Rock and Roll has always been blessed (and cursed?) with numerous “scenes.” Let’s see there was Liverpool, San Francisco, Boston, London, Athens, Minneapolis, Manchester, Halifax and probably most famously because of a certain Kurt Cobain, Seattle. Published in 1995, “Screaming Life: A Chronicle of the Seattle Music Scene” by Charles Peterson is a great bargain bin find. If you are looking for an in-depth, encyclopedic chronicle of all that went down in the name of Grunge, then this is not the book for you. Besides an excellent introduction by Michael Azerrad, “Screaming Life” has two things going for it that make it a great buy. First of all are the pictures of Charles Peterson. A true insider who was there before the scene became the “Scene” Peterson has captured some really incredible rock and roll moments not only of Kurt and crew but of the bands that are sadly no longer with us like Mother Love Bone and Tad. The photography is absolutely stunning and real a joy to experience. The other great reason to get “Screaming Life” if you can find it is the accompanying CD. Featuring nine tracks from the likes of the late great Green River to Mudhoney, Nirvana and the mighty Fastbacks this CD is worth the price of the book alone. The full track-listing is:
· “Ain’t Nothing to Do” by Green River
· “No One Has” by Mudhoney
· “Negative Creep” by Nirvana
· “Ritual Device” by Tad
· “Entering” by Soundgarden
· “Flashes” by the Screaming Trees
· “Midnight-a-go-go” by Beat Happening
· “Selfish” by Seaweed
· “What’s it Like” by the Fastbacks
A great find if you can get your hands on it and a true bargain bin gem. A great reminder of a time when the Seattle scene was fresh and vibrant before the mainstream discovered it and mucked it all up. Highly recommended.
Speaking of Seattle, if you are wondering what Eddie and the boys of Pearl Jam are up to it seems like plenty according to Pearl Jam’s Possible Future Plans.