I Found My Friends

I Found My Friends recreates the short and tempestuous times of Nirvana through the musicians and producers who played and interacted with the band. The guides for this trip didn't just watch the life of this legendary band—they lived it. Soulsby interviewed over 150 musicians from bands that played and toured with Nirvana, including well-known alternative and grunge bands like Dinosaur Jr., The Dead Kennedys, and Butthole Surfers, as well as scores of smaller, but no less fascinating bands.

Description

I Found My Friends recreates the short and tempestuous times of Nirvana through the musicians and producers who played and interacted with the band. The guides for this trip didn’t just watch the life of this legendary band—they lived it. Soulsby interviewed over 150 musicians from bands that played and toured with Nirvana, including well-known alternative and grunge bands like Dinosaur Jr., The Dead Kennedys, and Butthole Surfers, as well as scores of smaller, but no less fascinating bands.

In this groundbreaking look at a legendary band, readers will see a more personal history of Nirvana than ever before, including Nirvana’s consideration of nearly a dozen previously unmentioned candidates for drummer before settling on David Grohl, a recounting of Nirvana’s famously disastrous South American shows from never-before-heard sources on Brazilian and Argentine sides, and the man who hosted the first ever Nirvana gig’s recollections of jamming with the band at that inaugural event.

I Found My Friends relives Nirvana’s meteoric rise from the days before the legend to through their increasingly damaged superstardom. More than twenty years after Kurt Cobain’s tragic death, Nick Soulsby removes the posthumous halo from the brow of Kurt Cobain and travels back through time to observe one of rock and roll‘s most critical bands as no one has ever seen them before.

“Nearly 21 years after Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain took his own life, what he and Nirvana were able to musically accomplish during their existence has never disappeared from public consciousness. In this title, blogger and author Soulsby (Dark Slivers: Seeing Nirvana in the Shards of Incesticide) constructs a chronological history of the band from its inception in 1987 to Cobain’s death in 1994, using the remembrances of more than 150 musicians to help explain what made the group – and its leader – so remarkable. Nirvana’s career story is certainly well-trodden territory; however, the sheer amount of perspectives that the author includes keeps the overall narrative engaging. The other major challenge in writing about the band is the overwhelming tendency to view Cobain as a secular saint. To his credit, Soulsby gently sidesteps that suggestion, though neither he nor his interviewees convey full the depth of the artist’s heroin addiction or the drop-off in his creative output toward the end of his life. Nevertheless, this history is captivating enough to distinguish itself among a crowded canon. VERDICT: Hard-core and casual Nirvana fans alike will find this book engaging.”

— Chris Martin, North Dakota State Univ. Libs., Fargo.

“You-are-there narrative of Nirvana’s rise, focused on the trio’s comrades at the dawn of Alternative Nation. Soulsby (Dark Slivers: Seeing Nirvana in the Shards of Incesticide, 2012) builds his second book concerning Nirvana’s brief run and long shadow through the recollections of Nirvana’s fellow musicians, most (though not all) of whom remained obscure. This is in line with the most positive aspect of how Nirvana’s success transformed the regional American musical underground: “Nirvana never felt it was above the many bands they befriended; they always felt they were part of the community who tell this tale rather than of the celebrity world they joined.” Formed four years prior to 1991’s chart-topping “Nevermind,” the band’s core was the fragile, artistic Kurt Cobain and the less-enigmatic rocker Krist Novoselic. Benefitting from the communal, low-budget vibe in the Pacific Northwest music scene, their nascent band quickly evolved into an efficient, hard-driven touring machine, alongside other avatars of grunge like Tad and Mudhoney. As one musician observed, early Nirvana was “definitely still grunge but with better venues comes better sound and all things better.” Naturally, Cobain’s spirit hangs over the storytelling; he’s remembered as withdrawn and clearly overwhelmed by health issues and controlled substances but also for kindness and humor. In an improbable moment, as they were taken under Sonic Youth’s wing and added powerhouse drummer Dave Grohl, all the elements aligned for a major cultural shift. As “Nevermind” broke big, the band “brought the communal spirit of the underground to whatever strange land was opening up for them,” engaging social causes and booking confrontational bands as opening acts. As Soulsby notes, “Nirvana saw fame as valuable only if it stood for something.” Yet the rockers’ reflections become increasingly poignant as the band’s denouement approaches.

Besides appealing to fans, the book ably captures the lost milieu of independent rock, which Nirvana’s moment irretrievably transformed.”

– Kirkus Reviews, Review Posted Online: Jan. 4th, 2015

By

Nick Soulsby

Buy from

Amazon (UK) Amazon (US) Barnes & Noble (US) Hive (UK) IndieBound (US) Waterstones (UK)

Testimonials

“I was thrilled when Isabel took a chance on me as a new and untried author back in 2012, and since then not only has she helped secure me three major book deals (and counting…) but she is always on hand for warm, professional advice and support.”

Michelle Kelly, Creative Authors Client.