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Rock Critic Jim Miller Booking Signing At La Luz de Jesus Gallery

On Saturday evening, Jim Miller was doing a signing at La Luz de Jesus Gallery for his book ‘Niceness in the 90s: An Indie Music Memoir’ released by Pleasant Peasant on March 23rd.

I regret there was no Q&A, but Jim Miller was signing books, chatting with people I couldn’t recognized (I bet they were all musicians or artists). It was announced that anyone mentioned in the book by name would receive a complimentary copy of the book, but I did not see any ‘celebrity’ I could name, although the signing was supposed to last for several hours and I stayed only for about one.

From what I could gather ‘Niceness In The '90s’ is a behind-the scenes-look at the grunge music phenomenon, rising in the 90s and then almost disappearing. The memoir-style book narrates the author’s life as a touring guitarist and songwriter for bands like Black Angel’s Death Song and Trash Can School, from 1985 to 1996, rubbing shoulders with many west coast famous musicians such as Jane's Addiction (and explaining how Perry Farrell formed the band and who Jane is), L7, Hole, Tad, Rock For Choice, and of course Nirvana/Kurt Cobain. Miller kept his notes during all these years, saved photos and videos and had the idea of writing a book for a long time.

When he moved back to LA, after living for a while in Portland, Miller became a promoter for the legendary downtown LA dive, Al’s Bar, then he lost his job when the bar closed but found another job that gave him the time and the money to write this book.

In an interview to, Miller talked about the moment when he first realized the enormous success of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain's iconic figure status:
‘It was at the Rock for Choice show at the Palace in October of 1991 I realized Nirvana was becoming a huge band. As far as Kurt becoming an icon, it was probably his untimely, tragic death that sealed his fate as an eternal rock icon.

"Regarding Nirvana’s quick rise, I attribute three things to it – the right song, the right time, and the right face to sell it. In the book I spend some time with the reaction that young women generally had to Kurt. Also, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was the culmination of everything that had been bubbling around in the underground scene for years (punk, alternative, grunge, etc) – but expressed by the three youthful, energetic members of Nirvana. In retrospect it seems a no-brainer, doesn’t it? So why did no one until October of 1991 even realize it? I guess hindsight is 20/20, right?"

This book should obviously interest any grunge fans, and since 2011 is the twentieth anniversary of the release of Nirvana's ‘Nevermind’, it’s perfect timing.


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