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How Jason Everman Went From Getting Kicked Out Of Nirvana And Soundgarden To U.S. War Hero

By / 07.02.13

Jason Everman

Jason Everman holds a very important distinction in music history: he was kicked out of two bands that have sold over 20 million albums worldwide. In that sense, he’s like both halves of Arnie Hammer’s Winklevoss brothers in The Social Network (except not a literally gigantic douche) or, as the New York Times succinctly put it in a profile, he’s Pete Best times two.

With Nirvana, Everman played guitar, but not on Bleach; only tour dates throughout 1989. That same year, he bounced (not his choice) from Kurt Cobain to Chris Cornell, and joined Soundgarden as a replacement bassist for Hiro Yamamoto on their Loudest Love EP. He was fired soon after.

So what’s a would-be millionaire musician to do? Join the Army.

Jason played with other bands, eventually joining one called Mindfunk. He actually had success with it, moving with the band to San Francisco, but something was still not right. Then in the midst of all the confusion in his life, he came to the realization that he had to make a change. He knew he didn’t just want to be a guy in his 15th band, the guy talking about his time in Nirvana and Soundgarden 20 years later. He wanted to do something, he said, something impossible. “I was in the cool bands,” he told me in the cabin. “I was psyched to do the most uncool thing you could possibly do.”

So in 1993, while living in a group house in San Francisco with the guys in Mindfunk, Everman slipped out to meet with recruiters; the Army offered a fast track to becoming a Ranger and perhaps eventually to the Special Forces. He told me he always had an interest in it. His stepfather was in the Navy; both grandfathers were ex-military. Most of the people he grew up with scoffed at that world, which was part of the appeal to him. Novoselic remembered something Everman said way back in the Olympia days. “He was just pondering. He asked me, ‘Do you ever think about what it’d be like to be in the military and go through that experience?’ And I was just like…no.”

Everman started waking up early while his bandmates slept in; he went biking, swimming, got in shape. One day, with zero warning, he resigned. He put all of his stuff in storage. He took a flight to New York and went to an Army recruiting office in Manhattan. A couple of weeks later he was on a flight to Georgia. “Was I nervous?” he asked. “I was a little nervous. But I knew.” (Via)

Read the rest of the story here — except for you, Pete Best. Too many bad memories.

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TAGSJASON EVERMANNIRVANAsoundgardenSPECIAL FORCESU.S. Army

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