Blake's ‘Love of Loud Tour’ 2019, Part I

To say I had been influenced by the Grunge, Alternative Rock and Metal genres of the late 80’s and 90’s would be an understatement; these new, exciting genres simply turned my life upside down, gave me purpose and gave me a new direction in music that I still embrace to this very day. In my opinion these important Genres, gave music back the grit that had somehow gone missing from the previous decade.

It all began when my family took on a lodger / fellow student called Kim Potter (Comedian / Singer / Songwriter) and during the early 90’s Kim started introducing me to these new, exciting sounds. I was an influential teenager and over a very short period of time, went and bought my first 10 albums that would give birth to my love of loud.

Faith No More The Real Thing (released 1989)
Living Color Vivid (released 1988)
Rage Against the Machines self-titled album (released 1992)
Soundgarden Badmotorfinger (released 1991)
Nirvana Nevermind (released Sept 1991)
Soundgarden Superunknown (released 1994)
Tool Undertow (released 1993)
Tool Opiate (released 1992)
Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream (released 1993)
Pearl Jam Ten (released 1991)

album covers

I absorbed every note, poured over every lyric and felt a real connection with these songs. Don’t get me wrong, I hadn’t stopped listening and loving my old go-to bands like Tears for Fears, Toto, Earth Wind and Fire, The Cure, Talk Talk or Michael Jackson, but my horizons had been broadened, senses awoken, and I had fallen in love with a new type of sound.

So late last year, when I finally got an opportunity to travel to Seattle in the US, I was so excited to go and visit the birthplace of some of my all-time favourite bands.

Seattle tour map

So, here is my mini self-driving Love of Loud tour. As I was traveling with family, I kept my stops pretty short and skipped what some would consider essentials (Like the Temple of a Dog Lighthouse and Black Dog Forge (where Eddie Vedder used to sleep and practice music) ) but it was a great compromise for me and still felt like I had visited some very special places.

A Soundgarden

(‘A Sound Garden’ by Douglas Hollis, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115)

I kicked my musical pilgrimage off with a stop at A Sound Garden situated on the on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) campus. Designed and built by sculptor Douglas Hollis from 1982/83, A Sound Garden is a set of steel sculptures that stand 6.4m high and are topped with an organ type pipe attached to a weathervane. These pipes create a soft-toned sound when they rotate, or wind passes over them.

The structures overlook Lake Washington and although there’s nothing really else here to come and see but it was a peaceful place. I sat for a while on the grass underneath one of the sculptures and imagined how one of my all time favourite singers, Chris Cornell, would have come up with some lyrics for a song here. This of course was where the mighty rock band Soundgarden, took their name from and since Chris Cornell’s death in May 2017, this place has become a makeshift memorial to his life.

Although there is not much to see on this lonely hill, I would certainly recommend this place for any diehard Soundgarden / Chris fans. Once you check in with security at NOVA, you can park nearby and walk for 5 mins to the installation.


Part II of Blake's ‘Love of Loud Tour 2019’ continues next week.