Friday, 25 May 2012 8:28 AM
Any music fan worth their salt knows the important role Seattle has played in their favourite pastime, from being the city where Jimi Hendrix jammed when he was a young man, to the place where grunge originated from. By booking a small group tour of the city, you can learn more.
Read on for the ultimate music-lover's guide to the city.
The early days
Seattle has been rocking for many decades now and has a proud musical history dating back to the early part of the 20th century. During this time, there were numerous dancehalls where young people would head to hear the latest tunes and dance into the small hours.
One of the most famous was the Savoy Ballroom, where Ray Charles used to play before he was famous. Years later, the venue became the Birdland Supper Club dancehall, where another icon was to play before he achieved legendary status. Jimi Hendrix would later be seen by many as the man who brought rock to the masses, but before all this he was known to come to the Birdland just to jam.
Of course, no one thinks of Seattle without thinking of grunge and this is largely agreed to be the birthplace of the genre thanks to Nirvana and other bands to originate from the city, including Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.
The nearby city of Aberdeen where Nirvana's founding members Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic hailed from has a sign dedicated to the late lead singer, which reads Come As You Are - the title of one of the band's most famous songs. While you may not have time in your schedule to check this out, you can visit some of the venues where they and other important grunge acts played in the 1980s and 90s.
Crocodile Club is probably the most famous, as Nirvana, Mudhoney and Pearl Jam all played here. This is just the tip of the iceberg though, as REM, Beastie Boys, Death Cab For Cutie and Yoko Ono have also performed at the venue, which is now known as The Crocodile.
One thing many of the grunge bands shared was their record label, Sub Pop. The brand received worldwide recognition for signing many of the most important artists in the genre, including Nirvana, Mudhoney and Soundgarden.
Since then it has represented everyone from The Postal Service and The Shins to comedy duo Flight of the Concords - the latter of which provided the label with one of its two platinum albums, the other being Bleach by Nirvana.
To learn more about your favourite bands it's worth making time for a visit to Seattle's EMP Museum. This attraction isn't only dedicated to music but all facets of pop culture so it's a great place to come if you love TV, comics and movies as well.
Of course, some of the best exhibitions are musical in nature, like the Guitar Gallery which celebrates some of the innovators in guitar amplification, such as Orville Gibson, Leo Fender and Les Paul. This is also the place for Hendrix fans to come as they can learn more about the legend at a special exhibition dedicated to his short life.
In addition to the permanent displays, there are also temporary exhibitions to browse and one that should prove popular is Nirvana: Taking Punk To The Masses. Until April 2013, you will be able to check out the largest collection of memorabilia associated with the band in the world.
Seattle is not only famous for its musical heritage, but plenty more too, so if you're a fan of pop culture you'll certainly be kept busy. The television series Frasier was set here, while Stephenie Meyer referenced the city in the third book of her Twilight saga, Eclipse. This was where dozens of teenagers were transformed into vampires in order to create an army to attack the Cullen family in nearby Forks.
You may also recognise some of the sights you pass from your favourite films, with the Fremont Troll under the Aurora Bridge appearing in 10 Things I Hate About You, which starred the late Heath Ledger. Other movies to be shot in the city include An Officer and a Gentleman, Singles, The Fabulous Baker Boys and - of course - Sleepless In Seattle.
Once your time indulging in pop culture comes to an end, treat yourself to one last stop - at the original Starbucks coffee shop in Pike Place Market.