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

We continue with the second and final part of Blake's grunge travel blog

Kurt Cobain and Viretta Park. 

(Viretta Park, 151 Lake Washington Blvd E, Seattle, WA 98112)

(Viretta Park

Kurt Cobain was of course one of the most influential and important figures in the Alternative Rock movement of the 90’s. He was the iconic Singer, Song writer and musician for the band Nirvana. I vividly remember in 1992, my friend Jonboy, invited me to go see The Lemonheads play at the Victoria university student bar.

I had already had a pretty hectic week, so I decided to have a night in. Unfortunately, I have regretted this decision ever since. Jonboy, along with 500 other fortunate souls, were lucky enough to watch a relatively unknown band called Nirvana open for The Lemonheads.

Kurt unfortunately took his life at age 27 on April the 5 th 1994 at the family home and my next stop in Seattle, Viretta Park. I know this stop is possibly a little macabre for some, but if you're a fan of Kurt Cobain or Nirvana, then a visit to Viretta park will make you feel nostalgic. There really isn’t a whole lot here to be honest, just a lonely park bench nestled under a tree with some tributes to Kurt and Nirvana etched into it, but like A Sound Garden from my first stop, it was a peaceful setting and I could imagine Kurt writing lyrics in this serene area.

There is limited parking nearby, so best have someone sit in the car and wait for you.

The Crocodile (formally The Crocodile Café)

(The Crocodile, 2200 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121)

The original Crocodile Café venue opened on the 30 th April 1991 by Stephanie Dorgan (who married R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck) and over its 16 year initial run, hosted legendary grunge-rock bands and other well-known acts such as Mudhoney, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Everclear, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Green Day, The Strokes, Cheap Trick, Death Cab for Cutie, R.E.M., Dinosaur Jr., Beastie Boys, Chris Knox, The Presidents of the United States of America, Tom Morello and Harvey Danger.

The club eventually closed its doors on December 15, 2007 but reopened on March 19, 2009. Since 2009, the club has been owned by Alice in Chains' drummer Sean Kinney. The Croc (as it is affectionately known) remains an institution in Seattle for music fans and musicians alike. I was nice to go visit but I would have love to have seen the club in action.

In March 2013, Rolling Stone named The Crocodile as one of the best clubs in America, ranked at No. 7.

Parking was limited to coin operated parking machines.

The Crocodile

Black Sun by Isamu Noguchi

("Black Sun" by Isamu Noguchi, 1247 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112)

The Black Sun sculpture by Isamu Noguchi sits on the eastern edge of the Seattle’s Volunteer Parks’ man-made reservoir, across from the Seattle Asian Art Museum (near to where Bruce and Brandon Lee’s graves lie) the view from the sculpture includes the Space Needle, Olympic Mountains, and Elliott Bay.

This sculpture has been credited as the inspiration for Soundgarden's famous 1994 song Black Hole Sun, but sadly Chris Cornell never confirmed this before he passed in May 18 th , 2017; however, like many before, I would like to believe that this at least sparked the idea. Installed in 1969 it is a fabulous view of the city and would be a great place to come and have a picnic. Better still there is parking opposite the statue and there was even a piano installed next to it which people were free to play.

Black Sun

The Electric Lady Studio Guitar

(Jimi Hendrix Statue, 1604 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122)

So you can’t go on a musical pilgrimage and not go and visit one of the most influential guitarists and musicians of our time. On the intersection of Broadway Avenue E and Pine Street in the Capitol Hill neighbourhood of Seattle, stands The Electric Lady Studio Guitar, commonly referred to as the Jimi Hendrix Statue by Daryl Smith.

Although Hendrix died in 1970 at the age of just 27, he has influenced nearly every guitarist and guitar-based band since. Here is just a small number of guitar players and musicians that have sighted Hendrix as an influence in their own music: Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen), Carlos Santana (Santana), Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne), Flea (RHCP), Jack White (White Stripes) Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Vernon Reid (Living Color) Joe Satriani, Slash (Guns and Roses), Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders), The Edge (U2), Dave Mustaine (Megadeth, Metallica), Sting (The Police) Robert Smith (The Cure) Ace Frehley (Kiss), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine / Audioslave), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Kim Thayil (Soundgarden) Matt Bellamy (Muse) and Prince.

Jimmy Hendrix statue