The History of Grunge

By Melissa Benner

The Grunge generation is said to have originated as a marraige between Seattle's hesher and punk scenes. The hesher scene consists of someone who listens to metal or thrash music. Their style includes acid-washed pants, long hair on both sexes, and the usual leather jacket with the randomly placed band names. Hesher comes from a Philadelphian term, that I never even heard of until researching grunge.

The punk scene is both a form of music and a way of life. Punk rockers tend to think everything should include anarchy or some kind of rebellion. As stated by a member of the punk scene,"Society as we know it is both artifical and rotten and should be rejected, if possible replaced with anarchy." This is only one of their many philosphies, but we don't need to get into them. Grunge holds very little of punks philosphies as valuable.

Along with their philosphy comes the look of punk rock. Punk rockers attire consist of ripped clothes, wearing clothes inside out, spikes, and leather. Their hair is another story though. It sometimes consists of cuts that are designed to scare their mothers on purpose. Another form of rebellion. Punker's dye their hair various shades and sometimes even spray paint it.

Grunge music is really what started everything. The scene focused on bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, and Pearl Jam in the beginning. Grunge may or may not have been a wise term to use for a delinquent youth generation. Historical perspective shows that it is best used to describe a record company phenomenon. By the early 1990's pop music was just plain boring! Due to this fact generation X turned to a more alternative sound. They found this sound to be produced by college radio and small time record label companies. Meanwhile rock radio staions professed their air play of classic rock as invaluable to today's youth. Wrong not only was the grunge movement turning to new areas, but they were forming their own music.

Nirvana was the first grunge band to hit it big on the scene. Not only did they acqire radio-friendly songs for air play, they also were being played on MTV's alternative shows. The grunge peole went wild. Finally music they liked was being heard on real radio shows. And yes even MTV.

The grunge generation weren't the only people to go wild. Record companies saw big opportunity. The music was recieved so well by today's youth that they literaly stripped Seattle clean of good grunge bands. Then they began their search of other cities. But truthfully to be grunge you must have some Seattle roots or today you are just considered "alternative".