Grunge Is Dead, by Greg Prato

Grunge Is Dead
Greg Prato
(ECW Press)

“Grunge is Dead” is a genius concept that is flawlessly executed by editor Greg Prato. It is the oral history of Seattle grunge music, from the lips of the musicians involved. The story spans from the 1960s, when there were only the faint stirrings of punk, through the ’90s grunge explosion and its aftermath.

This legend of grunge is woven from decades of interviews. Prato offers the reader all sides of life in pre-grunge Seattle, sometimes even pointing conflicting recollections of events against one another. The result is a fully immersive experience into music history. The stories told by the contributing musicians give a true sense of where grunge came from, more than any amount of music scholarship can hope to offer.

The story we’re given is more than a blasé breakdown of how punk and metal music combined into grunge or a flowchart of influences. This is the narrative of who played shows with whom, who exactly it was that broke that window in 1982, and the relationships the made up the genealogy of a movement.

“Grunge is Dead” gave me the fuel to relive the grunge years I missed for being six years old and nowhere near Seattle. This is a must have book for any fans of the Seattle grunge scene, and consequentially nearly all alternative music that came after.