- AWARD WINNER! In September 2012, Rising Tides and Tailwinds was honored by the American Association of Port Authorities with their Award of Merit.
- AWARD WINNER! The National Association of Government Communicators announced in October 2012 that Rising Tides and Tailwinds has been honored with a Second Place Award.
- Steven Beda, H-Environment: “Rising Tides and Tailwinds is the best sort of local history: it is attentive to large historical changes but does not lose sight of the personalities and smaller stories that make local histories informative and fun to read … overall, this is an excellent book that a diversity of readers will find valuable. The book’s narrative is clearly presented and the writing is lively. This, along with the beautiful pictures, makes the book accessible even to those unfamiliar with Seattle’s history. At the same time, [the authors] reveal many new dimensions of Seattle’s history that even readers already familiar with the Pacific Northwest’s past will appreciate.”
- City Living: “Rising Tides features plenty of colorful actors, from fiery longshore-union leader Harry Bridges to railroad mogul James J. Hill. The Port of Seattle, one realizes, hasn’t always been about buttoned-down port commissioners and wedding-cake cruise ships dominating the waterfront. This is Seattle history from another angle.”
NOW AVAILABLE / CLICK HERE!
NOW AVAILABLE / CLICK HERE!
- AWARD WINNER! On April 27, 2010, Sonic Boom was honored by the Association of King County Historical Organizations (AKCHO) with their Virginia Marie Folkins Award, which is presented annually to the author of an "outstanding historical publication."
- AWARD WINNER! The Association for Recorded Sound Collections announced in October 2010 that Sonic Boom has been honored with a Certificate of Merit in their "Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research in Rock and Popular Music" category.
- Seattle Public Libraries: "STAFF PICK: This fast-paced trip through local rock history traces the genre’s origins in the Central District’s jazz clubs, follows its development within the 1960s teen dance scene and culminates with the grunge explosion of the 1990s. Even if you don’t care about the tunes or the bands, this volume is a unique pop culture exploration of the Pacific Northwest, as the author incorporates a multitude of behind-the-scenes players, forgotten nightclubs, long-gone radio stations and more."
- Seattle Metropolitan: "Sonic Boom reclaims our region’s dominance in rock annals and cements Blecha’s reputation as its foremost historian."
- Expressmilwaukee.com: "Sonic Boom will remain as the source book for anyone interested in the rock of the Pacific Northwest."
- Record Collector: "...monstrously well-researched... Blecha’s unswerving eye is pretty hard to beat...Sonic Boom is the only story to date on this fertile musical region. More fool the person who tries to write a better one."
- ink19.com: "...fascinating, highly readable...Blecha has written a definitive musical history of the region."
- popmatters.com: "...incredibly engrossing. ..Sonic Boom does a commendable service to the musical history and the sonic identity of the area and its artists."
- popsyndicate.com: "...an excellent and informative look at the birth of a music scene...Blecha knows his regional music history...an easy and enticing read."
- Seattle Sound: "...an often surprising and entirely enlightening exploration of Northwest rock history... thanks to Blecha, the rollicking musical past of this corner of the country won't quietly disappear... the stories are skillfully compiled and thankfully told..."
- blogcritics.com: "...one hell of a story. ...Blecha does not spend a whole lot of time on the Grunge days, which is fine. There has been so much discussion of that period, it really is not necessary here. His research into the early Rock N' Roll days of Seattle is riveting, ...and makes great reading for any music fan."
- DustyGroove: "The book wisely gives its strongest focus to the 60s – with a wealth of information on the local scenes and small labels who really brought the Northwest sound to the rest of the world – then follows with a bit more on the 70s and 80s, as well as the 90s wave of punk and grunge."
- Historylink.org: "...a breakthrough book...Blecha expertly weaves quotes into his text, bringing the Northwest rock scene to life through the stories of those who created it... Sonic Boom spends most of its pages covering the 1950s and 1960s, which is needed since that period has largely been glossed over or ignored in the few previous books on Northwest rock. Certainly it has never been told this well and the combination of solid information and Blecha’s superb writing skills make this an important book."
- Blurt: "Blecha strikes a winning balance through a mixture of scrupulous research and genuine passion for his subject."
- Ugly Things: "Blecha does a masterful job...Sonic Boom is well written, meticulously researched, and loaded with quotes from interviews conducted by Blecha himself. It is sure to satisfy UT readers."
- Jerseybeat.com: "...written exactly the way a book, or a song should be written - I felt like I was there experiencing the clubs, the bands, and the whole scene throughout the years. ...it was hard putting it down, and I practically dog-eared every page for reference points."
- Allan Handelman, Rock Talk radio host: "The Northwest musical influence on the entire rock culture has been overlooked for way too long. This is a great book for anybody who loves Rock 'n' Roll and its hidden history."
- Booklist: "Blecha lovingly limns the history of rock music in Seattle and the northwestern U.S. ...and the predominant celebratory tone can be infectious."
- Vintage Guitar: "...highly readable...above all, it establishes the region's long and storied musical past..."
- Crawdaddy: "Although I’ve become good at judging books by their covers, I’m misled by Sonic Boom...You’d expect grunge...but I’m happily misled, since...a new book on the subject is unnecessary. Blecha sheds new light on the early developments of rock ‘n’ roll. Sonic Boom is a labor of love. Every detail has been painstakingly researched over two decades through hundreds of interviews...authoritative..."
- antimusic.com: "a fun read and also a great reference tool for those interested in music history...extremely well researched and devoted to detail..."
- Puget Sound Business Journal: "Blecha’s angle is different. He pens the story from behind the scenes of the early radio stations, recording studios and record labels."
- CMJ: "The deep rock 'n' roll history of the Northwest has finally been fully chronicled so grab your favorite flannel shirt and find the nearest Starbucks to sit down in and soak up the Sonic Boom."
- curledup.com: "Finally...this puts it all in perspective for those who thought Oregon and Washington were little more than places with a lot of rain."
- Tom Dyer, President, Argosy University: "The NW Gospel according to St. Peter - To begin, this is, plain and simple, a highly enjoyable read...Blecha's latest stands up with Charles Cross' Hendrix bio as NW canon. Buy it. Enjoy. I did."
- Gibson.com: "Seattle’s unofficial curator of rock ’n’ roll charts the evolution of Northwest rock—specifically the era book-ended by those two unmistakable riffs—as told by the musicians, fans, promoters, scenesters, and label heads who lived it."
- unitedmonkee.com: "...amazing...this book really educated me on an era of rock and roll that I was mostly unfamiliar with and, better yet, an entire subgenre of music I didn't know...fascinating..."
- King Dinösaur: "If you thought that the Northwest only spawned 'grunge' and...had its musical peak in the 90's then you seriously need to read this book. ...a fascinating look at a long and illustrious musical heritage. ...READ THIS AMAZING BOOK!!!"
- The Louie Report: "an exceptional book. It’s the most comprehensive book of its kind, documenting an important part of rock and roll musical history that had been ignored for too long. From Jackson Street Jazz of the 1940s to the Grunge Revolution of the 1990s heard around the world, this book provides a great overview of a rich musical heritage. For those that want to learn about the history of Northwest rock and roll, this is an essential reference book."
- Jet City Blues: "This is a great read, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the history of Northwest rock and roll."
- Priscilla Long (HistoryLink editor): "What is
forgotten is erased, as if it had never been. A people can be forgotten — erased
from history. A culture, which is the soul of a people, can be deleted. And
this was the case with Northwest rock music — in many ways the soul of our
African American community — before Peter Blecha's book, Sonic Boom. August tomes such as the Encyclopedia Britannica and others dismissed the rich, vibrant, vastly
influential history of Northwest rock in one line: 'not much happened.'…Blecha's
book alters that perception forever. It is a dense, detailed, articulate, and
brilliant account of the music, the musicians, the scene, the culture, and
importantly, the infrastructure to support all this."
- Seattle Weekly (Brian Miller): "...the jacket flap of Sonic Boom informs us that, 'Pete Blecha was crowned Seattle's unofficial curator of rock 'n' roll by Seattle Weekly.' Really? I can't find that reference..."
- Pat Lee @ Oyster Bay Archives: "Short review: Stunning achievement."
- Nardwuar: "In my Top-5 for 2009"
- NortonRecords.com: "...get ready for a wild ride..."
- easystreetonline.com: "MAY -- Book of the Month"
- University Book Store: "Staff Pick!"
- genestout.com: "...the book that needed to be written..."
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer [3/17/09]: "...fascinating..."
NOW AVAILABLE / CLICK HERE!
- Seattle Times: “Blecha's book begins in a time we don't know much about and ends in an era we thought we knew everything about...even the most addicted of local music junkies will have never before seen the vast majority of the photos”
- Vintage Guitar: "Seattle is certainly known for its contributions...but the entire Pacific Northwest region has a serious musical history that has never been told until now."
- Seattle Sound: “...a fascinating glimpse at the music culture of a city steeped in song...a 101 textbook on Northwest Music History.”
- Sno-Isle Libraries: "...a slice of history packed with great photographs and illustrations. From forgotten string bands to Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana, this is a concise musical snapshot, with generous shout-outs to smaller, less successful bands."
- Record Collector: "To outsiders, the success of Seattle-area bands in the early 90s seemed to come out of nowhere...[this book] reveals the roots of the region’s music scene. A fun and informative overview of the region. Five Stars!"
NOW AVAILABLE / CLICK HERE!
- New York Press: “Peter Blecha has written the first comprehensive history of music censorship.”
- Riverfront Times: "Taboo Tunes is a compendium of teenage rebellion and adult fear; it's a great read.”
- NPR All Songs Considered: "Taboo Tunes is about the power of music and the authorities who seek to control it.”
- Nighttimes.com: "This book is an important piece of musical scholarship peppered with a wry wit and perceptiveness that demands attention."
- San Francisco Chronicle: "Taboo Tunes romps through centuries of public outrage over music of every sort, from bawdy tavern ditties to gritty hip-hop.”
- North Bay Bohemian: “Taboo Tunes reads like an essential primer for a Culture Wars 101 course. Blecha does a good job of exposing the morality police as they continue their self-righteous attacks.”
- San Francisco Bay Guardian: "Taboo Tunes offers a studious yet highly entertaining reminder that the relationships among art, commerce, morality, and free speech are forever being renegotiated, often without our consent. Blecha's escalating outrage is refreshingly partisan, and many morsels throughout Taboo Tunes are revelatory.”
- Allan Handelman, Rock Talk radio: "Blecha has tapped into the magic of Rock N' Roll folklore. ...Taboo Tunes is a must-read for music lovers, pop culture historians and government watchdogs...this book is compelling.”
- New Times Broward-Palm Beach: “Taboo Tunes is an amazing and witty history of lawmen and moral busybodies with too much time on their hands.”
- DIW: “Armed with two decades of research and a commendable agenda, Blecha brings us Taboo Tunes, his new user-friendly tome that chronicles and comments on the censorship of popular musicians and their creations.”
- Shredding Paper: “...an engaging and informative read about musical censorship and hopefully one that'll encourage folks to fight for their respective music of choice next time it comes under attack.”
- AM New York City: "Like Howard Zinn's seminal A People's History of the United States, Blecha's book is a study of the edges of sanctioned culture. ...The histories are immensely valuable, especially in the current climate, where censorship in the mainstream often results in absurdly Victorian modesty.”
NOW AVAILABLE / CLICK HERE!
- Scram Magazine: "Seattle's best-known collector tells all... entertaining memoir will ring the chimes of readers who have squirreled away life's musical reminders."
- Midwest Book Review: "A lively blend of music history and first-person adventure, in the search for elusive music memorabilia...an inviting, fun read."
- Three Imaginary Girls: "Blecha is one of us, a mad collector of sounds and secret histories..."
- Cincinnati CityBeat: "Blecha shares his true-life adventures as an Indiana Jones in search of pop culture antiquities."
- twistandshout.com: "A music collector with many tales to tell. Delight in his adventures, marvel at his fearless tracking of artifacts..."
- Nashvillecitypaper.com: "Blecha describes his adventures in collecting with blend of humor, amazement and understatement, fully conveying his love for music..."
- Art Blog News: "Blecha's slim paperback has an unassuming black cover, but for rock 'n' roll buffs, it's a great read."
- Music Connection: "Blecha explains the joys and frustrations of collecting, and the importance of preserving pieces of music history..."
- China Standard: "...memoir offers anecdotes about the high-rolling world of rock memorabilia auctions and flea-market crawls that sometimes unearth historical wonders."
- Seattle Magazine: "DIG THIS TALE ...Blecha weaves his own life story...in with candid recollections of his adventures scouring the planet."
- The Oregonian: "Blecha searched through garages, auction catalogues and on eBay to acquire the most significant music memorabilia in recent history."
- King County Libraries: Blecha is "the NW's reigning guru on all things musical."
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "Blecha deserves a place in Northwest music history for his important role in preserving its history and promoting its legacy."
- KirkusReviews.com: "Egregiously dull"