From The Desk Of Everett True: Kurt Cobain

My name is Everett True. I released the first record on Creation Records (My Bloody Valentine, Jesus And Mary Chain, Oasis, Pastels). I was the first music critic to write about Sub Pop Records. I founded two self-published magazines in the 2000s—Careless Talks Costs Lives and Plan B Magazine. Entertainment Weekly reckoned I was “the man who invented grunge” (1992). Kurt Cobain called me the “biggest rock star critic in the world” (check the video). Jonathan Donahue called me “our generation’s Lester Bangs,” but frankly I’m better than that.

I have written several books, a couple of which are still in print (Ramones, Nirvana).

The Electrical Storm (illustrations by reclusive French genius Vincent Vanoli is a collection of stories from my life, Some of the names have been omitted to keep me from having yet another target on my head (the list is legion), but in some of the cases if you think about it enough you can put together the clues of who the story is about. I started out by doing my own fanzine, and have long been a proponent of DIY culture. Hence this crowd-funding enterprise: an attempt to raise enough money to publish my memoirs, which come as a collection of short stories in the style of William Saroyan.

If you like this story, imagine another 100 or so of them, and donate at the link below to help get this book published.

Otherwise known as Grunge: My Part In Its Downfall, being 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.


Seattle, 1994
I’m walking through an airport, a bag of vinyl records under my arm.

I’m watching the lights sparkle and twinkle over the city of Seattle—my favourite sight in the world—as tears crease down my face, and I’m wishing I was anywhere but here.

I’m in a hotel room, incoherent rage coursing through me and just as rapidly dying away again. I make a great show of pouring the remains of my whiskey bottle down the sink, but it’s meaningless. “Have you heard the news,” cipher after cipher asks me on the phone. “Have you heard the news?” Oh, is the news important then, all of a sudden?

I’m dully asking the check-in desk whether they have any cheaper flight tickets because I have to get some place, and I have to get there now. They find me cheaper flight tickets, half price death special.

I’m talking to my friend Eric on the telephone. He’s in L.A., and I’m in Ohio, and he’s telling me that he and his party want to meet me at the residence. Need to meet me at the residence. I want to know what to do and he’s telling me that I should go there. Now. I want to know what to do, and in the background behind his airport pay phone I can hear a babble of voices, many raised. He says he’ll send a limousine for me. He says that’s what will happen. I want to know what will happen. He says he’ll send a car for me. He’s in L.A. and I’m in Cincinnati. We don’t talk about it.

I’m walking through the airport to the departure lounge and Steve’s taken my records from me and I have nothing with me, no hand baggage, just a passport and an old pair of jeans.

I’m in Mark’s apartment and I’m looking at my jeans and saying something about how maybe neither of us care—and he certainly wouldn’t have given a damn—but it feels disrespectful. It’s not raining outside. It’s fucking beautiful and Mark says something about that, how weather changes moods. I cut my toenail badly, clipping it with an unfamiliar tool. It starts to bleed. The TV is on momentarily. Loads of sheep in a field. We switch it off.

I’m on the plane and Seattle is twinkling and I want to stay circling the city forever. I think of all the people who’ve met me in Arrivals over the years. No friends are meeting me today, just a chauffeur who refrains from talking. The first time I landed in SeaTac it was snowing so thickly we couldn’t see the ground until the wheels hit the tarmac and even then we couldn’t see the ground. The tears spiral around my face, dried on there by the years. I’m on an airplane going nowhere. I have nothing to listen to.

I’m in a limousine and there seems to be some kind of roadblock up ahead, a scrimmage of reporters and police officers. We’ll never get through that. We’ll have to go round, won’t we? The driver turns round and looks at me, almost for the first time. “That’s our destination, buddy.”

I’m up in a bedroom and people are crying.

I’m standing by a winding staircase, and people are crying and shouting.

I’m hugging myself. I’m talking on the telephone to my mother, wondering how she’s managed to track me down to a telephone booth in an American airport. I’m missing my lost friends, badly.

I’m in a corner, and the opposing factions try and talk to me. I have nothing to say, no bag of records to show everyone to enthuse them with, to make them laugh or something. I have no stories or funny vomiting acts. Mark comes over, and says nothing.

I’m in a hotel bathroom, watching the remains of the bottle disappear down the sink.

I’m standing outside a fast food joint, looking at the sun.

I’m wondering if anyone’s ever going to want to listen to stories again.

You can help crowdfund and order advance copies of the book here.

You can find out more information about the book company here (includes the now-legendary first volume of 101 Albums You Should Die Before You Hear).