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Mark Oliver Everett

Everett playing live in Sydney, Australia in 2003
Background information
Birth name Mark Oliver Everett
Also known as E, MC Honky
Born April 10, 1963 (1963-04-10) (age 46)
Origin United States
Genres Indie rock
Occupations Singer/songwriter, producer
Instruments vocals, guitar, piano, keyboard, drums, bass guitar
Years active 1991–present
Labels Polydor, DreamWorks, EWorks, Vagrant
Associated acts Eels, MC Honky

Mark Oliver Everett (b. April 10, 1963) is the lead singer, guitarist, keyboardist and sometime drummer of the independent rock band Eels. Also known as E, Everett is known for writing songs tackling subjects such as mortality's toll, mental illness, loneliness, and unrequited love.



Mark Oliver Everett is the son of physicist Hugh Everett III, originator of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum theory and of the use of Lagrange multipliers for general engineering optimizations. As a child, Everett developed a love of toy instruments; this fondness would continue into adulthood and provide an integral part of his idiosyncratic sound.[citation needed]

In 1987, Everett moved from his family home in Virginia and resettled in California. Here, Everett began his professional musical career with two major-label albums: A Man Called E and Broken Toy Shop. The pseudonym "E" was used for both of these early recordings. While it may have caused some confusion in record stores and radio stations, the single-letter name gave the press a playful handle. One review began: "Excellent eponymous effort, energizingly eclectic. Early enthusiasm effectively ensures E's eminence."[1] A Billboard magazine review of his second album was similarly positive.[2]

Everett's family

Everett's father Hugh was a mathematician and quantum theorist, notable for formulating the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics in 1957. At the time, his theory was dismissed and he worked on military and industrial mathematics. Hugh was a distant father and an alcoholic. He died of a heart attack on July 19, 1982.

Everett's family has been an inspiration to him, i.e. the song "Things the Grandchildren Should Know" (he would later publish an autobiography of the same name) and the song "3 Speed", referencing the writings of his sister Liz. Everett made a documentary about both his father's theory and his own relationship with his father entitled Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives for the BBC that was aired on the PBS series NOVA in 2008.[citation needed]

Everett's sister, Elizabeth, long troubled by schizophrenia, committed suicide in 1996, and in 1998 his mother, Nancy Everett née Gore, died of lung cancer. Following these tragedies, Everett and the Eels released Electro-Shock Blues. The release, whose sound alternates between furious indefatigableness, black humor, and strikingly authentic desperation, gained almost unanimous critical praise.[citation needed] Blues was followed by 2000's Daisies of the Galaxy, a gentler-in-tone addition to the Eels' oeuvre that hinted that perhaps Everett's recovery had begun.

In 1998, Everett participated in a spiritual retreat, during which time he was forbidden to write or speak. Finding himself inspired, though, Everett broke the rules of the retreat and penned the lyrics for The Eels' Souljacker album. Still, death continued to hound Everett; his cousin, Jennifer Lewis née Gore, was a flight attendant on the plane that struck The Pentagon during the September 11, 2001 attacks.[3][4]


Everett's early solo work and Eels collaborations were hailed by critics for their innovative combination of various instruments and styles.[citation needed] Everett has used everything from a toy piano in his early "Symphony for a Toy Piano in G Minor" to hammers on a radiator as percussion in 1998's "Cancer for the Cure". Despite his constant denials, he is suspected of being the man behind MC Honky, who released the album I Am the Messiah in 2003.[citation needed]

Everett's music has also been featured on a number of films, including American Beauty ("Cancer for the Cure"), Holes ("Eyes Down," "Mighty Fine Blues"), Shrek ("My Beloved Monster"), Shrek 2 ("I Need Some Sleep"), Shrek The Third ("Royal Pain" and "Losing Streak"), Hellboy II: The Golden Army ("Beautiful Freak"), Hot Fuzz ("Souljacker, pt.1"), as well as most of the music in Yes Man.

During 2005, Everett and his ad hoc Eels went on tour promoting his album, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations. It was during this recording that he worked with long-time hero and influence Tom Waits. In November 2007, Everett published his autobiography, entitled Things the Grandchildren Should Know.[5][6]

The 2007 BBC Scotland / BBC Four television documentary "Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives", followed Everett as he talked to physicists and his father's former colleagues about his father's theory.[7][8] The documentary won a Royal Television Society award on March 19, 2008.[9] The documentary was shown in lieu of a support act during their UK and US tours in the spring of 2008. In the U.S., the PBS program Nova has broadcast the documentary in October 2008.

The seventh Eels studio album—Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire—was released on June 2, 2009.

On January 19, 2010, Everett released his eighth Eels album, entitled End Times, which deals with themes of aging and divorce.[10]



  1. ^ Levitin, D. J. (March 16, 1992). "E: A Man Called (E)". Recording-Engineer-Producer (REP) (Overland Park, KS: Intertec) 23 (2). 
  2. ^ Levitin, D. J. (December 18, 1993). "E's New Polydor Set Proves He's No Mere Man of Letters". Billboard. 
  3. ^ Eels website
  4. ^ America At War
  5. ^ Little, Brown Publishing
  6. ^ The Independent, review of 'Things the Grandchildren Should Know'
  7. ^ BBC4 to explore parallel universe Broadcast, November 5, 2007
  8. ^ The rock star and the quantum mechanic Monday, November 26, 2007
  9. ^ Eels News Thursday, March 20, 2008
  10. ^ ""End Times News"". Eels. 2009-10-14. Retrieved 2009-10-14. 

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