Every scene has at least one photographer who seems to be in all the right
places at all the rights times. In the case of Seattle, the man was Charles
Peterson. Peterson started shooting Seattle bands in 1985. In other words, he
was there at the beginning, there before grunge was being called grunge,
before anyone had coined the phrase "alternative rock," shooting Green River,
Tad, Mudhoney and numerous others. Of course he shot Kurt and Nirvana. And
Pearl Jam. And Courtney. And Soundgarden. For Sub Pop he shot record jackets,
posters and promo shots. Yeah, all of this is leading up to the fact that
only now is a big fat book of his work, Screaming Life: A Chronicle of the
Seattle Music Scene, which will be published in late October.
(Screaming Live was, of course, the name of a Soundgarden EP released
on Sub Pop.) The book provides the first comprehensive visual overview of
what happened in Seattle. Michael Azerrad, who wrote Come As You Are: The
Story of Nirvana provides an essay, and the book will be packaged with a
nine song CD of Sub Pop material that includes Soundgarden's "Entering,"
Nirvana's "Negative Creep," Beat Happening's "Midnight a-go-go" and Green
River's "Ain't Nothing to Do."