Recent memoirs by Dean Wareham and Juliana Hatfield offer a glimpse into a musician’s life during the ’90s alt-rock boom and subsequent bust. What makes eels frontman Mark Oliver Everett’s book any different? A body count higher than a zombie movie, for starters. Everett’s journey from juvenile delinquent in suburban Virginia to lo-fi, low-level rock star in L.A. is littered with the deaths of his mother, sister, cousin, landlady, friends and father (the emotionally distant Hugh Everett III, a brilliant quantum physicist). This perpetual raincloud of tragedy makes Everett’s survival tale compelling even to non-fans, and his personal story arc dwarfs the overdramatized perils of stardom and pitfalls of the music business. []

—Matthew Fritch

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One Comment

  1. Robert Menzies
    Posted December 21, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    The Eels are my favourite group. Mark Oliver Everett is a brilliant songwriter and after reading his autobiography, it’s apparent he’s just a brilliant writer, period. This book, like his music, is the most beautiful sad stuff around…. only it has a lot more humour than most of his music…. something that comes out a bit more when you see him perform live. This was a very revealing, entertaining, ride, full of wonder and dogged persistance. I recommend it to fans of Kurt Vonnegut, or just fans of music.