A feature article published last week in the New York Times tells the story of Jason Everman, who went from being a member of both Nirvana and Soundgarden to becoming a member of the U.S. Special Forces who participated in missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places. The 45-year-old Everman recounts in the profile how he was born in Alaska, moved to Washington state with his mother, and eventually found his way into the Seattle music scene.
Everman joined Nirvana in the mid-'80s, before the band became successful, and was second guitarist on some early tours. Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic recalled, "We had some great shows with Jason. But then things went south really fast." According to the story, "a cloud formed over Jason, an impenetrable inwardness that just hung there. They say he wouldn't talk to anyone, completely removing himself from the circle."
Everman had the same experience with Soundgarden, with whom he played bass for about a year before being replaced by Ben Shepherd. Guitarist Kim Thayil recalled thinking, "We're not behaving like a band. I'm not happy. No one here is happy. No one's talking to each other."
- Soundgarden's road manager, Eric Johnson, said, "He was funny and witty, and then a cloud would come over him. He would sit in the bus and be really mad with his headphones on all the time."
- A few years later in 1993, Everman met with U.S. Army recruiters and was offered a fast track to becoming a Ranger, with the ultimate goal of becoming an elite member of the Special Forces.
- A decorated member of the Special Forces until he retired in 2006, Everman participated in drug war actions in Latin America and anti-piracy missions in Asia, in addition to his stints in two wars.
- He explained his attraction to the military by saying, "The bond of locking shields with each other, working together to defeat a common enemy, it's a heightened state . . . I knew this was it. This is living."
- Having recently earned his Bachelor's Degree in philosophy from Columbia, Everman currently lives in Washington state again.
CHECK IT OUT: Read the entire profile and see photos of Everman then and now athttp://tinyurl.com/nm3tbox
WHAT DO YOU THINK??
- Have you or anyone you've ever known completely changed their lives, careers, goals just like that?
- Was Everman courageous or crazy to give up being a musician to join the military?
INTERNET COMMENTS at The New York Times -- agree or not?
LeeGravenhurst wrote: "It is a sad commentary that so many posters want to see this man's story be made into a Hollywood movie. Will seeing it commodified help them understand this moody ex-bass player better?"
BryanKnoxville wrote: "Great story about a fascinating guy."
Jim M. wrote: "It shows how screwed up American Pop Culture can be when Courtney Love is reported on a millions times more than Jason Everman."
maxnyc wrote: "Awesome story....sounds like a throwback to a man from another century."
Read more at Blabbermouth, Loudwire, Ultimate Classic Rock, Classic Rock and Noisecreep