What an unusual book. Though it was sometimes hard to read due to the very nature of writing down an oral story, it was mostly a fun read.
With that sa...moreWhat an unusual book. Though it was sometimes hard to read due to the very nature of writing down an oral story, it was mostly a fun read.
With that said, you really need to know your way around the Seattle scene back then. The book's title says it flatly, it's all about Seattle. In my mind, the book will be even more relevant to you if you lived there during those years. From afar, the book read a little detached.
What I got nonetheless:
* Grunge as a label is meaningless. * Fast lane to rock star status will lead to human relationship failures and, eventually, to heavily drug use. * There was a lot of competition, unsavoury abuse and down right childish behaviors. But again, pressure was high which is understable. Basically people were dicks to each other most of the time it seems. * On the other hand, lots of them deeply cared for each other too. * Where were the women in the Seattle scene back then? It appears this was a male-only cast. With that said, L7, Babes in toyland and a couple of others are mentioned but not at length. Even Hole is not really covered in the book, only Courtney. What about The Breeders for instance? * Many people told a different story for a given event and it's hard to decide which one might be true. I really appreciated that Mark Yarm tried to stay balanced (well it sounds like it anyhow). * Courtney really lives in her own world. I always considered "Live through this" as a great album but the woman is really weird and not a human being I'd be happy to be around with. * Duff McKagan was everywhere from the beginning right to the end.
The book is a photograph of that scene at that time. Take it for what it is. I was probably looking for something different, I hoped for something that'd put the scene into perspective. Grunge carried a lot of other music in its trail and many other bands had their chance probably thanks to the tidal wave that grunge was.
I was also interested in reading more about how music was created and put together. I mean, between the dickead attitude, the drug use and other craps, I wonder how they managed to write and, most of all, record such great music.
So the book is probably brilliant for people who were there but to me it was not the right book to read. Not because it was poorly done, but because I had somewhat different expectations.
Still, it made me dust out some of my old records and boy, their music still beats the shit out of most of what's put out these days. (less)
A brilliant first half and a rather dull ending. Still a good fun. I've been bored with Savannah for a while so it was sweet to read lines from so man...moreA brilliant first half and a rather dull ending. Still a good fun. I've been bored with Savannah for a while so it was sweet to read lines from so many great other characters.(less)
The book is interesting as it recounts the tale of one of the most influent British band of the 90s. However, I must say, I got bored quite a few time...moreThe book is interesting as it recounts the tale of one of the most influent British band of the 90s. However, I must say, I got bored quite a few times through it. One can only take so much of "drama, drugs, more drama, more drugs". The number of times we read they were doing drugs doesn't make it rock n'roll. Just plain boring. Actually some of the book makes some of the band members totally superficials since you only read about their drug frenziness, not much else. In that regards, it's quite surprising how the band members never really seemed to step back and realise how much they are responsible for most of what happened to them. During the Butler's era, the book implies that Bernard was clearly annoyed at them for partying and getting on drugs so much. It seems the other band members didn't understand this and were unfair to him in that regards.
On the music side, the book doesn't go into details much about most of them either until well into Head Music. Up to that album, it talks more about inner drama of the band, which can be sometimes informative, but not much about the creative process. I know Bernard Butler refused to be part of the book and I can see why, David Barnett is rather obsessed by who shagged whom and whether or not he was at any given gig. That was boring too after a while.
Fortunately, after Head Music, the book is much more interesting regarding the creative process. I enjoyed the chapters leading to the release of "A new morning".
I don't know if it's the book's fault or not but the band members never really seem to be united much. They were too happy to complain and drop their band mates. Maybe it's the way it's being told but the members never sounded very inspiring as a band. It was a bit saddening.
It's a good book and it made me want to listen to Suede songs I had probably overlooked but I was expecting more than just drama facts.(less)