Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mark Oliver Everett (The Eels) gets personal

Every once in awhile as I hopscotch across the interwebs a story will stop me dead in my tracks and hold me there until I finish the last word. Today the honor goes to Mark Oliver Everett, a.k.a. E, as in the mastermind behind alt-rock iconoclasts the Eels.

It's been widely known that Everett had a troubled childhood and lost his sister and mother to suicide and cancer in the late 90s, as he was working on albums like Novocaine For The Soul and Electro-Shock Blues. What I personally wasn't aware of is that Everett's father was a famous physicist who came up with the parallel worlds theory, which suggests that every decision made creates an alternate reality. Everett's relationship with this odd, brilliant and distant man, who died of a heart attack when Everett was 19, forms the backbone of his new biography Things the Grandchildren Should Know. He also sat for interviews for a Nova special on his father called Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives (check PBS for local airtimes in your area). Finally, don't miss the fascinating article that triggered this post, over on (surprise, surprise) USA Today.


MattT said...

The audiobook is read by his bandmate, The Chet, who read excerpts of it at the last set of concerts. I caught E on tour with The Chet at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, where he opened the show with the documentary. The show was outstanding, including some of the rockingest versions of great songs -- including a bit where The Chet on drums and E on keyboards switched places during the middle of the song, E rocked out a solo, and then they switched back in time to conclude the song. (I think this show beat out the last time he was in the area on the With Strings tour, although at that one I got to say hello to Mr Tom Waits outside the restroom, so it had its own little bit of charm!)

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know about a full story on E and his coming to terms with his awfully tragic past over at FLYP: