BOOK EXCERPT: Never Critique Your Friends, by Everett True

everett true

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:
(Hey Ho Let’s Go: The Story of The Ramones, Nirvana: The Biography).

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.

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).


London, 1992

I called them out for being too easily manipulated by men.

The irony of it was that I was being manipulated by women; more specifically one woman, a friend and fellow critic. I was acting as a conduit. I often disparagingly referred to myself during the 1990s as a conduit, a cipher, a chameleon, a blank canvas…something for other people to paint their personality upon. I had a low opinion of myself sure, but is there not an element of truth in that? Many music journalists just go where they are pointed, where the trail of alcohol and free plane tickets leads…or maybe not many. Maybe just one.

So I called them out for being too easily manipulated: irony heaped upon irony. I was disappointed, had higher expectations. Wanted them to change the world, not just my drinking patterns. Weak. Wasn’t even my words or thoughts. I was trying to help kick start a feminist agenda that wasn’t mine. Should have said it to their faces anyway, they were mates. Good mates, as it happens: interlinked through fanzines and shared experience, me and Emma had a habit of turning of turning up at railway stations and just taking the first train leaving to its destination. Made jokes about bald heads. Tried to avoid the obvious. We were young. We ate raw bacon on the Underground during rush hour, laughing in the faces of grossed-out commuters.

“You only ever gave Miki a copy of your first single because you fancied her,” Emma would repeat to me, hurt. I wrote a song about her too, long before they formed the band. She seemed like the saddest person I knew. After I wrote the review, Miki responded by stating she’d like to place my balls in a vice and “squeeze it very slowly” in an end-of-year questionnaire. Fellow critics were scared of her acerbic tongue but…well, I knew them.

All I was trying to prove was that my words on music could not be influenced by my friendships within music. Coward. Fool. All I was trying to point out was that the overt production did not tally with my vision of their music, changed their direction and ended their dalliance with “crappy Riot Grrrl anthems” effectively. Idiot.

We never spoke or drank together after that.

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1 Response »


  1. The Electrical Storm: Grunge, My Part In Its Downfall (Rejected Unknown) – The Recoup

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