Let’s start with a list of Northwest and/or grunge records born in 1989: Nirvana’s Bleach, Soundgarden’s Louder Than Love, TAD’s God’s Balls, Mudhoney, Gas Huffer’s “Firebug,” Love Battery’s “Between the Eyes,” Blood Circus’ Primal Rock Therapy, Fastbacks’ “Wrong, Wrong, Wrong,” Journey to the Center of Cat Butt, Screaming Trees’ Buzz Factory, The Melvins’ Ozma, Mother Love Bone’s Shine, Beat Happening’s Black Candy, Skin Yard’s “Start at the Top,” The Young Fresh Fellows’ This One’s For the Ladies, Swallow, and Coffin Break’s Psychosis and Rupture.
If you want to argue that other years produced better music in the Northwest, but you may fail to convince me. And while critics remember 1991 as the year that grunge and
Nirvana at the HUB Ballroom
(Okay, fine, you could also make a solid argument in favor of 1988 based around “Touch Me, I’m Sick,” Ultramega:OK, and Sub Pop 200. . . . )
1989 also marks the year that
It was also in 1989 that I began working at the A206 copy center at the University of Washington Medical Center and where I photocopied medical texts with long-time lamestain friend Steve Mandich, who educated me about the still nascent grunge scene via mix tapes. Those tapes, some of which I may still have, featured Mudhoney, the Stooges, Gas Huffer, the Clash, and tons of other pieces of greatness.
But, of course, more happened in
In the mid-80s, our parents used to reward Tom and me with periodic trips to the gone-but-forgotten Kingdome to watch the perennial basement-dwelling Seattle Mariners. Whoever managed the M’s back in the mid-80s hadn’t yet gotten the hang of running a baseball team, so although they fielded a handful of decent players (Richie Zisk, Alvin Davis, Mark Langston, Spike Owen), they also had a tendency to acquire novelty players, like former Seattle Pilot Gorman Thomas (Mariner career batting average, .194) and geriatric spit-baller Gaylord Perry for the final season of his fine career.
In 1989, things finally started looking up: Ken Griffey, Jr., made his big league debut. Omar Vizquel made his big league debut. The Mariners acquired Randy Johnson (and lost Mark Langston) via a trade with the Montreal Expos. Manager Jim Lefebvre took over the reigns that year (“I’m a Lefebvre Believer” bumper stickers were all the rage.) This line-up (plus Edgar
The novelty disease hadn’t worn off entirely by this point. Around this time, the Ms acquired Ken Griffey, Sr., and attempted to speed Griffey’s younger brother up through the minors to create a Griffey hat-trick. This didn’t pay off. Furthermore, who can forget the Ken Griffey chocolate bar? If you have, well, eBay can help you remember.
But 1980s retro is fashionable right now, and the Mariners are doing their part by sucking again.
In other sports news, Brian Bosworth ended his disastrous tenure as the Seahawks’ designated bulldozer target in 1989. The Sonics were in their Xavier McDaniel and Nate McMillan phase and played pretty decently. And in the 1989 Apple Cup game between the Huskies and Wazoo, security maced the shit out of fans who stormed the field to ransack the goalposts and toss them into
Two game-changing articles were published in 1989.
First, Money Magazine ranked
Second, Everett True wrote the infamous Sub Pop article for Melody Maker. (You can find a cool pdf of it here). The article appeared after Bruce and Jon at Sub Pop flew True out to
It’s amusing to note that, in the opening sentence, True describes Mudhoney as “thrash metal merchants.” Thrash metal?
But in spite of my best intentions, I keep falling back on music-related events from 1989. I should stop this blog entry here, before I get into 4 Bands for 4 Bucks at the HUB Ballroom, etc. For your listening pleasure is a mix of notable songs from 1989.Here's your awesome 1989 mix tape: Gas Huffer -- "Firebug" The Fastbacks -- "Wrong, Wrong, Wrong" Screaming Trees -- "Where the Twain Shall Meet" Mother Love Bone -- "Thru Fade Away" Skin Yard -- "Start at the Top" Tad -- "Nipple Belt" Blood Circus -- "White Dress" Love Battery -- "Between the Eyes" The Melvins -- "Eyes Flies"