Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind visually documents the explosion of Grunge, the Seattle Sound, within the context of the underground punk subculture that was developing throughout the U.S. in the late 1970s and 1980s. This musical journey is represented entirely through the collection of Experience Music Project, Seattles museum of music and popular culture, pulling from a permanent archive of over 800 filmed oral history interviews and 140,000 artifacts instruments, costumes, posters, records and other ephemera dedicated to the pursuit of rock n roll.
Featuring over 100 key artifacts from EMPs collection, Taking Punk to the Masses illustrates the evolution of punk rock from underground subculture to mainstream embrace. These artifacts are put into context by the stories of those that lived it: Mudhoneys Mark Arm, Devos Mark Mothersbaugh, Hüsker Düs Grant Hart, Beat Happenings Calvin Johnson, Xs Exene Cervenka, Sub Pop founders Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman, Black Flags Henry Rollins, Screaming Trees Mark Lanegan, Blondies Chris Stein, Nirvanas Krist Novoselic, Dinosaur Jrs J Mascis, Soundgardens Kim Thayil, and nearly 100 others.
Tracing a lineage from Louie Louie to the rise of Grunge with Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Mudhoney, Taking Punk to the Masses is the first visual history of one of Americas most vibrant music scenes, as told by its participants and seen through the surviving artifacts.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 22-page PDF excerpt (1.3 MB).
Over the past 15 years, Experience Music Project has amassed over 800 filmed oral history interviews with musicians,
producers, club owners, fans, and others associated with every genre of music. These interviews, along with the
museums massive artifact collection, form the basis for every exhibition. The exhibition Nirvana: Taking Punk to the
Masses includes footage from over 100 interviews. A selection of those interviews are included in a DVD, exclusive to
the Taking Punk to the Masses book.
Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):
[T]he artifacts included in the exhibit wonderfully illustrate everything that was exciting, vibrant, and anti-establishment about the scene that eventually went mainstream. The item descriptions are explanatory but concise, and the artist commentary is insightful and revelatory."
Frank Valish, Under the Radar
"...[T]his book evokes a real sense of being there plaid shirts and all." Eleanor Goodman, Bizarre