“I was backstage at this show (Sunset Junction) and was astounded to see that he had almost finished off a enormous bottle of whiskey before going on. He got onstage and trainwrecked thru the whole show with the exception of “Thirteen” which I thought was interesting that the only song he could remember completely was the one he hadn’t written… I watched Elliotts whole set from about six feet behind him. I could see that he was having such a hard time remembering the words to his songs that a couple of girls in the front row were yelling them up to him… Afterwards he came off stage and started crying. It was really sad. By a coincidence the wall where the figure 8 cover was shot was only about fifty yards from the stage.
A fan who had come all the way from indiana was on the other side of the fence and asked us if we’d get an autograph for him so we went into Elliott’s tent and asked him and even though he was bummed about the show he was totally gracious and gave it to us and we handed it back over the fence to the fan.
A little while after this show I started working at Amoeba records with Elliott’s sister Ashley. So on the morning after he died it was really heavy. It wasn’t just Elliott Smith the songwriter who died, it was Ashley’s brother. A few days later I went to the memorial show for him at the Henry Fonda Theatre. It was really moving.”