I had a rough time growing up. My mother was severely mentally ill and addicted to alcohol. Alcohol changed her into a mean and nasty person. She said some things that I still can’t shake from my mind. Fortunately, my step-father came into the picture when I was still young. This made my life a little bit easier, but I was still what you may call neglected. After all, my step-father had to take care of my mother most of the time.
One day, during my senior year at an alternative high school in NJ, a friend started playing the radio during physical education. Father of Mine by Everclear was the song playing, and I was immediately hooked. It explained my life perfectly and I felt like Art Alexakis was singing right to me.
As time went on, I familiarized myself with Everclear’s earlier music, and even got into the cowpunk band, Colorfinger, that Art Alexakis led before Everclear existed. Every song resonated with me somehow, some way. Even songs like Heroin Girl that weren’t necessarily about my life circumstances, made me feel alive inside. I no longer self-injured like I used to; I listened to Everclear instead.
I should mention that during all of these years, I was not yet diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Looking back, I realize that Everclear was definitely my longest running Special Interest. Now I am so grateful for this because I might not even be alive if it weren’t for Everclear’s songs being “there for me” whenever I needed them.
One of Everclear’s rawest songs is called Fire Maple Song. It has lyrics that are riveting and Alexakis’ voice is so full of emotion it might make you cry.
Today I wrote a message to Art on Facebook. I doubt he’ll even have time to read it, but I wanted to let him know how grateful I am for Everclear’s music having got me through some of the most trying times in my life.