The Man Who Got Kicked Out of Both Nirvana and Soundgarden

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It can’t be easy seeing some of your old bandmates go on to become rock stars without you in it. Just ask everyone from Pete Best to even Dave Mustaine and they can tell you how frustrating it is seeing some of your old friends having so much fun in the big time and not being able to share in the spoils.

It’s bad enough for something like that to happen once, but Jason Everman’s musical resume saw him get kicked out of two of the biggest bands of the ‘90s. 

When working in the Seattle rock scene, Jason was originally working with a few bands of his own when Kurt Cobain asked if he wanted to be the second guitar player in Nirvana. Even though you can see Jason’s curly hair distorted on the cover of Nirvana’s album Bleach, he never actually got to make a record with them in the studio, despite ponying up the $606 for the studio time. 

After a few shows though, Kurt didn’t really think that Jason was the right fit, kicking him out not long before Chad Channing would be replaced with Dave Grohl behind the drum kit for Nevermind. Band members come and go in Seattle, and Jason actually seemed to be back up on his feet in no time after Kurt kicked him out, landing a gig as the bass player of Soundgarden after Hiro Yammamoto left following the album Louder Than Love. 

While Jason at least had some studio time working on a cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together” with the band, he was ultimately let go for Ben Shepherd, who would remain with the band until their eventual breakup. From there, Jason seemed to do what anyone else would do after being sacked from two legendary bands… you go into the military.

Jason Everman, serving with the US Army Special Forces in Afghanistan.

Getting out of the scene altogether, Jason actually put in time as an Army Ranger shortly afterwards, doing several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Music might not have been in the cards for him, but you can only imagine the amount of money he left on the table with either of his friends’ bands. 

Incredulously, though, Jason doesn’t seem to mind or have any regrets about where he ended up in life. In an interview with The Daily Beast, he said: “It’s just not my thing, being overly concerned with this notion of celebrity. There’s a lot of that going on and it’s like…ehh. It’s just not that interesting to me.”

When asked to comment about Nirvana’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he doubled down on his stance that the rock star life wasn’t for him anyways:

“It was cool that they got inducted even though I really don’t know that much about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I don’t miss it. I thought it was really kind and really gracious of Nirvana or at least their management to extend that invitation.

Now, in a lot of ways it means nothing. I’m not saying that as a negative, I’m just so far removed from it. Getting into that world again for a little bit tonight… this isn’t my universe anymore.”

Wild. At least Jason is clearly at peace with it all. Good on him.