Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Book Review: Everybody Loves Our Town - Mark Yarm

There isn't any shortage of documentation of Rock music history. There is no shortage of books, films, magazine articles or detailed compilation albums of the history of every scene in every town that has ever had a few bands play there. While this is a wonderful thing for the completists, historians and nerds it can leave a casual observer somewhat overwhelmed as each different document has a different take on each story, often influenced by the opinions of the writer. How are you to know what the real story is? Well unless you were there you probably never will know all the details. Mark Yarm's Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History Of Grunge brings you the real story from the mouths of those that were there. Whilst not the first book of its kind (see last year’s Grunge Is Dead by Greg Prato) it is far more detailed than most.
Everybody Loves Our Town is very thorough in its coverage of the punk scene in the northwest of America. Starting with the U-Men, it covers the more influential acts that started in what was a rather desolate corner of the country in the late 1970's and early 80's. When Grunge took over the airwaves in the early 90's it would be easy to think that you couldn't throw a stone without hitting a fan of the music of Seattle but just 10 years earlier, there really were almost no punk-rock bands in that area. If you wanted to be part of any “scene” you would have had have headed south to LA, as some people like Duff McKagan (who had played in various bands, including The Fastbacks) did.