Author Topic: Almost a Rock Star - Turned War Hero  (Read 1591 times)

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Offline bayonetbrant

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Almost a Rock Star - Turned War Hero
« on: July 02, 2013, 06:22:41 PM »
Dude got kicked out of both Nirvana and Soundgarden, so he joined the Army and became a decorated SF guy who has GEN McChrystal writing reference letters for him.

I’ve known Jason Everman since we played rock shows together nearly 25 years ago. What happened to him was almost inexplicable, a cruel combination of good luck, bad luck and the kind of disappointment that would have overwhelmed me even at my most brashly defiant. After having not seen him since the early ’90s, I ended up hanging out with him in his apartment in Brooklyn last summer. We had drinks, retraced steps. We once were in the same place in our lives. But mine had since quietly transitioned from rock to parenthood. My changes were glacial. His were violent.

None of it is easy for him to talk about. Jason is one of the most guarded people I have ever met. But when I pulled up to his remote A-frame cabin near Puget Sound last winter, there he was, a sturdy, tall figure in a Black Flag sweatshirt holding a glass of red wine. This was his private place, and he was letting me into it.

Books and action figures covered one wall. Guitars and drums were scattered on the floor. But the far wall almost looked like a memorial: medals, artifacts, war photos. I took it all in, asking about a hand-decorated gun on the fireplace. “That’s how the Taliban trick out their weapons,” he said. Then I picked up his Army helmet. It seemed heavy to me. “Dude, that’s light,” he said. “That’s state of the art.” It had his blood type still written on the side: O positive.

The first time I met Everman was also the first time I ever stepped foot on a tour bus. It was 1989, which was a confusing time to be in a rock band. My band, Bullet LaVolta, had been on tour with the Seattle group we admired most, Mudhoney. They were role models to us. They didn’t just have a sense of the punk-rock rules of the day; they pretty much set them. Just as it does now, the grown-up economy seemed to have little use for 20-somethings like us. The mainstream music business didn’t, either. Our kind of punk rock was all about creating your own place, doing music for its own sake, usually the opposite of what was popular. If you wanted to “make it,” you played pandering cheese-metal like Warrant or Slaughter, the bands on MTV. They were bad. We were good. It was all so cut and dried.

The next-to-last show of our Mudhoney tour was in Chicago, where both bands were to open for Soundgarden at the Cabaret Metro, the biggest venue of the trip. Soundgarden was a much bigger deal in music circles than Nirvana at the time. As crazy as this may sound, Nirvana was a joke to all of us — a generic grunge band with a terrible name. Soundgarden had signed a big contract with A&M Records. People in the music business believed it was the one band that would break through. We didn’t know what to think. We were threatened, jealous, judgmental. As Dan Peters, Mudhoney’s drummer, remembered: “We were both showing up in vans, and they had a big old bus. It was weird.”

Soundgarden was the most professional rock operation I’d ever seen. They had a full crew, the full major-label push and 16 different T-shirts for sale. They also happened to be exceedingly nice, inviting us onto their bus. When the doors hissed open, we dropped silent in awe. It had a minifridge. A card table with a faux marble base. It had a bathroom.

We made it past the bunks to the lounge. And there he was: Soundgarden’s bassist, Jason Everman. You couldn’t look more “rock dude” than he did: all that hair, the dour expression. It was an imposing energy to encounter in tubular mood lighting. And he was the first person I ever met with a nose ring. At the time, I read it as a flashing sign that said, “I will have unbearable attitude.” But he didn’t at all. In fact, he was smart and had a dry wit. He offered me Funyuns.



so much more at the link it's incredible
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Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Almost a Rock Star - Turned War Hero
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2013, 06:55:33 PM »
Damn, you couldn't make that shtuff up if you tried. When it comes to real people, labels are only good for clothing.
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Offline TheCommandTent

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Re: Almost a Rock Star - Turned War Hero
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 07:12:58 PM »
Great article thanks for sharing it.
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Offline Martok

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Re: Almost a Rock Star - Turned War Hero
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 10:48:20 PM »
A truly fascinating read.  Wow. 

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