Music memory no. 3 – Amphetamine

My brother has been busy with the posts, recently giving us the reflective Diva, Diva! here and the evocative Mr. Moon here. Mum has also gotten in on the act, which now brings her blog roster up to three. You are a greedy magpie 🙂

Please turn the volume right up for this one.

Amphetamine by Everclear

I know I was 13 when Everclear featured large in my life because I basically had a different group of friends for each year of high school, and when I see the star-spangled green Everclear CD I see myself interacting with particular girls.

Our group of friends went through a short-lived phase of bringing CDs to school to play to each other, an idea suggested by the closest-to-Indy member of our group. On one occasion I brought Jamiroquai’s Travelling Without Moving, which I believe was received quite well. In fact, I think it ended up on loan to two friends for a few weeks. On the next I brought Everclear’s Sparkle and Fade. Note: Both CDs were my brother’s, I remember slyly stealing them early in the morning before anyone else was up.

A couple of friends gave Sparkle & Fade a try. In bringing it as my offering to the pack I had felt both hesitant and eager. Crushes on the late Kurt Cobain and Daniel Johns may have been de rigueur, but at my all girls school that really was about the extent of my peers’ interest in rock. Yet I loved Everclear sooo much that I couldn’t help but feel excited to share them with others, as my brother had shared them with me.

The first girl A, listened to it earlier in the day and enthusiastically responded that they sounded really cool. She was a friendly, enthusiastic sort of person though, so it was hard to tell if it was approval or loyalty she was voicing. Later on, at lunchtime, I offered up my music to J as a bunch of us were exploring and generally loitering around the school hall, adolescent animals that we were. J put the earphones in as I cradled the shiny blue discman in my hands. I selected the songs for her: Oh, this one, and this one’s good too, oh oh and this one.* At the end of the ritual I looked at her. She took the earphones out and gave her verdict in something of a chirpy drawl: “Oh, they’re cute! They’re sort of like country-western punk, it’s like, quaint.”

Inside I was gobsmacked. Did she not listen to the lyrics? Did she not appreciate how perfectly the music fit with them? This was an example of perfection in music. And it was “quaint”?

“Mmmm,” I replied, “You know, they have a song on the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack.” “Oh really?!” she perked up, “Cool!”

My love for Everclear was so great that I created another IRC handle to reflect this, part of my time on the Internet Relay Chat was spent as HeroinGrl. I relished random strangers messaging me not to a/s/l but to chastise me for flaunting my love for such a horrible thing as heroin. I would wait out their spiel of disgust to jump back at them with “Hah! My nick is from a song by Everclear called Heroin Girl! Maybe you shouldn’t jump to conclusions and judge people!”

Hahahahahahahahaha. Ohhhhhhhhhh. The dicky teenager inside me feels good.

*I selected my favourite songs but this CD is one of those rare beasts whose every track is good.

Okay, music memory is over but I would just like to say that one thing I think I always loved and felt in Art’s lyrics and singing was his compassion and love for these messed up women he lived with as his equally messed up self in this white trash world.

“Found her out in the field, about a mile from home. Her face was warm from the sun, but her body was cold. I heard the police man say just another overdose. Just another overdose!!”

Love the lyrics at the start of this. “Time stops when the whispers blare, the voices drop hard, but the eyes still stare.”



5 thoughts on “Music memory no. 3 – Amphetamine

    • No. It’s the quality of your posts in general. You guys remember so much and are so reflective. My music just reflects and articulates what I must be unconciously thinking.

      This morning I woke up with Lily Allen in my head, “At first when I see you cry / It makes me smile”. Is that a good thing to be thinking before work in the morning? AND I hate the song and especially the video.

  1. Oh, “Sparkle and Fade” is such a good album. “Santa Monica” is one of the weaker songs on the album and it was the big single. “Heroin Girl” and “Heartspark Dollarsign” are obvious choices to display Everclear’s awesomeness, but I’m really glad you put up “You make me feel like a whore”, cause it’s probably my favourite (if I had to pick one).
    I guess they did kinda sparkle and fade cause while the next album after that was okay, everything else kinda sucked. I really hate their version of “Brown Eyed Girl”. But I suppose one really good album is still one more than most bands have….hehehehehehe…… I’m going to go listen to all those songs some more, and see if I can’t find that cd somewhere…..

    • Ooh! El Gato Grande chose not to correct my mistake! That Amphetamine is from So Much For The Afterglow, not Sparkle and Fade.


      And yes, they sold out and became less than impressive. But it’s like Sublime… even though they couldn’t end up giving more to the world, that they managed to give a number of really great songs matters more than their short lifespan. Well-constructed music is inspiring. I will always love them for giving me that.

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