Seattle Music Project | Part 2: The 1970s

In honor of the Seattle Music Project, a photo exhibit on display in our flagship Seattle store, we’ll be highlighting iconic Northwest musicians from the past five decades. Today: punk rock and Farrah hair. (Read our previous post on Seattle music in the ’60s here.)

Text below by Charles R. Cross, excerpted from the exhibit.

photo by Andy Norton, courtesy of Anita Lillig

“Rick Smith played in a number of late-’70s, early-’80s Seattle bands, including this band, The Girls. His ripped jeans and shirtlessness would have also squarely placed him ten years later in the world of grunge. It was a style that also owed much to Iggy Pop of the Stooges, who was often cited as a huge influence by many Seattle bands of the day.”


photo by Peter Barnes

“The Enemy were one of the first local punk bands in the late ’70s. Loud, fast, and deadly serious—the blood is real—they played to tiny audiences at clubs like the Gorilla Room. Following early pioneers like Ze Whiz Kidz, whose cross-dressing pre-dated the New York Dolls, many Seattle bands in the era emphasized an androgynous look that challenged sexual stereotypes in fashion and music.”


photos by Tim Orden

“Lips were typical of many bands on the Northwest tavern circuit in the early ’80s. They dressed provocatively with a heavy emphasis on cleavage, tight spandex pants, and hairspray. It was a look that owed much to television’s Charlie’s Angels. Meredith Brooks, later to score a hit in 1997, is the woman with the guitar in the photo above.”


photo by Jeff Burger

“Ann and Nancy Wilson were two of the first women to front a hard rock band, and pioneers of music and style. This cover shot from the Bebe Le Strange album captured Ann whispering a secret to Nancy, which gave the photo an intimacy rarely seen in rock.”


{A selection of music by Northwest bands in the ’70s}:


The Seattle Music Project is an exhibit of photos and ephemera commemorating five decades of Northwest music. Curated by renowned local photographer Lance Mercer, the exhibit resides in the Men’s Shop of our Downtown Seattle store, now through the end of October.

[Songs, clockwise from top left, courtesy of K Records, Capitol/Mushroom Records, Restless Records, and King Tut Records. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

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