My name is Everett True. You probably do not know who I am, so I will attempt to introduce myself.
I released the first record on Creation Records, and then fell out heavily with the label’s founder Alan McGee – so heavily in fact that he was in denial for 30 years he even released a brace of records by me.
I was the first music critic to write about Sub Pop Records, and to this day do not understand why Tad and Dickless didn’t get to be the biggest bands on the planet. Entertainment Weekly reckoned I was “the man who discovered grunge” (1992) but, erm, that would imply that I lifted up a rock and there it was underneath, scuttling busy. Kurt Cobain once called me the “biggest rock star critic in the world”, but he was being sarcastic doubtless. Jonathan Donahue of Mercury Rev called me “our generation’s Lester Bangs,” but frankly I’m better than that.
I founded two self-published magazines in the 2000s — Careless Talks Costs Lives and Plan B Magazine. One sold enough to keep several of us off the dole (just) for several years, the other didn’t. Both were fantastic, mostly down to other contributors aside from me.
I have written several books, a couple of which are still in print (the ones on the Ramones and Nirvana).
The Electrical Storm (illustrations by reclusive French genius Vincent Vanoli) is a collection of stories from my life. A collection of short stories, with the names often omitted because I am intrigued as to whether they stand up without a famous name attached. If you think about them enough, mostly it is fairly obvious who they are about. I have long been a proponent of DIY culture and so, rather than going for the bright lights and big bucks, I am attempting to crowdfund the book via Indiegogo.
Otherwise known as Grunge: My Part In Its Downfall, it's an attempt to recollect a life probably best forgotten, the life of Everett True. Sad racy stories. Downbeat enthusiasm. Funny, cruel, clever, brutally honest … once you’ve read this, you will never be able to take music criticism seriously again. Like you ever did.
If you like the stories that Drowned in Sound are excerpting from the book, imagine another 100 or so, and donate to help get this book published.
I don’t know what she looks like.
This is crucial for what is to follow. I didn’t know what she looks like. For months, I’ve been struggling to understand the attraction of pop music. I have a Beatles songbook that I like to thump out chords from on my parents’ piano: hour after hour after hour. Repetition in the music and there ain’t no way I’ll lose it. I haven’t heard most of the original versions – The Beatles are frowned upon in my good Christian (high Church of England) household; not wrong precisely, just not any good. I like the melodies: they appeal to me the way melodies always do. The lyrics…well, the lyrics are bordering on misogynistic (or, at the very least, not understanding of women) and that appeals to my fucked-up, uncomprehending teenage self. But I don’t understand the appeal of pop music: while the cooler kids are knuckling down on a Thursday evening and a Saturday morning to the charts, I’m out helping with Cubs – not even aware that such things as ‘charts’ exist.
I look at pictures of punks in the Observer Sunday Supplement – Siouxsie Sioux and her mates in their suspender belts and scrawled-on Nazi symbols. (So wrong! So deliciously wrong!) This is another world. It has no relevance.
Then I hear this two-minute blast of pop sweetness blaring out my parents’ tinny transistor radio in the dining room – it’s kept there on the mantelpiece so we can listen to Thought For The Day and the cricket in summer, Douglas Adams plays and classical music – and I don’t know how to react. Bluntly, it is sex. Bluntly, it awakens a deep-rooted desire inside me that I don’t even know existed. The song is fantastic – all “oo-be-do’s” and bad French and laconic New York female insinuation, the drums a thunder of celebration and incoming sexual deviance. It is sex. Desire. Longing. Desire. I want to hear it again and again. Never stop listening. I want to own it. I want to possess it. I never – NEVER – want to let its ringing in my ears stop.
I can’t hear a bass line. I can’t hear guitars, or whatever they are. All I hear is the wanton promise in the voice, and the pounding, thundering drums…and I feel a thrill of excitement that starts way down in my chest and spreads and spreads and spreads.
To say I’ve never experienced anything like this before is an understatement.
It blows my world open.