UT’s Bell Tells the Guardian How Cities Shape Music Scenes

Tom Bell weighed in on the grunge scene in the Pacific Northwest during the 80s. The United Kingdom-based Guardian highlighted his expertise on the geography of American popular culture when taking into account the boom of 80s garage bands.

Musicologists still wonder why the grunge scene in particular coalesced in the Pacific Northwest during the time period of “the garages of grunge.” Several factors are taken into account, such as the notably rainy weather in that region that would’ve kept bands indoors, but Bell attributes it to a culture of innovation and experimentation during that time.

Bell is professor emeritus in the Department of Geography.