It was a very macho environment

©Jeremy Balderson

“It was a very macho environment, very different from Olympia. Very hypocritical, claiming to be different from the norm but really more of the same.  I can remember there being a lot of animosity towards Elliott going solo.  My hunch is that he was really rejected by the Portland scene, at least a lot of people. It was a very incestuous and dark little scene.

So much backstabbing and talking shit happening between all those bands.  And VERY sexist.  It was very high school clicky.

 It wasn’t total tyranny, just basic humanity, but a lot of envy and a lot of drugs. My best guess is that they wrote him off before he died,ostensibly because he was on smack, but really due to their own envy. Now they are just stuck there.

Like I said, not healthy people. A lot of them.

 It was a dark and destructive scene.  A lot of people were into drugs.  Heavily.  And so much alcohol.  It was just massive drugs and alcohol.  I can’t emphasize that enough!  I know that not everyone was, but that’s what I saw and experienced. It was such a scene – it was all about where you were and who was there and not about the music.  Way too hip.  That’s why I think Elliott became estranged.  And as far as I know, Heatmiser was not really that far up on the totem pole either.  What I remember about Elliott was that he was an earnest person, very shy, and kind.  He seemed very insecure. The other band guys were around and they seemed douchey-like car salesmen, lots of bravado and smooth talking, whereas Elliott was not at all like that.  That stayed with me.  He didn’t seem at all like a player, whereas the other ones did.  I didn’t like them at all.  Elliott and I would sit at the bar and talk while the others talked shit.  All those guys were always talking shit about something or someone.  Again, I can’t stress this enough.  ENVY.  My hunch is that, the people who were closest to Elliott are not going to talk about him.  The ones who knew him less, will.  This reminds me a lot of Eric Erlandson’s book:  “Letters to Kurt.”  He talks about how envious he was.  He quotes Kurt a lot and his huge lack of talent is showcased in the book.  I think the Portland guys probably all felt like that.  Elliott was on the talent level with Kurt.  The others were just guys who liked to jam, who all wanted to get famous and rich, and who kept getting passed over.  So Elliott to them is not just a friend, he’s also the symbol of all their shadow stuff, so to speak.  If they look at his death, they have to look at who they really are too, and that is the thing I think they are unwilling to do.



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