Now although I call myself a metal-head, and maintain a love for all the leopard print, leather, spandex and studs that this entails, when it comes to down to it I am definitely a child of Grunge.
Having been born in the 80s I was only 9 when Kurt Cobain was found dead from that self-inflicted shotgun wound in his Seattle home and it actually wasn’t until 1999 that I discovered music at all. I remember that moment very clearly; I was camped on a friends living room floor with Rage on the TV and the song ‘Wonderful’ by Everclear came on… I identified with the theme and thought Art was one very cool guy; so, after a little research I discovered their album Sparkle & Fade; the songs tapped into my teenage angst, I identified with the ‘working class’/social alienation themes and I was hooked.
From there it was a simple case of Alice down the rabbit hole, I worked my way backwards through the whole 90s Grunge movement then continued onto 80s metal, 70s punk and into 60s rock’n’roll and have been obsessed with music, its fashions and images, ever since. To this day Everclear remain my favourite band on the planet and seeing them live one day is right at the top of my bucket list, which may become a reality sooner than I thought as they prepare to release their first album in 6 years and are touring the states as part of the Summerland Tour.
And Everclear is not the only Grunge band making a comeback right now, (ok ok, I acknowledge that Everclear is probably more ‘post-grunge’ but this blog is not designed to debate the validity of bands and their genres and so I shall press on), to highlight just a few: Soundgarden have just released their new track ‘Born To Rise’, a new Pearl Jam release is anticipated for 2013 and there are even rumours of a previously unreleased Kurt Cobain solo album in the works.
So this resurgence of Grunge awesomeness also means that the Grunge look is well and truly back in fashion and brings me to the important part of this post- what exactly is the Grunge look?
Well, overall Grunge is essentially a very unkempt appearance, combined with a I’m too cool to care attitude. Back in the day, the way Grunge musicians presented themselves on stage seemed to be a direct rebellion against the flashy, glamorous, ‘made-up’ look that the 80s glam/metal scenes had progressed to, but in reality the grunge look was simply dictated by whatever the Seattle musicians of the time could find in the thrift and/or outdoor clothing stores of Washington and it has been suggested more than once that perhaps it was simply a look born out of laziness.
Certainly being poor, or at least broke, had a big influence on the grunge wardrobe. The influence of the outdoors/army surplus stores meant greens and browns where predominant and thrift store contributions meant that the bulk of clothing was oversized, patched, faded or just generally scruffy.
This was the period where slashed jeans progressed to massive knee holes and totally destroyed hems where, when the rips got too large, the pants suddenly became long shorts.
Knitwear suddenly became cool and I don’t think any man to this day could make a motley green cardi look as rock’n’roll as Kurt Cobain did back in the day:
An army jacket was absolutely essential but leather jackets also remained popular, although they were all mostly thrift store finds; well worn and usually ill fitting
Pre-loved t-shirts, jumpers, business and even bowling shirts where Grunge gold -and as most of these pieces came straight from the 80s you could expect these to be sporting a suburb range of outlandish patterns and colours more often then not.
Of course a grunge outfit would not be complete without a pair of hand-me-down work boots or converse sneakers.
Then there was the humble flannel shirt…
To this day the humble flanno remains an integral part of the Rocker uniform and even in the 90s it was certainly not limited to the Grunge scene, but for any grunge fan, flannel was an absolute necessity hence grunge audiences filled venues with a variable sea of flannel and unwashed hair.
Over the next week or two I’ll be blogging alot more on the Grunge look, if you want a heads up on my favourite grunge finds I suggest you check out my Grunge Pinboard. D
“…rather be dead than cool” – Kurt Cobain