by Lavine/Blashill/Rollins

[text and scans on this page by Deborah Baker]

Noise From The Undergound: A secret history of alternative rock was published in 1996 as a showcase for the talents of rock photographer, Michael Lavine, who, alongside Charles Peterson, began his career documenting the Seattle scene in the early 1980s.

Working on the premise that sex sells, the front cover boasts a truly stunning picture of Chris Cornell from 1989. There are two other Soundgarden pictures inside: the front cover of the Louder Than Live promo, and a black and white publicity still from when Ben joined in 1990.

Pat Blashill's take on alternative rock is rather more MTV than Joe Carducci - he calls Soundgarden a 'grunge' band - and all he has to say about them is this:

"A few groups in Seattle were beginning to fuse these seemingly disparate forms of guitar rock - the frayed and the fierce - into one sound. I stumbled upon one such band in July 1988 at CBGB's, the New York Bowery club where American punk was born. The band was Soundgarden, and their songs reminded me of dinosaurs: huge and lumbering, slow but also kind of intimidating. I was mildly interested in them and began to take pictures. After the band finished, people were practically offering me cash on the spot for copies of my photographs. A friend of mine told me the band had just signed to a major label and that they were gonna be a big deal. I thought, whatever. But he was right."

In the discography, Louder Than Love is cited as one of the defining records of the alternative scene.

Noise From The Underground is published by Fireside/Simon and Schuster Inc. and sells for US$25, $34 in Canada. It can be purchased as an import in London for twenty pounds.