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Steve Gullick: Nirvana Diary

A grunge time capsule, 1990-1994.

Charles Peterson’s grainy, blurred, black-and-white photography may have defined the early grunge aesthetic, but as the ‘Seattle sound’ exploded globally, no photographer got closer to the scene’s key players than Londoner Steve Gullick during his time with the now-defunct ‘inkies’ Sounds and Melody Maker.

Gullick first shot a wide-eyed Nirvana in August ’91, one month ahead of the release of Nevermind, initiating a friendship which led him to gain intimate access to Kurt Cobain, even as the fast-rising band sought to keep an increasingly ravenous media at arm’s length.

Fleshed out with striking portraits of the ‘alternative’ scene’s principal cast members (Hole, Sonic Youth, Pixies, Mudhoney, etc), this beautifully produced 196-page book is a vivid document of a tumultuous time in rock history, perfectly capturing the vulnerability, intensity and escalating bemusement of punk rock musicians who truly never expected to amount to anything./o:p

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.