Nirvana’s Nevermind was released:
I’d been out here in Seattle for 6 years at that point and was finishing (or had just finished) my MA project and was completing my first year of real near-full-time employment in public health. Actually my first real job, not a temporary thing (although I was classed as a Temporary. . . .for 15 years). Was living with an old college buddy of mine who had just moved out here as well. I’d spent the summer two years previous at home in Wisconsin living with my parents — and working on my MA thing — and had decided at the time that I was through messing around with archaeological fieldwork as a means of support and came back to Seattle and found the regular job. I’d finally reached my limit of being poor all the time.
Anyway, I kind of didn’t care much for Nirvana when I first heard it, thought it was too noisome and not particularly musical. That was also about the time that KNDD came into being, the local “alternative” station that one might argue started the whole Alt-Seattle thing going. Heady days those were, although I went back to Wisconsin a couple of time in the next couple of years and got a little tired of everyone asking me where my flannel shirt was.
I love Alternative. It yanked rock&roll back to basics from the synth-rock and pop-metal of the 1980s; never cared much for the latter, and the former kind of left me always wanting it to be a bit. . .more, or perhaps less actually: less production mostly. Most of the latter 1980s I was listening to New Age as I slaved away in the early years of grad school.
I imagine Alternative would have eventually become widespread without Nirvana, but it was kind of like a big rock thrown into a pond where there had been a few small pebbles thrown in before.