Tips & Advices

Take a ’90s grunge band street journey by way of Washington

From Aberdeen to Seattle, this is a rockin’ Washington street journey for ’90s music followers — Photo courtesy of Tracy Marander and Steve Birnbaum / The Band Was Here

2024 marks 30 years for the reason that launch of a number of iconic ’90s grunge rock albums, together with Alice in Chains’ “Jar of Flies,” Soundgarden’s “Superunknown,” Pearl Jam’s “Vitalogy,” and Nirvana’s seminal dwell album, “MTV Unplugged in New York.” These mixed 4 albums have offered greater than 22 million copies and solidified the significance of ’90s grunge bands.

While Alice in Chains remains to be touring, and there is a rumored new Pearl Jam launch this 12 months, ’90s grunge music followers have loads to rejoice. One means is to soak up all of the music historical past round western Washington, the identical means Beatles followers flock to Liverpool or hip-hop followers to The Bronx.

From Aberdeen alongside the coast to Seattle — by means of Tacoma — this is a road trip that takes you to spots the place grunge music’s greatest bands as soon as lived, recorded, and carried out.

Kurt Cobain Memorial Park in Aberdeen

There's lots of green space for grunge fans at Kurt Cobain Memorial Park in AberdeenThere’s a lot of inexperienced area for grunge followers at Kurt Cobain Memorial Park in Aberdeen — Photo courtesy of Eric Shewack

An preferrred place to begin your ’90s grunge band tour of Washington is the Kurt Cobain Memorial Park in Aberdeen. This small park between the Wishkah River and the childhood residence of the late Kurt Cobain, frontman for Nirvana, is notable for followers for a couple of causes.

First, this park sits on the finish of Young Street Bridge, which Cobain sang about sleeping beneath as a teen in “Something in the Way.” Also, a few of Cobain’s ashes had been launched into the Wishkah River, which is referenced in Nirvana’s 1996 dwell album, “From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah” that got here out after Cobain’s suicide.

Photo-worthy spots embrace a guitar statue and a number of plaques displaying lyrics and quotes from Cobain. Although not open to the general public, Aberdeen High School, the place Cobain attended till dropping out in 1985, is lower than a mile away.

Kurt Cobain’s former house in Olympia

Kurt Cobain's apartment, where he wrote many of Nirvana's biggest hits, still stands in OlympiaKurt Cobain’s house, the place he wrote lots of Nirvana’s greatest hits, nonetheless stands in Olympia — Photo courtesy of Tracy Marander and Steve Birnbaum / The Band Was Here

You’ll discover the house the place the Nirvana frontman lived from 1989 to 1991 — first with a girlfriend and later with Nirvana bandmate Dave Grohl — at 114 Pear St. NE in Olympia. Cobain wrote lots of Nirvana’s most well-known grunge rock songs right here, together with “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

If you determine to hold in Olympia for a spell, you possibly can rent the apartment on Airbnb.

The former Community World Theater in Tacoma

The former theater where Nirvana performed their first show is a must-stop in TacomaThe former theater the place Nirvana carried out their first present is a must-stop in Tacoma — Photo courtesy of Nick Soulsby

Since you may drive by way of Tacoma to get from Olympia to Seattle, it is value seeing the place Nirvana performed its first present. The former Community World Theater, close to the intersection of 56th and M streets, is now a spot of worship referred to as Templo Maranatha.

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The live performance flyer that Cobain created for the March 1988 present at Community World Theater is without doubt one of the greater than 200 artifacts that make up the “Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses” exhibition at Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPOP. (More on this USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Award-winning museum later within the article.)

Black Dog Forge

Black Dog Forge, a former practice space for grunge bands Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, makes a great selfie backdropBlack Dog Forge, a former follow area for grunge bands Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, makes an excellent selfie backdrop — Photo courtesy of Brian Cicioni

No grunge music street journey is full and not using a prolonged cease in Seattle. Fans of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden will need to take a look at Black Dog Forge, between 2nd and third avenues off Battery Street in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. To discover the forge, you should comply with a slim alleyway to a grey door. Above the door, there’s an eerie portray of an arm holding an oil lamp. To the left of the door, you’ll see the phrases “Black Dog Forge” outlined in pink.

In the early Nineties, the basement of this former blacksmith store served as a 30-by-30-foot practice space for Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. The area is not open to the general public, however the entrance makes a rockin’ backdrop for a grunge street journey selfie.

KEXP at Seattle Center

Soundgarden's "Badmotorfinger" on vinyl is among the many grunge music items on view at KEXP in SeattleSoundgarden’s “Badmotorfinger” on vinyl is among the many many grunge music gadgets on view at KEXP in Seattle — Photo courtesy of Brian Cicioni

Seattle Grunge Redux tour information Eric Magnuson refers to KEXP at Seattle Center as “one of the three legs of a stool that support grunge’s legacy.” While the area on the Seattle Center is primarily used for audio and video broadcasting, there’s additionally a espresso store and file retailer, each of which function community-gathering areas.

After Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell died, a makeshift memorial service was held right here. There’s additionally a life-size statue of the Soundgarden frontman alongside fifth Ave. N, in entrance of MoPOP. Memorials for Cobain, in addition to Mike Starr and Layne Staley (each of Alice in Chains) had been held on the close by International Fountain.

Educational studio tours of KEXP can be found by appointment. Two of the extra thrilling gadgets for ’90s grunge followers are the unique 1991 vinyl releases of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” and Soundgarden’s “Badmotorfinger.” Numerous stickers are connected to the sleeves with feedback from KEXP deejays.

Linda’s Tavern

Kurt Cobain was last seen in public at Linda's Tavern in SeattleKurt Cobain was final seen in public at Linda’s Tavern in Seattle — Photo courtesy of Eric Shewack

Fans of late ’60s rock go to Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood to see the place Janis Joplin spent a part of her closing night. Likewise, Nirvana followers can go to Linda’s Tavern in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district, the final place Cobain was noticed in public. Linda’s presents a dive bar really feel, a menu with inexpensive costs, and pleasant workers, making it a really perfect spot for lunch or dinner.

Coryell Court

The film "Singles" made this Seattle apartment building famousThe movie “Singles” made this Seattle house constructing well-known — Photo courtesy of Brian Cicioni

This house constructing was the primary set for the 1992 Cameron Crowe movie, “Singles.” Cast included Pearl Jams’ Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament and Cornell of Soundgarden. The constructing first seems on the eight-minute and 35-second mark after the black-and-white caption, “Have Fun, Stay Single.”

Toward the top of the film, there’s a hilarious scene through which an excited Cliff surprises Janet with a brand new automotive stereo he put in for her. As the music begins (“Jinx” by Tad), a stoned-looking Cornell comes strolling out of one of many Coryell Court residences. As he stands beside Cliff and bobs his head to the music, Cliff continues to show up the music till all of the home windows on Janet’s automotive blow out.

London Bridge Studio

There's lots of grunge rock history and hits on view at London Bridge Studio in ShorelineThere’s a lot of grunge rock historical past and hits on view at London Bridge Studio in Shoreline — Photo courtesy of Brian Cicioni

Alice in Chains made its first 4 recordings at London Bridge Studio. The two full-length albums and two EPs mixed offered greater than 12 million copies. All 4 are mounted on the wall, together with Pearl Jam’s “Ten,” Soundgarden’s “Louder Than Love,” and the self-titled album of grunge supergroup Temple of the Dog.

One-hour guided tours can be found on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays for $55. London Bridge Studio is situated in Shoreline, 13 miles north of Seattle’s Belltown.

Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) is a must-see stop on your grunge music road tripSeattle’s Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) is a must-see cease in your grunge music street journey — Photo courtesy of Brian Cicioni

MoPOP is a vital cease on any rockin’ street journey that passes by way of Seattle. Here, you may discover many guitars on show, together with the G&L Rampage “blue dress” guitar as soon as owned by Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains.

But the primary exhibit for ’90s grunge rock followers is the “Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses” exhibition. Items of curiosity embrace Cobain and Dale Crover’s first demo tape, Cobain’s hand-drawn live performance flyer for Nirvana’s first gig below that identify, and a map of the place many “Seattle bands” truly got here from. (For instance, Tad is initially from Boise, Idaho.) The exhibition additionally features a typed set checklist from Nirvana’s closing present.

While the museum fees admission, it is free to take a look at the life-size Cornell statue alongside fifth Avenue.

Kimpton Palladian Hotel

This corner homage makes a great hang at Seattle's Kimpton Palladian HotelThis nook homage makes an excellent hold at Seattle’s Kimpton Palladian Hotel — Photo courtesy of Brian Cicioni

If you need to finish your grunge music street journey at a lodge, you would possibly as effectively decide one for Seattle music followers. The Kimpton Palladian Hotel has a Sub Pop suite, replete with wall artwork and a vinyl participant, which you should use to spin Nirvana’s debut album, “Bleach,” which remains to be the best-selling Sup Pop launch of all time.

And if you did not have sufficient to eat and drink at Linda’s, seize a chunk on the lodge’s Shaker + Spear restaurant. Later, cap off your night time on the lobby-level Pennyroyal Bar.

The Edgewater

Room 464 at The Edgewater is a haven for Pearl Jam fansRoom 464 at The Edgewater is a haven for Pearl Jam followers — Photo courtesy of Brian Cicioni

Pearl Jam followers will need to guide a keep within the Pearl Jam Suite at The Edgewater, a Noble House Hotel. If you keep in Room 464, you may have your personal guitar, Marshall amp, mini library, file participant, and curated vinyl assortment.

As you enter the suite, you may see dozens of live performance flyers from previous Pearl Jam exhibits. A duplicate of the well-known Mother Love Bone mural hangs above the king-size mattress, whereas there are framed, handwritten set lists to the suitable. The lavatory wallpaper is an viewers shot from an out of doors Pearl Jam present.

The Pearl Jam Suite additionally boasts a balcony, providing panoramic views of Elliott Bay. You’ll have the same view as you get pleasure from seafood on the lodge’s Six Seven Restaurant.

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