ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Grunge is Dead:Book Review

Updated on June 4, 2014

The word "Grunge"

The word "grunge" was a term made up by the media, so I was hesitant to read a book labeled "Grunge is Dead." I figured it was some guy writing his opinion about the "scene." I thought it would be some guy spreading lies about people he "knew."

However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was simple,yet complex. The entire book is comprised of interviews from band members, managers, families associated with this genre of music. It really can't be any more authentic.

You WILL learn something new in this book

I considered myself pretty well-versed in at least some of the main grunge bands. I'm a huge fan of Alice in Chains and Nirvana. I like Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. I've also heard many other bands like Screaming Trees, Mudhoney, L7, and many more. As it turned out, I learned a lot from this book.

A big part of how this book is laid out is by decade. I was surprised to find out how grunge really started back in the 70's, it just grew in popularity in the late 80's, early nineties, There are many quotes in here from people of bands I'd never heard of.

Even as a huge Alice in Chains fan, there was information I didn't know about, even after watching every interview I could find on Youtube. I didn't know how well Layne and Kurt knew each other. I thought they were acquaintances however Susan Silver states that they actually spent a lot of time together. Something I found VERY interesting came from Layne's mom. She shared Layne's opinion of how Kurt died and he said Kurt was murdered. I NEVER thought I would hear that and I couldn't believe it took until this book to find out.

Gruntruck
Gruntruck

What's so special about this book?

The best part about this book is that it's basically a primary source. The author's view can not compromise what was said. Whether you can trust a rockstar, however, is a whole other story. Because this book is written chronologically, it is very easy to follow. All the quotes are written in a way as a response to what was going on in that time frame, based around a theme. For example, Layne Staley's mom, Nancy, wrote about how she felt when Layne told her about the name "Alice in Chains." All of her words were the ones that stuck with me the most.

You will read about how other musicians felt about each other. Jerry Cantrell talks about how it took him a long time to get into Nirvana, and how the rest of Alice in Chains were immediately hooked. I thought that was a very cool perspective.

This book was pretty much written in first person, which makes me feel like I am in the time and place of the grunge scene. Whenever I read the section about how different people reacted to Kurt Cobain's death, I really felt the depression that hung over the entire area.

The parts I really feel strongly about, however, are the parts where Layne's mom talks about his drug abuse. She spills out her feelings about seeing him decline and how fame and drugs took him down slowly. I find it interesting that she confided a lot of information in this book. There aren't really video or magazine interviews with her, yet she told this author, Greg Prato, about some really deep thoughts. While of course I wanted his last few years respected, I still wanted to know how Layne struggled and what other people saw as well. The rest of Alice in Chains spoke a lot as well, and if you know anything about them, you would know that they hate the media. I was shocked at how much they talked about topics they would never share with say, Rolling Stone.

Kurt Cobain Tribute

Early Alice in Chains

Gruntruck

A Reference

"Grunge is Dead" isn't particularly a novel. I would say it's more like a journal comprised of different "authors." I just love the way it's put together. It's almost like a conversation between everyone, from the bigger bands, the smaller bands, and their managers, and families. I love skipping around to different parts that were monumental to the "scene," such as Andrew Wood, Kurt Cobain, and Layne Staley's deaths. (It's surprising how many deaths there were. Drugs...)

Every once in a while I pick it up and learn something new. I don't know all the bands and obviously I'm not too interesting in what their manager or ex-drummer has to say, for example, but just the other day, I read it and found out how the name "Alice in Chains" came to be. I've watched so many interviews where this question was asked and they either didn't remember or they didn't take the interview seriously. Just when I thought I couldn't learn any more, I did from this book.

Music from this decade was obviously very influential for our current music and I find it very easy to connect with this music, especially through "Grunge is Dead."

I often have a hard time concentrating on one book. I can't finish them but with this one, I don't really have to. I can skip around and see quotes from Jerry Cantrell, Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, etc. and learn more about them. You don't have to read this thoroughly and can definitely skip around. If you're a casual fan I think you'll enjoy it and if you're a hardcore fan of any grunge music, you NEED it.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • aparkhurst7 profile imageAUTHOR

      aparkhurst7 

      5 years ago from Wilkes Barre, PA West Hartford, CT

      Thanks for reading!

    • spartucusjones profile image

      CJ Baker 

      5 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Great review! As someone who was in his teens in his 90s and who listened to a number of "grunge" bands, I might just have to give the book a read.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)