Green River (band)

Green River (band)

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Green River

Img_capt = Green River, from left to right: Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, Mark Arm, Bruce Fairweather and Alex Vincent
Img_size = 250
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Seattle, Washington, USA
Years_active = 1984–1988
(One-off reunions: 1993, 2008)
Label = Homestead, Sub Pop
Associated_acts = Limp Richerds, Spluii Numa, Mudhoney, Mother Love Bone, Love Battery, Temple of the Dog, Pearl Jam, Brad, Three Fish
Current_members = Jeff Ament
Mark Arm
Alex Vincent
Stone Gossard
Bruce Fairweather
Past_members = Steve Turner
Notable_instruments =

Green River was an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1984. The band was active from 1984 to 1988. Although the band had arguably little commercial impact outside of its native Seattle, Green River proved to have significant influence on the genre later known as grunge, both with its own music and with the music its members would create in future bands.


Green River (named after the then at-large serial killer of the same name) was formed in early 1984 by vocalist/guitarist Mark Arm, guitarist Steve Turner, drummer Alex Vincent and bassist Jeff Ament. Guitarist Stone Gossard then joined the band to allow Mark Arm to concentrate on singing. Prior to joining, each member had played with punk and hardcore groups. Arm and Turner had played together in both Mr Epp & The Calculations and the Limp Richerds. Turner had also performed with Vincent in Spluii Numa, and Gossard in The Ducky Boys. Ament had been asked to join after moving from Montana with his band Deranged Diction.

By late 1984, the band was playing shows in and around Seattle. In December 1984, the band began production on its first record, "Come on Down". However, by the time the band finished the record in early 1985, Turner had left the group, citing his distaste with the rest of the band's heavy metal leanings. He was replaced by former Deranged Diction guitarist Bruce Fairweather.

In mid-1985, the band embarked on its first nationwide tour to promote the now completed "Come on Down" EP. Release of the record was delayed however, thus negating the purpose of the tour. From all accounts the experience was less than positive, though it did help cement alliances with other emerging American indie rock bands. Among them was Sonic Youth, who later quoted the song "Come on Down" on its own composition "Never Mind (What Was It Any Way?)". After the tour, "Come on Down" was finally released by the New York-based Homestead Records. The record was released to little fanfare, and did not sell well. However it is often considered the first album to be released by a "grunge" band, as it predated both the "Deep Six" compilation and the Melvins' debut album.

In 1986, the band continued to play in and around the Pacific Northwest to steadily larger crowds (especially in the band's hometown of Seattle). Early in the year, the now legendary "Deep Six" compilation was released on the local C/Z Records label. Alongside two Green River songs, the compilation features the music of fellow Washington bands Soundgarden, Melvins, Malfunkshun, Skin Yard and the U-Men. Kathleen C. Fennessy of Allmusic stated that the compilation "documents a formative period in Northwest rock history." [Fennessy, Kathleen C. [ "Deep Six"] . Allmusic.]

In June 1986, the band began production on its second EP, "Dry As a Bone", with local producer Jack Endino. Green River chose to record "Dry As a Bone" for Bruce Pavitt's new label, Sub Pop Records. However, Pavitt couldn't afford to release it until the following year, and, as had happened with "Come on Down", the record was delayed. In the meantime the band issued the one-off "Together We'll Never" single on the local Tasque Force Records label. "Dry As a Bone" was finally released through Sub Pop Records in July 1987, a full year after it was recorded. It was the new label's first non-compilation release. "Dry As a Bone" was promoted by Sub Pop as "ultra-loose GRUNGE that destroyed the morals of a generation."Azerrad, Michael. "Our Band Could Be Your Life". Little, Brown and Company, 2001. ISBN 0-316-78753-1] Steve Huey of Allmusic called it Green River's "strongest individual release...perfecting their sleazy, raucous fusion of '70s hard rock and post-hardcore punk." [Huey, Steve. [ "Dry As a Bone"] . Allmusic.]

Almost immediately following the release of "Dry As a Bone", the group re-entered the studio to begin production on its first full-length album, "Rehab Doll". Band in-fighting, though, took center stage over the music. A stylistic division developed between Ament and Gossard on one side, and Mark Arm on the other. Ament and Gossard wanted to pursue a major-label deal, while Arm wanted to remain independent, viewing the duo as being too careerist. The in-fighting came to a head following an October 1987 show in Los Angeles. Apparently, without informing the group Ament had filled the show's guest list with major label representatives, instead of the band's friends, only to have two of the representatives appear. On October 31, 1987, Ament, Gossard and Fairweather stated their desire to quit the band. Although the band members agreed to complete production of "Rehab Doll" during the next three months, Green River had by late October 1987 ceased as a band.

Post-Green River

After the break-up, Mark Arm and Steve Turner began rehearsing together. They recruited bassist Matt Lukin (formerly of the Melvins) and drummer Dan Peters (of Bundle of Hiss and Feast) to form Mudhoney in January 1988. Mudhoney quickly gained popularity in the Seattle scene, with debut releases "Touch Me I'm Sick" and "Superfuzz Bigmuff" receiving positive reviews in the music press. Since releasing its debut album in 1989, Mudhoney has recorded a further seven albums and continues to tour.

Following the demise of Green River in late 1987, Gossard, Ament and Fairweather formed the short-lived covers band Lords of the Wasteland with Malfunkshun frontman Andrew Wood. By early 1988 the Lords of the Wasteland had become Mother Love Bone. Mother Love Bone quickly rose to popularity in the Seattle scene, and were about to release its debut album in 1990, when frontman Andrew Wood fatally overdosed on heroin. That same year, Ament and Gossard (along with Chris Cornell, Matt Cameron, Mike McCready, and a guest appearance by Eddie Vedder) recorded the Andrew Wood tribute album "Temple of the Dog" (amidst the formation of the band Pearl Jam), which went on to achieve international mainstream success. After Temple of the Dog, Gossard and Ament founded Pearl Jam along with Mike McCready of Shadow, Eddie Vedder of Bad Radio, and Dave Krusen. Pearl Jam rocketed to fame with its debut album "Ten" and is still active today. Pearl Jam has released eight albums in total and continues to tour.

Bruce Fairweather joined Gossard and Ament as a member of Mother Love Bone. Following the band's demise, he replaced Tommy Simpson on bass in the psychedelic rock band Love Battery in 1992. He played on two of the band's albums and many of its tours before leaving that band as well and dropping off the radar. In 2006, he resurfaced in The Press Corps, with Garret Shavlik (The Fluid) and Dan Peters (Mudhoney). Alex Vincent, Green River's drummer, moved to Japan after the breakup and did not return to the United States for many years.

A Green River reunion occurred on November 30, 1993 during a Pearl Jam concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. Participating in the reunion were Mark Arm, Steve Turner, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament and Chuck Treece, who filled in on drums for Alex Vincent, who at that time was living in Japan. The band performed the songs "Swallow My Pride" and "Ain't Nothing to Do" before leaving the stage. Green River reunited for one show on July 13, 2008 at Marymoor Park near Seattle to honor Sub Pop's 20th anniversary. [ [ "Cult rock band Green River to reunite for show"] . Reuters. October 2, 2007.] The line-up included Ament, Arm, Turner, Vincent, Gossard, and Fairweather.


Green River made little commercial impact outside of Seattle, but what the band lacked in commercial success however it made up for in influence. In general, Green River is widely regarded as being one of the originators of the genre later known as grunge. With its sludgy mix of hard rock, punk and metal, heavily influenced by Iggy Pop's original proto-punk group The Stooges, coupled with Arm's twisted lyrics and vocal delivery, Green River greatly influenced both its peers and bands that followed them. Even without the fact that some of its members would later go on to form some of the biggest bands of the Northwest music scene, Green River is still remembered for its musical foresight and innovation, years ahead of the rise of grunge.

Band members

*Jeff Amentbass
*Mark Armvocals
*Steve Turnerguitar (1984–1985)
*Alex Vincentdrums
*Stone Gossard – guitar
*Bruce Fairweather – guitar (1985–1988)




*"Together We'll Never" (Tasque Force, 1986)

Compilation/Soundtrack contributions

* "10,000 Things" and "Your Own Best Friend" on the "Deep Six" compilation (C/Z, 1986)
* "Searchin' (Good Things Come)" on the "Motor City Madness" compilation (Glitterhouse, 1988)
* "Hangin' Tree" on the "Sub Pop 200" compilation (Sub Pop, 1988)
* "Swallow My Pride" on the "This House Is Not A Motel" compilation (Glitterhouse, 1989)
* "Hangin' Tree" on the "Sub Pop Rock City" compilation (Glitterhouse, 1989)
* "Bazaar" and "Away In Manger" on the "Another Pyrrhic Victory: The Only Compilation Of Dead Seattle God Bands" compilation (C/Z, 1989)
* "Ain't Nothing to Do" on the "Endangered Species" compilation (Glitterhouse, 1990)
* "Baby Takes" on the "Afternoon Delight: Love Songs From Sub Pop" compilation (Sub Pop, 1992)
* "Swallow My Pride" (1987 Demo) on the "Hype!" soundtrack (Sub Pop, 1996)
* "This Town" on the "Wild and Wooly: The Northwest Rock Collection" compilation (Experience Music Project/Sub Pop, 2000)
* "Come on Down" on the "Sleepless in Seattle: The Birth of Grunge" compilation (Livewire, 2006)

Notes and references

Further reading

*Huey, Steve. " [ Green River] ". Allmusic. Retrieved June 13, 2005.

External links

* [ Sub Pop's Green River page]
*MySpace|officialgreenriver|Green River
*allmusicguide|11:a9fixqw5ld6e|Green River
*|Green River|Green River

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