1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20
CHAPTER 6: “Solitude is where I’m bound”
Uncle Tupelo signs a major-label deal and records a brilliant album, Anodyne. The 1993 tour climaxes with a triumphant, sold-out concert in New York. "I remember coming back from that trip and thinking when we go back on the road next year, it's going to be great,” manager Tony Margherita says. “Everybody in the label felt that way, like we were on the cusp of something." But it wasn’t to be. The relationship between songwriters Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy was on the verge of collapse.
CHAPTER 7: “There was a time, that time is gone”
The inside scoop on Uncle Tupelo’s break-up and the band’s final shows in 1994, at Mississippi Nights in St. Louis. Afterward, Tweedy drives to his parent's house across the river in Belleville, sits down on the foot stool in the living room, and sobs.
CHAPTER 8: “It was like watching a prize fight”
Uncle Tupelo shatters into two bands --- Tweedy’s Wilco and Farrar’s Son Volt --- and gives rise to the alternative country movement. A new magazine, No Depression, emerges to chronicle its development, and deifies Tupelo in the process. Wilco’s A.M. and Son Volt’s Trace are released within months of each other in 1995, and are immediately pitted against each other in the minds of fans and critics. Meanwhile, a legion of labels and bands springs up flying the alt-country flannel.
“I want to thank you all for nothin’, nothin’ at all”
Wilco jumps into the unknown with the semi-improvised songs Tweedy and the band work on for Being There, unlike anything they’ve attempted before. With Jay Bennett joining Tweedy, John Stirratt, Ken Coomer and Max Johnston, Wilco nails its first great album.
CHAPTER 10: “A joyous fuck you”
The road after Being There is littered with triumphs and carnage. Tweedy writes the searing, introspective lyrics for Summerteeth as he spirals into depression. “It scared me to the point where I felt like I could wake up one day and read in the paper that Tweedy was gone,” says his friend, Gary Briggs, a Reprise executive at the time. Tweedy and Wilco create some of their greatest music, but at terrible cost.