In 2014 I visited Seattle for the first time. A place I dreamt about going to and never actually thought I would. Seattle is the birthplace of music to which I feel connected – bands such as Nirvana, Alice in Chance, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Tad ,Mother Love Bone etc. Heading to this city was my homage to them.
A few days in, no mention of these musicians, nothing at all. Google became God and upon the search engine a name appeared ‘Stalking Seattle’. Created by a local, a fan, who helped that day captivate the energy of these bands. Charity takes five or six to landmarks including a bar where Nirvana held their Nevermind album launch. That evening Nirvana became a band to be kicked out of their own launch party. A venue where Alice in Chains and Nirvana played their first gig. Where Andrew Wood and Chris Cornell shared an apartment, where Duff McKagan was born, Eddie Vedder climbed the rafters of a local venue, where Subpop are and Mark still works… This tour is for anyone who loves, who connects to these bands and for all of us to see where it all started and ended.
Hey Charity, please tell the readers a little bit about your Stalking Seattle tour?
It’s a crash course in the history of the Seattle music scene. We visit bars and various places where significant things have happened or… where people have died.
How did you work out the route – what to add and what to take off from the tour?
I asked a lot of people for their input. The route was basically figured out by talking to people in bars and clubs.
What makes the Stalking Seattle tour different to other music tours in the city?
Fortunately for me, there are no other music tours in the city.
What’s been the most amusing thing that’s happened on the tour?
I cut through an alley to avoid heavy traffic one time and we ended up in a funeral procession for like three blocks. It was the reason for the heavy traffic.
What were the first and last gigs you went to?
My first concert was Madonna in 1985. My last show was The Breeders a couple nights ago.
What’s your all-time favourite gig performed in Seattle, or performed by a Seattle band that you witnessed?
Seeing Eddie Vedder sing Beatles songs while Krist Novoselic played the accordian at a back yard party the summer after Kurt died. There were about 60 people there.
Have you ever had any celebrities turn up to check out your tour?
No. Just local musicians who think they’re celebrities.
Three spaces are available on your tour – you are allowed to have anyone on your tour. Who would your dream customers be?
Jack Black, Dave Grohl, and Mike McCready. Three chatterboxes who love music.
You take us to many places and one is the home where Kurt died. There are many conspiracy theories surrounding this. What do you think about the conspiracies.
I don’t pay any attention to them.
What is your favourite Chris Cornell experience? Mine was seeing him on his London acoustic tour and his replying to a tweet.
The Mad Season tribute he did with the Seattle Symphony in 2015. Stone and Jeff showed up and we got a few Temple of The Dog songs too. I was in row 4. It was one of the best nights of my life.
Name three albums you would tell people to listen to before coming on your tour and why would you choose those three?
A lot of people don’t know Mad Season, Mother Love Bone, or even Temple of The Dog. It’s sad but true. I’d say those three just so they know what we’re talking about when those bands come up.
What is your favourite venue to see a band in Seattle at and why?
Highway 99 Blues Club. They have tables and chairs, food, and nice bathrooms. The stage is like two feet off the ground. The band is right there. It’s a cool place.
What’s the funniest story about a musician you talk about on your tour?
Most of the stories on the tour are a little dark. We ran into Stone and Mike once and nobody recognized them. I thought that was hilarious.
How has the music scene in Seattle changed over the years, and which Seattle bands do you recommend at present?
It’s evolved like anything does. There have always been lots of great bands in this city and they have a lot of support. I see shows all the time. I recommend Devils Hunt Me Down and Ayron Jones. Ayron’s on a major tour right now with Theory of a Dead Man.
What are your plans for the future with Stalking Seattle?
I guess I’ll keep driving around in circles until I can’t take it anymore.