Nirvana formed in 1987, released their first LP in 1989, and unintentionally tore the music world asunder two years later with the video and single for "Smells Like Teen Spirit." At the time, MTV and rock 'n' roll in general were largely dominated by vapid hair metal acts. Nirvana, with their thrift-store clothes and pawnshop guitars, represented a much-needed return to punk-inspired rock and at the same time validated the indie rock scene that had failed to breach the mainstream in the previous decade. A meteoric rise followed, attended by all of the predictable professional and personal pitfalls. Two and half years after the release of "Teen Spirit," leader Kurt Cobain, age 27, killed himself and the ride was over. Today, Nirvana and Cobain transcend generations, not unlike Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and other artists who met premature ends. The band's story and music fascinate kids whose parents were among Nirvana's early fans. Coinciding with the twentieth anniversary of their final LP, Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History is the first to treat fans to a stylishly designed illustrated biography of the band. Performance and off-stage photography, handbills, singles, backstage passes, gig posters, and other memorabilia complement a narrative detailing the band's tumultuous history, as well as sidebar album reviews, gear breakdowns, and mini synopses of Cobain's 50 all-time favorite albums. Nirvana's ride was a wild one--and all too brief. Here, finally, is the book that breaks that history down and presents it from an objective perspective.
Charles Cross is a music journalist and the author of several acclaimed biographies, including Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix and Cobain Unseen. He was editor of the Rocket in Seattle for fifteen years during the height of the Seattle music scene. His 2001 biography of Kurt Cobain, titled Heavier Than Heaven, was awarded the 2002 ASCAP Award for Outstanding Biography.
Gillian G. Gaar has written thirteen books, including The Doors: The Illustrated History, She's A Rebel: The History of Women in Rock & Roll, Entertain Us: The Rise of Nirvana, and Return of the King: Elvis Presley's Great Comeback. She was a contributor to Voyageur Press' Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History and has also written for numerous publications, including Mojo, Rolling Stone, and Goldmine. She lives and writes in Seattle.
"…a feast for fan's eyes" - Spin.com
"A gorgeous book brimming with photos, concert fliers, posters and the full story of the band, Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History will make you feel like you were there, even if you weren't." - Campus Circle
"But in this crowded field, Voyageur Press' Nirvana: The Illustrated History stands out. Collecting newly penned chapters from Cross, Gillian G. Gaar, and Mark Yarm, among other contributors, the book emphasizes the visual ephemera of Nirvana's career: photographs, concert posters, ticket stubs, t-shirts, infant onesies, even a casting call for the 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'" - Pitchfork.com