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Nirvana came out of nowhere in 1991 to sell nearly five million copies of their landmark album Nevermind, whose thunderous sound and indelible melodies embodied all the confusion, frustration, and passion of the emerging Generation X. Come As You Are is the close-up, intimate story of Nirvana -- the only book with exclusive in-depth interviews with bandmembers Kurt Cobain, Krist Noveselic, and Dave Grohl, as well as friends, relatives, former bandmembers, and associates -- now updated to include a new final chapter detailing the last year of Kurt Cobain's life, before his tragic suicide in April 1994. My favorite book about Nirvana. For one thing, it doesn't sensationalize, but it doesn't gloss anything over. Having been active in the Seattle music scene throughout Nirvana's obscurity, fame, and demise, I can vouch for the accuracy of its description of the music community in the late '80s and early '90s and Nirvana's role. And being in a band that's currently climbing the ladder, I appreciated the many lessons this book has to offer about the workings of the recording industry.
Best of all, because this book was written before Cobain's death, it is not tinged with the "isn't this tragic" attitude that permeates many books about Nirvana and Cobain. Instead, the book is vibrant with the energy, excitement, and passion that swept local musicians the day "Nevermind" was released, local audiences in the months after, the U.S, and--lest we forget--the world, during Nirvana's more-than-15-minutes of fame.