Everclear – Father Of Mine

In the 90s I was really into this alt rock band.

Art Alexakis is the lead singer and songwriter of Everclear. This song is a scathing attack on his dad who left his family.

This song is about Art’s childhood when his parents split and it started a difficult life for Alexakis. After spending the first six years of his life living a in a comfortable suburb in Los Angeles area community of Redondo Beach, his parents divorced, leaving Alexakis to be raised by his mother. Left with far less income, his mother moved the family into projects near Culver City.

Alexakis,  no longer had a father in his life, he struggled through childhood. At age 12, his brother, George, died of a heroin overdose. Then Alexakis’ 15-year-old girlfriend committed suicide. He also got into drugs, starting with marijuana and moving on to heroin, cocaine and alcohol before he got clean in 1989.

Everclear formed in 1991 in Portland Oregon. They released their first album World of Noise in 1993. Father of Mine was on the 1997 album So Much for the Afterglow. 

The song peaked at #4 in the Billboard Alternative Charts, and #1 in the Canadian Alternative Charts in 1998.

Art Alexakis: “My feelings for my father haven’t necessarily changed, but my feelings about myself after writing that song have been much better. It was kind of a catharsis to put those feelings into words, it’s a way for me to get things out of my system. The song ‘Wonderful’ is very much like that too.”

Alexakis testified before congress on March 16, 2000 to endorse a child support bill.

From Songfacts

Art doesn’t speak with his father and can’t be sure if he’s heard this or not, but he knows that his stepsisters, who were raised by his dad, weren’t happy about this song. 

As it states in the song, Alexakis really did get Christmas cards from his father containing $5.

This was remixed and included on Hope In Hockeytown, an album celebrating the Detroit Red Wings back-to-back Stanley Cup Victories.

Art talks about the song. 

Father of Mine

Father of mine
Tell me where have you been
You know I just closed my eyes
My whole world disappeared
Father of mine
Take me back to the day
When I was still your golden boy
Back before you went away

I remember the blue skies
Walking the block
I loved it when you held me high
I loved to hear you talk
You would take me to the movie
You would take me to the beach
You would take me to a place inside
That is so hard to reach

Father of mine
Tell me where did you go
You had the world inside your hand
But you did not seem to know
Father of mine
Tell me what do you see
When you look back at your wasted life
And you don’t see me

I was ten years old
Doing all that I could
It wasn’t easy for me
To be a scared white boy
In a black neighborhood
Sometimes you would send me a birthday card
With a five dollar bill
I never understood you then
And I guess I never will

Daddy gave me a name
My dad he gave me a name
Then he walked away
Daddy gave me a name
Then he walked away
My dad gave me a name

Father of mine
Tell me where have you been
I just closed my eyes
And the world disappeared
Father of mine
Tell me how do you sleep
With the children you abandoned
And the wife I saw you beat

I will never be safe
I will never be sane
I will always be weird inside
I will always be lame
Now I’m a grown man
With a child of my own
And I swear I’m not going to let her know
All the pain I have known

Then he walked away
Daddy gave me a name
Then he walked away
My dad gave me a name
Then he walked away
Daddy gave me a name
Then he walked away
My dad gave me a name
Then he walked away

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

29 thoughts on “Everclear – Father Of Mine”

      1. It’s funny… I’m lucky I still have my dad, he just turned 84. I love him and have got along great with him for last 20 years or so, but when I was a teen I probably felt like Art did , since my folks had divorced and for awhile he was rather ‘absentee” (which in retrospect, given the state f the marriage, makes some sense)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is great Dave. I lost mine in 2005 and mom in 2006… the same thing with me. My parents got divorced when I was 5 or so…I brought it up to him around a couple of years before he died…we worked through it and I’m so glad we did…we were great with each other at the end of his life…he went unexpectedly.

        I’m glad you two are close…and you are fortunate to have him in this time of your life.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. a band that got lost in the shuffle among all those ’90s “grunge-lite” bands, but they were quite good. Looking at the above little snippets WordPress put on the page, I see a teaser for your post on “Wonderful” which says it’s your favorite by them, I think the same. This one was dour but still, a quite good song. Grunge take on “Papa was a Rolling Stone”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Grunge take on “Papa was a Rolling Stone”….Great observation! These guys were my Nirvana so to speak. I could not relate to Nirvana at all but these guys I did. They are pretty much a straight rock/pop band…with hard edges.
      They had a 3 album stretch that was really good and then just fell out of sight.

      Like

  2. Wow, this is a powerful song about a heartbreaking background story. I had never heard of Everclear before.

    While each case is different and I don’t want to judge, it seems to me Alexakis is right that too many men (or couples for that matter) give up on their marriages too easily. It makes me realize that not only am I fortunate to still have my parents, but they never divorced.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you might like them… check out 3 songs if you have time at some point… Wonderful, I Will Buy You A New Life…and for the fun of it and the super cool video… AM Radio

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. I may have to do a bit of work. But, hey, I’m complaining!

        I still should have plenty of time to listen to the Q104.3 countdown of the “Top 1,043 Classic Rock Songs of All Time” – though I didn’t know that Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecilia,” which is no. 937 they’re currently playing, is classic rock – oh, well, I suppose they use a very broad definition of the genre! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh yes it’s painted with the same brush! I know exactly what you are saying.

        Oh I will have to do some work…that is a no brainer but that is ok…I don’t mind from home as much.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea I read about that. They had a few songs I liked…AM Radio…I could watch that video on an endless loop….the best song to me is Wonderful

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I always liked Everclear, and hate to admit that though I’ve heard this song a number of times, I never closely listened to the lyrics – which are so sad. My dad was an alcoholic, and left us (my mom, younger sister and I) numerous times starting when I was around 13, for weeks and then months at a time, but would eventually come home. Needless to say, it was very stressful and difficult for us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everclear was a bright spot in music at the time for me. I never got into grunge much…although I like a few things…I followed them for 4 albums.

      Yea my dad started to have kidney stones when I was around 4 and he turned into an Elvis with prescription drugs. He had 70 stones in his life but he left us when I was around 5…I would see him maybe 2 weeks out of a summer.
      My mom turned into a single mom working 3 jobs in the seventies. Mom would not let me see him much because of the drugs. But…I knew where he was and I could call him so it was a better situation than most…but not a great one.

      Liked by 1 person

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