“It is simply this: my name is Eric Dover. I perform under the moniker Sextus.
My brief history in a nutshell is joining Jellyfish in 93, singing for Slash’s snakepit in 95, and Imperial Drag Sony/Work in 96. It was at the end of the album touring that I began to have what might be called by some a rather nasty Saturn return’ depending on whether or not you are into such things.In any event, it was at a rehab in Arizona that I first met Elliott. Sierra Tuscon was the name of the facility just to authenticate.I had come off of two years straight of life on the road and I was quite distressed, my new marriage was unfamiliar to me, Roger Manning, my partner in Imperial Drag was anxious for us to get the second record out. Nobody could understand that I was suffering from extreme exhaustion and poor nutrition and that I needed time to establish my environment. Enter my meeting Elliott Smith.My encounter with him has its own set of mythical proportions that I, as an artist, even find wondering whether or not it was real or some magnificent daydream almost… There was (as you might guess) a smoking area for all the patients to congregate in between sessions.We had heard earlier in the day that he was due to arrive and I was quite excited to meet him, as I am moved by his voice.That’s what brought me in,his voice.
Apparently he was just there checking it out (to see if he wanted to pursue the treatment) and so, he stayed at least two nights that I can remember. He came to the “smoking lounge” as we called it a few times. And there as I remember there was at least three regulars out there that were present during our encounter. I wonder what became of them. We smoked,and as one would expect,the inevitable question arises: “What’s the deal? What are you here for?” He was very fragile and I’m sure that he must have felt great shame in even being there to begin with.We did speak of matters, trivial and otherwise while we were out there, waiting for the next shrink session. There was no doubt that he had something very important on his mind and it evidently distressed him.At one point,I even said to him (as if I had anything to give) “Hey, I know that it’s bad right now for you but you just have to get back up on the bicycle and keep going”, essentially. This was the sad part. Drugs or booze aside, I felt from him such despair and that despair was final.
It is heartbreaking to this day on many levels for me.
We dropped it, and kept talking, laughing a little now and then, anything to pass the time in the inner hell of rehab, where all your psychosis is systematically revealed and (hopefully) dealt with to a manageable degree. He even showed his guitar, which he’d brought with him. An old Gibson I believe. A stunning instrument. He let me play a few chords on it, we chatted and then I left his room.
I awoke the next day to find him gone. He had changed his mind apparently and left early that morning. My last encounter with him was right in front of Largo on a Friday evening about six months later on Jon Brion’s performance night. I was denied entry because the show had already started and I turned around out on the sidewalk in front of Largo and there’s Elliott. And a funny thing, I don’t seem to remember anyone on the street at that time of the evening except for he and I. Anyways, we talked for a minute,nothing earth shattering. He looked somewhat better in appearance, healthier.We wished each other well and I left. And that’s the last time I ever saw him again.”