The grunge scene eventually came to have a P.C. cast to it, and I think a lot of that has to do with that Olympia influence, which kind of turned into that Riot Grrrl thing, a movement that had almost no music attached to it but had a lot of instructions for how you’re supposed to live your life. Whereas the not-famous Kurt Cobain might’ve chuckled at the Dwarves album cover with naked girls covered in blood, the famous Kurt Cobain felt he had to make a stand against those kind of things.
“[The 1991 Motor Sports concert] was an alright show, until some little cunt in the audience threw a 7-Up bottle and split my forehead open during ‘Let’s Fuck.’ I did finish the song before I went to the emergency room and got my head sewn up. The other thing I remember was that the Dwarves had like a $100 guarantee. And I think Nirvana had like $1,000. And I remember [Dwarves singer] Blag haggling with Krist over money before the show, like, ‘Could you kick us another hundred bucks for gas money?’ And Krist was not having any of it, until I went to the emergency room. When the Dwarves came to pick me up after the show, they said, ‘Hey, we got another hundred bucks out of Nirvana because you got hit with a bottle.’ I guess that was worth it.”
—from my interview with ex-Dwarves bassist Salt Peter
(Pictured: original poster art by Jim Blanchard; from the Experience Music Project permanent collection)
“I would never wear [the Sub Pop] shirt that said LOSER. I felt like, Hey, I’m reasonably good-looking and cool, why would I label myself a loser? I never really identified with that side of rock and roll—“Oh, I’m such a loser” or “I’m so put upon by the jocks.” That’s sort of the essence of grunge, and part of why I never really identified with that very much. I was like a little Charles Manson in high school; I had girls following me around, I dealt drugs, and I didn’t feel like a big loser.”
—Blag Dahlia of S.F. punks/onetime Sub Pop signees the Dwarves, from Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge