Everett True

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For the cartoon character, see The Outbursts of Everett True.

Everett True
Everett True.jpg
Everett True in 2007
Background information
Origin Chelmsford, Essex
Genres Rock
Years active 1982-present
Labels Thick Syrup Records

Everett True (born Jerry Thackray in 1961, has also written and recorded as The Legend!) is a British music journalist and musician, who grew up in Chelmsford, Essex. He became interested in rock music after hearing The Residents, and formed a band with school friends.

Personal life[edit]

In 1982, he went to a gig by The Laughing Apple and met the group's lead singer Alan McGee. According to McGee: "there used to be this guy who'd stand at the front of all the gigs and dance disjointedly". They became friends and when McGee started the Communication Blur club, he offered Thackray the role of compėre, stating that Thackray "was the most un-enigmatic, boring, kindest, shyest person you could ever meet - and it just appealed to my sense of humour to make him compère."[1] He was originally billed as "the legendary Jerry Thackray", eventually shortened to simply "The Legend".[1] McGee also offered him a column in his new fanzine, also called Communication Blur, but Thackray left after two issues, because he objected to McGee's proposal to put a flexidisc of The Smiths on the front cover. He instead started his own zine, The Legend!, under which name he recorded the single "73 in 83", the first to be released by McGee's Creation Records.[2] In 1984, he released a second single, "Legend Destroys the Blues", but his performing career did not take off. He puts this down to the fact that he "didn't like to perform a song more than once", although he has continued to make occasional appearances.[3]

In 1983, Thackray began working at the New Musical Express. In 1988, he was sacked from the paper, and instead took a job at its rival, Melody Maker. He was told to adopt a new pseudonym, as the "Legend!" name was too closely associated with the NME. He chose "Everett True", from the early twentieth century cartoon The Outbursts of Everett True.[4]

Within months, he was sent to Seattle to cover the emerging grunge scene. He helped to publicise the music and befriended many of the bands. In 1989, he performed guest vocals on a single with Calvin Johnson and Tobi Vail's band The Go Team as "The Legend!". In 1991, he introduced Kurt Cobain to Courtney Love at a Butthole Surfers and L7 gig. The three became close friends, and, in 1992, True wheeled Cobain on stage at the Reading Festival.[5][2] In 2006, True published Nirvana: The True Story, a book about his personal relationship with the band and the grunge scene.[6]

During his time on the weeklies, True became one of the UK's most controversial music journalists - some appreciated his enthusiastic tone, while others were bored and irritated by the narcissistic, self-serving nature of his work.

In the early 1990s, True lived in Brighton, UK with members of the band Huggy Bear, introduced them to the nascent Riot Grrrl movement in the United States and became one of the foremost proselytisers of riot grrrl in both countries.

Leaving MM in the late 1990s, he became editor of Vox, reverting on this occasion to his real name. It has been claimed that the band theaudience were formed after founder member Billy Reeves bet True £100 that he could form a band and get it signed.[7]

In 1998, True returned to Seattle, where he worked for a year as music editor for The Stranger[8] before heading for Australia, where he freelanced at Melbourne broadsheet, The Age. He also recorded an album under the name The Legend featuring well-known Hobart guitarist and personality Julian Teakle. Back again in the UK, he set up the magazine Careless Talk Costs Lives in 2002. Issues of this publication began at #12 and counted down, claiming that "we have set out to replace the decaying music press in Britain, so by issue zero we will either have achieved our objectives or given up trying".[9] By the twelfth issue (#1), it was clear that it would not achieve its ambitions, and True instead founded Plan B.

Between 2004 and 2009, True helped oversee Plan B alongside others, notably Frances Morgan, Chris Houghton and designer Andrew Clare. He has also contributed to many magazines and newspapers, and has written many books, including ones on The Ramones, The White Stripes and his latest, an account of his time with Nirvana. In 2008, he relocated with his family to Brisbane in Australia (where he now lives), apparently on a whim: "It was a nice day when we stepped off the plane," he told several interviewers. Up until the start of 2009, he wrote a weekly column for VillageVoice.com[10] and The Guardian - with the latter, entering into conflict with Australia's music street press.[11] There was also a fair amount of controversy over some unguarded remarks True made on Twitter with regard to the usage of Kurt Cobain's image in the new edition of Guitar Hero.[12][13] These led to immediate furious denials from Grohl and Novoselic.[14] Later Courtney Love denied she had that they had anything to do with the matter, but it was then revealed that Love had worked with Activision on crafting Cobain's look for the game.[15]

True currently contributes columns to Sweden's Go Magazine, NYC's Bust magazine,[16] the Something Awful website[17] and writes for various Australian online publications including Mess And Noise and The Vine. A more up-to-date biography has been posted at the website for Brisbane's 2010 Unconvention seminar.[18] True also fronts two Brisbane bands The Deadnotes and The Thin Kids,[19] the latter of which caused some controversy when they picked up a plum support to Kate Nash midway through 2010.[20] He is currently the main editor and writer for the Brisbane-based online magazine, Collapse Board.[21]

Discography[edit]

The Legend![edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "'73 in '83" (1983), Creation
  • "Destroys the Blues" (1984), Creation
  • "Talk Open (live)" (1984), Legend! (free flexi-disc given away with Legend! fanzine)
  • Everything's Coming Up Roses EP (1986), Vinyl Drip
  • "The Ballad" (1987), Constrictor
  • "Step Aside" (1988), Constrictor
  • "Breakfast In Bed" (1990), K Records (as guest vocalist with The Go Team)
  • "Do Nuts" (1991), Sub Pop
  • The Legend! Sings The Songs Of Daniel Treacy (2005), Unpopular

Albums[edit]

  • Some of us Still Burn (mini-LP) (1985), Vinyl Drip
  • Everett True Connection (2001), 3 Acre Floor

References[edit]