Sonja Berevski was like nothing I had ever seen in this world. It seems fitting—disappointing, of course, but fitting that she'd just as soon leave it. That fact alone, that "Other-Worldly" was why, I think, why people were so drawn to her. They would literally follow her around, waiting to see what would happen next.
Financially; selfishly, I guess you could call it, I knew this about her and I knew she would benefit CrackedCore Records exponentially. I'll be honest. I was expecting something like a Courtney Love, Nancy Spungen, you know? They represented that great kinda sleaze. All that excess that we hate publically and privately obsess over. The public will buy into this every single time. Seriously, it's foolproof...Anyway I didn't realize it would get this far. Maybe nobody did. You can't really blame anyone...ya know? She was smart. She knew what she was doing. As for me, I was just doing what I'm paid to do. Make what she did profitable.
When I first met Sonja she was playing a gig in a Seattle bar. It was a ratty, shit-kicker place, and even at that time she could've been at bigger venues, easily. It's kinda funny, actually, to think that this place- "SuziQ's" I think, was the name...Actually housed The "Grunge Goddess" as she came to be known. It was small; you had to order drinks up in front and see the show in the basement. Smelled like piss and grease. Like any proper grunge show I guess...She was there with her band wearing this dirty white, fake fur coat and a miniskirt that looked like it was made out of plastic. And no shoes. She sang probably eight husky, well-made grunge songs, all her own. Maybe five years ago I never would've allowed anything like that on our label. It would've been suicide. But it was 1991 and at the time the complete opposite was true. At that point all I had to do was just point a mic towards the general direction of the stage and all these genX'ers, non-conformists though they were-would just eat it up. But she actually had great lyrics, and somehow she got them to jive perfectly with what the guitars and drums and bass were doing. Just got the sound of it to fit, I guess is the best way to describe it...Towards the end of the show she emptied a bottle of vodka onto the audience. Offered to light 'em all up if they wanted it. She had this light, Russian accent. Made the whole thing kinda cute, really. She had them eating out of the palm of her hand. She could've said anything by then. And she was good-looking in this stripper kind of way. All exotic with this accent and white-blond hair. Track marks on her arms as plain as day. She was a beautiful fuck-up since the very beginning.
After the show she goes into the bathroom and stays there. I just got impatient and made my way through. This place was filthy, I can still remember it like yesterday. Puke's just sitting there on the floor. Stuff written all over the walls, cracked mirrors...At first it looked empty. Then I heard them talking in one of those huge handicap stalls. Speaking Russian. The stall wasn't even locked, and hell, I'd already walked into this shitty nightclub bathroom, why not go all out? You know?
Sooo...I just push open the door and see a sight for the ages. Among the cracked ceramic tiles, the graffiti over the graffiti, kneeling on the ground was Sonja Berevski, cutting up coke on a toilet seat. Snorting coke off a toilet seat. Those blue eyes with the pinprick pupils...Her sister starts in on me, yelling shit at me in foreign tongues. I offered them a hotel room where they could get high in comfort and privacy. Quinn Silvino's a stand up kinda guy, you know? Sonja was all ready and willing; Dessa wouldn't let anyone leave until I'd done a line and she knew I wasn't going to bust them for possession or anything. But I wasn't as far-gone as they were. They were doing coke the way junkies would. I still only do coke the corporate way; gotta maintain some level of decency with a position like mine.
I got them to the hotel, they did their junk and chatted non-stop in their native tongue. They made numerous phone calls, by that time I'd set them down and laid out a contract. Dessa wanted to play agent and manager and lawyer of course. They asked for weed so they could slow down enough to think straight about all the "legal beaurecratic bullshit". By 4:00am they'd decided to sign, and that's when I like to think this whole odyessy began. Til this day, I think the most vivid memory I have of Sonja is from that first day. That blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty snorting a line off a toilet seat like she could do no better than that. It's a shame.