The 90's: and then there was grunge.
The 90s. And then there was grunge.
The result, Seattle rules the world… and the world would never be the same.
It was the perfect storm of music for Seattle in the 90s. These were our bands, our well kept secrets which exploded around the globe. Much as the New York underground punk explosion happened in the 70s, and the Sunset Strip blew up in the 80s. We all know the story and it's been written and re-written hundreds of times over.
Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam, The Melvins, Tad, Candlebox and Gruntruck, just to name a few. Countless Seattle bands, many of which got their start in the 80s playing venues such as The Old Ballard Firehouse, RKCNDY, even Ground Zero and the Bellevue Roller Rink. They started to thrive, working together and supporting one another, creating a domino effect that seemed to have no end.
So many bands were being born out of Seattle, and because of that fact, KISW was knee deep in a fantastic and glorious radio war. KISW vs. KXRX, The End vs. Z Rock, all of them playing tons of local bands. The end result was a massive win for the bands and local music fans. The rest of the world, needless to say, got to reap the benefits.
The 90s was the decade of Bob Rivers and Twisted Radio. Rivers, John Ballard and The Late Cathy Faulkner were on the air and at the forefront for Seattle's shining moment. It was all connected: the community, the bands and of course you, the Rockaholics.
As Vogue was selling the "grunge look" most of us were rolling our eyes, as we locals grew up wearing flannels and boots. Seattle function had become fashion. Which in turn, was reflected in movies and TV. Singles, Sleepless In Seattle, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle and 10 Things I Hate About You were all shot here locally.
We lived for Almost Live, Beavis And Butt-head, Ren & Stimpy, SNL and In Living Color. We watched “the slap heard around the world” on The Real World - Season 7: Seattle, which featured our sister station The End.
Key Arena, previously The Seattle Center Coliseum, hosted bands such as Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and more. In the 90s, Pearl Jam delivered its Monkey Wrench Radio, the band’s version of pirate radio. Musicans performing together, poetry, women’s rights and the underground were above ground for some spectacular radio specials.
On the sports front, Gary "The Glove" Payton and Shawn Kemp led the Seattle SuperSonics in the 90s. The Mariners had the dream team with Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez and Randy Johnson. The M's moved to their new location of Safeco Field on July 15th, 1999.
Starbucks and Microsoft continued to explode in numbers too great to name. The Seattle boom was everywhere, as cities such as Bellevue were growing at rapid rate.
On April 5th of 1994, for one day, the world came together to mourn the sudden, untimely loss of Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. The face of rock and popular music changed forever that very day.
Proving that activism was alive and well, thousands of people gathered in downtown Seattle to protest the WTO meetings on November 30th of 1999.
The Rock Of Seattle, the 90s… you had to be there to believe it!