I was listening to like shit like Godflesh and Loop and Orbital and so forth by then....so for me anyway there was like no impact....fuck
ESTRUS had WAY more 'impact' on my later shit ......
yer history is a little confused. none of the seattle bands were even from seattle. the olympia scene spun off of seattle extremely early and became a huge influence on seattle. dc and austin was a huge infuence. i'm saying they invented anything at all. what they did was do a classic piece of media manipulation that became a monster that ate the town.
then along came nirvana and all hell broke loose. very weird time to be in seattle.
it sure didn't ruin teen culture for teens (i was 12-15 at the time) in far away cities.
doode hype or not the stories created everywhere.
esp the ollympia stuff with the whole diy thing and riot grrrl.
there was no need to move to the the "hype" city anymore, small towns were cool and punk was what you created.
i promoted my first show at a suburban comunity center when i was in the 8th grade cause i read ibn the media that kids elsewhere were doing it.
the riot grrrl manifesto of not needing to be good gave me the balls to save my babysitting $$$ and buy a guitar and start my first band at 14.
my friends and i started zines, put on shows and did art and most of us are still doing all that 10-12 years latter and are actually doing not too bad.
the hype was all there was. it's now a buncha old geezers rocking on the porch sayin' "remember the good ol' days?" but it was DAMN interesting days, totally out of any sort of sane control. people died because of it. it ruined a city, it ruined a generation of music, it ruined teen culture, well, still. it was a damned important prank that did a lot of weird damage to everybody. it's fascinating, but i resent it, too.
I don't know..you made such a big show of 'destroing' the Hype in Hype, yet youve made a career of sorts out of it. It's inherently a contradictory situation. If you REALLY want to deflate something, you simply never refer to it again.
So, I am led to believe that you LOVED 'seattle hype' and wish for it to remain in effect.
Yep..it just turned into Houston...but the biscuits where good, for a while.
If I ever have to hear about that Seattle grunge crap again I believe I shall vomit blood.
I want to know whats going on NOW.
again, this was another fraudulant punk show poster. the phone on the poster was for a promoter that everybody hated and he got flooded with phone calls. nearly put him out of business. fraud and pranking has a very long history in seattle punk. in fact the whole "seattle scene" was literally a media prank that became real. long story. go see 'hype. it REALLY WAS a prank that got out of hand.
The Fartz with the Clash? Now thats a strange bill. I could see it if it were when the Clash were still semi-punk but Combat Rock was to the Clash what the black album was to Metallica. The signal that the end was coming. 2 albums that broke my heart.