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Photos: The Rise of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam and More

Photographer Michael Lavine traces grunge’s beginnings

Grunge: Chris and Katy

Photograph by Michael Lavine courtesy of Grunge (Abrams Image)

Seattle, 1983.

GRUNGE: Nirvana, 1990

Photograph by Michael Lavine courtesy of Grunge (Abrams Image)

Nirvana, 1990

"This was the first day I had ever met Kurt [Cobain]," says Lavine of the photo session he took in his New York City apartment in 1990. "When they arrived, Kurt was asleep in the van. He was totally exhausted from touring. At that time, no one had any idea who Nirvana were" In the ensuing years, Lavine would become a trusted friend of the band: he was the one to suggest they take on cellist Melora Krieger as a touring member of the band for their final European tour in 1994.

GRUNGE: Hole, 1991

Photograph by Michael Lavine courtesy of Grunge (Abrams Image)

Hole, 1991

"Courtney [Love] was just a whirlwind," says Lavine. "She'd come in and talk very fast, she was moving all the time. And she was really, really smart. For this shoot, she was obsessed with Kurt. This was before Nevermind was released. She kept saying, 'Let me see the Kurt pictures, Let me see the Kurt pictures!' It was hard to keep up with her."

GRUNGE: Soundgarden, 1990

Photograph by Michael Lavine courtesy of Grunge (Abrams Image)

Soundgarden, 1990

"That's a toy gun," says Lavine. "I just had props like this around the studio. Soundgarden were the funnest band to shoot because everyone was just so cool. They enjoyed the process. They came over and hung out, we got drunk, we took a lot of photos."

GRUNGE: Dinosaur Jr., 1989

Photograph by Michael Lavine courtesy of Grunge (Abrams Image)

Dinosaur Jr., 1989

"We took this picture in J Mascis' mom's basement in 1989," says Lavine. "Those are romance novels behind the band; J's mother collects them. I remember I didn't get along with the band at all. J was awkward and difficult and you can see Lou [Barlow] has all his hair in his face. But sometimes you don't have to connect with your subject to make a great picture; sometimes being friendly with your subject just gets in the way."

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