Synopses & Reviews
Poised at the epicenter of an explosive underground scene, photographer Charles Peterson witnessed the birth of a brash new era of music that grabbed the world by its throat and refused to let go. Grunge, the bastard child of 60s garage and 70s punk, revived the original gritty spirit of rock and roll: rebellion ain't pretty, but it sure is fun.
Featuring ninety-two photographs--eighty of them never-before-published--spanning sixteen years, TOUCH ME I'M SICK, Peterson's third monograph, documents the raw power of live performances by the soon-to-be-famous artists and their dedicated fans. Yet Peterson's photographs don't rely on the cult of celebrity to tell this compelling tale of angst, anxiety, and acoustics. Rather, they capture the cathartic ritual between musician and fan played out in seedy clubs reeking of sweat and stale beer. Bored, alienated youth with nothing better to do than bash their instruments and mosh their bodies in a barrage of sound, song, and furious energy are captured through Peterson's signature style of wide-angle intimacy, swirling lights, and a strange sense of grace. Peterson creates timeless, artistic imagery out of this swiftly passing frenzy, and shatters the godhead of the rock star, revealing the band and audience as co-conspirators in rock's latest, greatest revival.
Featuring photographs of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Sleater-Kinney, Mudhoney, Sonic Youth, L7, Hole, and Black Flag, among others, as well as excerpts from Your Flesh, Flipside, Melody Maker, B-side, Swellsville, and Chemical Imbalance, TOUCH ME I'M SICK is the perfect mix of art and journalism for music purists and connoisseurs.
"And you know what? I think other photographers secretly want to be like Charles and Charles secretly wants to be like other photographers. And it's a hard callwould you rather have that street cred, punk rock hipness, and respect from all the cool bands, or industry suave that gets major magazine editors and record exec dorks to fly you all over the world for photo shoots and pay you outrageous amounts of money?" Jennie Boddy, Your Flesh #25
Featuring 92 photographs on grunge legends including Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Thurston Moore, Henry Rollins, Eddie Vedder, and others, "Touch Me I'm Sick," Peterson's third monograph, documents the raw power of live performances by the soon-to-be-famous artists and their dedicated fans.
Features black and white photographs of the world of Grunge music.
About the Author
Charles Peterson was born in 1964 in Longview, Washington, and received a B.F.A. in photography from the University of Washington in 1987. At that time he met up with a group of musicians (future members of Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and others) and record promoter Bruce Pavitt, who decided to use Petersons gritty, populist style for his new label, Sub Pop. Petersons photographs have graced hundreds of record covers, and have appeared in publications like The Village Voice, NME, The New York Times, Newsweek, MOJO, People, Rolling Stone, Spin, Entertainment Weekly, Rockin On, and Guitar World. He has two previous monographs, Screaming Life: A Chronicle of the Seattle Music Scene (HarperCollins) and Pearl Jam: Place/Date (Vitalogy). His images have appeared in many other books, including The Blue Jean (powerHouse Books), Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, and Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana, and was featured in the film Hype, in addition to several video documentaries. His work is in the collection of Seattles Experience Music Project, and is repped by Getty and Retna Ltd. Peterson currently lives in Seattle with his dog Barkley.
Eddie Vedder was born in 1964 in Evanston, Illinois, and is the lead singer of the multi-platinum, internationally renowned band Pearl Jam. Vedder relocated to Seattle from San Diego in 1989 to sing with ex-members of Green River and Mother Love Bone. Since then, Pearl Jam has played sold-out shows from Turkey to Thailand. The band released "Riot Act," their sixth album, in 2002. Vedder had a cameo in Cameron Crowes film Singles, and has collaborated with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on the soundtrack to Dead Man Walking. Active in many social and political causes, Vedder plays a mean game of Scrabble. He lives in Seattle.
Jennie Boddy was born in Detroit, Michigan. She relocated to Seattle on the cusp of the grunge explosion and became the publicist for Sub Pop Records. She pursued music writing as well, mostly for small but highly influential, independent zines such as Alternative Press and Your Flesh. Now a head publicist for Interscope Records, Boddy lives in New York City.