New Chris Cornell Book Details How Soundgarden Helped Start Sub Pop Label
If you're a fan of '90s grunge, you've most likely heard of the label Sub Pop. It was pivotal in the development of the Seattle rock music scene in the late '80s, having signed major names like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney.
Corbin Reiff's new biography Total F*cking Godhead: The Biography of Chris Cornell is out today (July 28) and looks back at the legacy of the late Sounrgaden vocalist. An excerpt provided to Spin details how Soundgarden specifically helped catapult the aspiring label into a reputable name.
Sub Pop originated as a fanzine titled Subterranean Pop by Bruce Pavitt in the early '80s. As he befriended young musicians throughout the Seattle scene, he began releasing their tapes under the name "Sub Pop," but he lacked the funds to turn it into an established label at the time.
That is until he met Jonathan Poneman, a college DJ who had booked Soundgarden for one of their earliest gigs at a small venue called the Rainbow because he heard about them from a couple of people. He stayed for their entire set and was blown away, so much so that he decided he needed to help fund their first proper music release. Poneman teamed up with Pavitt and fronted the band $20,000 to put out their first single, "Hunted Down" / "Nothing to Say." The rest was history.
“When I went into that Rainbow show, I was a struggling musician,” Poneman recalled to Reiff. “When I walked out of that Rainbow show, I was a struggling someday-to-be record-label head."
To learn more about Soundgarden's early years and the life of Cornell, order Total F*cking Godhead here.
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