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The Cunninghams

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Once the dim light of grunge crashed into the reality of yet another musical revolution reduced to corporate clichés, Seattle started to unveil its pop side once again in the mid-‘90s, shortly after the death of Kurt Cobain. Indeed, Seattle has a deep catalog of rock artists who don't bellow or blow the amps with feedback and distortion. However, the men in black outshined that side of the Emerald City's music scene. That changed around 1995 when more upbeat, hook-oriented acts such as the Presidents of the U.S.A. and Super Deluxe exploded from the Puget Sound. One of the groups to emerge from post-grunge Seattle was immediately hailed as the Next Big Thing. But fate had something else in mind for the Cunninghams, a promising band that faded from view so quickly that even many Seattleites can't remember them. Formed by Seven Pearson (vocals), Scott Bickham (guitar), Eric Craig (guitar), Johnny Martin (bass), and Eliot Freed (drums) in 1995, the Cunninghams brought a touch of glam rock and Cheap Trick to the Pacific Northwest. Signed to the Los Angeles-based label Revolution Records in September 1996, the group was launched on a wave of hype, creating expectations too high for any artist to fulfill. In 1997, the band released their debut album Zeroed Out. The single "Bottle Rockets" became a moderate hit on the heavily influential Seattle alternative station KNDD in the summer of ‘97, but their little success didn't stretch beyond regional boundaries, and the industry moved on to yet another flavor of the month. After the group broke up, Pearson relocated to Los Angeles and started another band, Jimmy Girl. Despite having a charismatic stage presence, Pearson had no luck with them either, and he retired from the music business. In 2000, depressed by his failure to become a rock star, Pearson hanged himself.

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