The Rocket Notes, 1984

Posted: October 11, 2011 in The Rocket

Seattle was at its nadir in 1984.  Musicians who wanted a career gave up and left town.  Nothing appeared to be happening.  People who stayed made music for fun, because that was all they were going to get out of it.  It was at this point, when things seemed to bottom out, that the seeds for intensive creativity were sown.  During this period, bands like the Young Fresh Fellows, the Green Pajamas, Soundgarden, Green River, the Walkabouts, the Squirrels, Terry Lee Hale & the Ones, and Girl Trouble (from Tacoma) began to emerge.  The U-Men, arguably Seattle’s most influential band, peaked around this time.  On the surface, however, things seemed pretty bleak:

June 1984 (all local music issue)

“…what this town really needs is one band to blow us all away.  Just one band who can play some new music that captures the imagination of the town, that would turn everything around.”

John Keister, “Who’s Killing Seattle Rock and Roll?  A Rant By John Keister,” 18. 

“What makes this record [The Young Fresh Fellows’ Fabulous Sounds of the Pacific Northwest] even more refreshing, is that it comes at a time when I thought the Seattle music scene was dead in the water.  This is undeniably the worst period in the last 10 years for Seattle music (with the exception of heavy metal) – there are fewer bands, fewer clubs and there are almost no bands in the area now making a living off music.  Almost in spite of that I sense a resurgence in an underground movement of bands and the Fellows are the best of the lot.”

Charles R. Cross, (Associate Editor), “New Sounds of the Pacific Northwest: Over 50 Reviews of Northwest Music.” “The Young Fresh Fellows: The Fabulous Sounds of the Pacific Northwest, PopLlama,” 27.

Reviews also talk about Feedback which featured “semi-interesting instrumentals” and had Daniel House (later in Skin Yard), Matt Cameron (later in Skin Yard, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam), and Nerm.

July 1984

“Fallout Records & Skateboards will be opening July 2 at 1506 Olive Way on Capitol Hill, under the direction of Bruce Pavitt and Russ Battaglia.  The new EP by Seattle’s U-Men is out on the Bombshelter record label.”

Johnny Renton, “Lip Service,” 10.

“If you play Steve Lawson’s phone number on this keyboard, [picture of a touch-tone phone] you’ll get 24-track recording time in a state-of-the-art studio for just $50 an hour.  Any day between 7 pm and 6 am.  Which is about $75 an hour less than you’d pay anywhere else for…more new high tech equipment than you’ll find anywhere north of San Francisco.”

Ad for Steve Lawson Productions recording studio, 25.

“Reciprocal Recording offers high quality 8-track recording services at incomparable prices.  We’ve got good equipment and a versatile space.  Check us out for your next demo or LP project.  $12.50/hr, $10/hr block rate.”

Classified ad for Reciprocal Recording, 38.

August 1984

Noticed Matt Groening listed as an artist.


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