Everybody Loves Our Town

Posted: November 9, 2011 in Offbeat Seattle-Related Music Stories

I just finished Mark Yarm’s Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge.  While it is quite voluminous, it reads beautifully.  He did a great job organizing the quotes and, as a result, the book flows seamlessly.  ELOT covers the grunge phenomenon, and I believe–as I’ve stated previously–that our books compliment each other well.  Strangest Tribe is kind of like a prequel to ELOT, but not in a lame George Lucas kind of way (as Mark mentioned to me). Tribe discusses the origins and development of the Seattle music scene, while ELOT takes the aspect that became famous and follows it to a conclusion.

With that, here’s what I liked about ELOT.  First, Mark got an incredible array of people to share intimate details of their life stories.  The reader gets a front row seat to the private lives of folks who made the music.  As I said, he organized the quotes extremely well.  Finally, Mark interviewed nearly every prominent/famous person involved with Seattle music including members of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Duff McKagan of Guns N Roses, and the notorious Courtney Love.  He also exhaustively covered the bands within his time frame, meticulously interviewing every member possible, even the late Mike Starr of AIC.

Second, ELOT contains some great photos of the famous bands, plus a nice shot of the U-Men standing beside their tour bus.

If I have to offer a criticism, I would say I’d like to have seen more discussion about the music itself.  Certainly, ELOT mentions some of the songs and albums within the grunge genre, but the book focuses on the culture surrounding the music. That’s just a personal preference, and in no way diminishes ELOT’s historical value.

So, in conclusion, I highly recommend you purchase Mark’s book.  You can find more information here: http://grungebook.tumblr.com/

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