Anarchy in a Cold War by Kurtis Sunday is a fascinating historical fiction novel published in 2012. Set in Berlin of West Germany in the 1980’s, the book presents a story of what happened in the society surrounded by the Wall and Communism. The suspenseful tension of the Cold War and the fading ideology of the country sparked vast resistance movements and endless demonstrations. All of those provided perfect environment for radical countercultures from punk, to anarchists, and squatters.
Originally published in 1993, Ramones: An American Band by Jim Bessman is a well-written biography of Ramones, iconic American punk rock band with indisputable influence in music. Bessman is a music journalist who actually knew the band. And it gave him vast access to Ramones and their inner circle. With such access, Bessman conducted many interviews where he collected valuable stories and anecdotes from the band members and their family, friends, and crew.
First published in 2001, Heavier Than Heaven by Charles R Cross is a bestselling Kurt Cobain biography. With the intention of writing a definitive book on Kurt, Cross conducted hundreds of interview and years of research. All the hard work is reflected in how book presents deep and multidimensional perspective on Kurt Cobain. It wonderfully chronicles Kurt’s life journey, how art and music (especially punk rock) became his savior, his success as the “godfather” of grunge with his legendary band, Nirvana, and sadly, how that monumental success brought a tragic end for him.
Nirvana success was a global music phenomenon that came to a sudden stop when the band singer/songwriter, Kurt Cobain, tragically took his own life in 1994. Same as with many geniuses in music history, there were many amazing, exceptional, and sometimes weird things about him. Most of those things were expressed in Kurt’s songs, with his band Nirvana. However, many others were kept secret in his more personal diaries, notes, (unsent) letters, and artworks. In the book Journals by Kurt Cobain, private documents of a great icons are revealed to public for the first time.
Grunge Is Dead by Greg Prato (fully entitled Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music) is a brilliantly revealing book about grunge and Seattle music. It was written based on more than 130 interviews with the musicians and people who were actually in the scene. As a result, Prato successfully delivered an extensive oral history of Seattle underground music scene, pre and post grunge hysteria in the 90’s. From those massive interviews, Prato offered new perspectives on big names of that era such as Nirvana (and Kurt Cobain), Pearl Jam (and Eddie Vedder), Alice in Chains (and Layne Staley), the Melvins, Mudhoney, and many others.