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About

About

“Ever Heard the Story” is a captivating documentary that takes viewers on a journey through the birthplace of the iconic grunge sound that changed the face of music forever.

 

From the studio’s ambitious founders to the legendary albums that were recorded within its walls over the past 35 years, this film uncovers the untold stories and hidden gems of this historic studio and the artists who made it famous.

 

Featuring interviews with industry experts, exclusive footage, and never-before-seen archival material, this film offers a unique glimpse into the world of music that will leave audiences mesmerized and inspired.

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Director Statement

When I was thirteen years old, I remember my parents gave me my first CD player and a gift certificate to

Tower Records. It was the first time that I really felt a sense of freedom. I recall begging my father to drive

me to Tower Records immediately- on Christmas Eve- so that I could stare down the rows of cd’s and figure

out who I wanted to become. Living in the suburbs of New York City, I’d started to hear this new music they

were calling ‘grunge’.         

Like most kids my age, my introduction to Seattle and its flourishing music scene was Pearl Jam’s videos for

‘Alive’ and ‘Even Flow’ on MTV. Compared to Vanilla Ice and Paula Abdul, this new music felt like a much

needed punch in the face. It felt real. Authentic. And it wasn’t like any of the hair metal bands thrusting their

manes while glorifying sex and drug use. This felt different.

 

It’s probably obvious that Pearl Jam ‘Ten’ was the first CD I ever purchased, using that gift certificate from

my parents. But what I didn’t realize at the time was that that single purchase was going to drive my spirit

for decades to come.

 

First it was Pearl Jam and Nirvana that propelled me to explore deeper. I soon learned that there were dozens of other

bands from the same region, and they were all related. Temple of the Dog, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Mother Love Bone, Green River, Mudhoney, Mad Season… the more I discovered, the more they felt like an extension of my soul. The flood gates opened to a world of music that made me feel… something. I felt their pain and disillusionment, but I also felt love and great compassion for their community. It was complicated, yet completely basic human emotion at a time when it didn’t feel like we were supposed to feel anything.

 

I spent the formative years of my youth following these bands. When I was 18, I remember sneaking into New York City to attend the Home Alive Benefit show at the Westbeth Theater because I had heard a rumor that Pearl Jam and/or Soundgarden were going to show up. They didn’t, but thanks to that rumor, I was introduced to even more new music and people I would not have otherwise known. One of the bands, the Bush Tetras even pulled me up on stage to sing background vocals on their song ‘Too Many Creeps’ (and backstage to shoot some tequila). I showed up with the goal of seeing Pearl Jam and left with a sense of community and a better understanding as to what that whole movement was about. As a 'white boy' from the suburbs, this was my first experience with advocacy.

 

I finally had an opportunity to visit Seattle for the first time in 2018; a trip that changed my life. That was when I discovered that not only were all of these amazing bands connected in the Seattle music scene, but most of them spent their earliest days recording their first albums in one place: London Bridge Studio.

 

After Googling something mundane like ‘grunge music tours in Seattle,’ I was brought to London Bridge, and immediately convinced my wife and her friend to leave our kids behind and take the tour. “Where the hell are you taking us,” I recall hearing in the Lyft ride up to Shoreline. But to me, it was like the studio was calling. Just walking in the door (once we found the entrance) gave me immediate chills, and a memory that will last a lifetime.   

 

Flash forward to the worst year of our lifetimes, 2020. The pandemic was in full swing, life now had  a ‘new normal’ that was far inferior to the ‘old normal’ we all knew so well. I fell into a pretty bad depression and started to think about the literal end of the world.

 

That’s when I was reminded of my teenage years, and the last time I had felt pretty hopeless. It led me to revisit all of the music- music that I never consciously left, but just sort of crammed into  decades of other music discoveries. This time, my “adultness” drew me to actually read up on that era.

 

Over the coming months, I tore through every book about ‘grunge’ I could get my hands on. I read biographies of Pearl Jam, Chris Cornell, Nirvana. I read the epic ‘Grunge is Dead’ and ‘Everybody Loves Our Town’. I even rewatched ‘Singles’ and ‘Hype!’ and re-listened to obscure bootlegs of ‘Self Pollution Radio’. A year of isolation led me down a serious path of ‘grunge’ research.

 

Many of the books and articles I read might mention Rick Parashar, or an album that was “recorded at a studio up in Shoreline.” But it was rare to see more than a blurb dedicated to a place that, to me, feels like an iconic institution that played a monumental role in an entire generation of rock history.

 

I originally came for the ‘grunge’, but soon discovered a much larger, decades-long tale of a professional recording studio that has very much matured alongside its current owners. There’s so much more to its story. London Bridge Studio, or 'the Bridge' as I’ve heard it called a number of times, certainly deserves a closer look in the form of feature length documentary (or even a full docu-series).

 

We all know how the ‘grunge’ era ended, but to me, the story at London Bridge Studio is one of youth, energy and creative prowess. All of these bands were in their infancy, yet recording some of their  greatest work to date. The focus of my film will be on the creative synergy and development of artists who didn’t realize what they were about to achieve. And in the greater context of the Studio itself, my goal is to bring its early vision full circle to show how such a level of formidable success so early on in its existence lead to overwhelming challenges, and eventually a rebirth exploring their roots of  working with young and breaking talent in support of the local community.

 

And while Grunge might be dead, the studio itself has lived on for decades, with many more stories of love, loss, heartbreak and inspiration. And much like that little boy standing in the aisles at Tower  Records, the Bridge has grown up and become a true pillar of the community.

                                                                       Thirty-three years after buying that first album, I’m now a middle-aged man with the                                                                                            weight of the world on my shoulders. I’m also living proof that this moment in rock history has had                                                                        a lifelong influence on millions of people. A teenage boy in the suburbs of New York City who felt                                                                          lost and alone until he discovered a group of aspiring musicians that harnessed similar emotions. I                                                                        am not alone, and there are  a lot of others like me, who would love to learn the storied history of                                                                            London Bridge Studio.

 

                                                                       And who knows… along the way, maybe they’ll be introduced to a new generation of up and coming                                                                        musicians using the studio to bridge their music to the mainstream.

                                                                                                                                                  Rock on,

                                                                                                                                              Jeremy Ambers

                                                                                                                                          Director, 'Ever Heard the Story'

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