The fact he could command an audience so well

jrs
©Jackpot!Recording Studio

“The fact he could command an audience so well was interesting, because if he was in a group of people, he wasn’t the loud one. He wasn’t begging for attention. He couldn’t have cared less if he got attention, as far as I could tell.”

Larry Crane

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The project was becoming more and more ‘tense’

colhe

“The project was becoming more and more ‘tense’ before Elliott’s death, some people described Jen and Elliott’s relationship as a kind of ‘Sid and Nancy’ situation, it certainly was getting very difficult for us and the rest of the band to work with the two of them. Continue reading

Of course it’s rewarding to see that so many people understand your work

 

whtw doodle
©BF

“Of course it’s rewarding to see that so many people understand your work and appreciate it but I don’t think it’s because I’m the same. I’m definitely not the same as I was some years ago but I reckon that I’m honest in everything I sing or do and maybe people can feel it… That’s true that I take a particular attention to lyrics without concentrating only on them as they just express what I truly feel about things. And as feelings are something that every human being can share, I can understand that some people feel close to what I express through my music. But I don’t think I give myself away, I still have my own secret garden…”

Elliott Smith

I used to do catering at the Fillmore in San Francisco

mlpn

“I used to do catering at the Fillmore in San Francisco so I used to serve all the bands and watch all their sound checks. Elliott Smith was touring Figure 8 for two nights and both days for his sound check played the entire Abbey Road medley to warm up. A blast to see cause he didn’t play any of it during the shows themselves.It was June 5 + 6 of 2000. I still have the posters, one is framed above my LPs and stereo. It was one of my fondest memories of doing catering at the Fillmore. He seemed very sad that day but was most likely just shy. I actually know his music quite well and was a big fan and will always cherish sitting in the box by the sound man listening to Elliott and the band play the medley to just the crew and staff of the Fillmore. I am still looking to see if he ever played it in an actual show.”

Cbcry

Even though I knew Elliott Smith outside of the industry

NBbyBmaryansky
©Brian Maryansky

“Even though I knew Elliott Smith outside of the industry, I feel lucky to have recorded one of our conversations for a feature that ran in  Alternative Press and later appeared in my book. It’s a day that’s been etched into record, whose words I don’t need to paraphrase. There are pictures from that day for when my memory fails me, so I can actually tell you what Elliott was wearing: a black t-shirt, blue jeans, black socks, and a thick-soled brown shoe. (It was a humid day in Brooklyn, so no, he was not wearing a stocking cap.) There are even notes: he lived five flights up in a Park Slope tenement building, back when Fourth Avenue was where you went to change your tires, not change your life. It was considerably warm outside, so we sat in his living room — away from the windows — and drank from ice cold Coke cans. When the interview was over, we talked about Ry Cooder and Poison Idea and that time people started yelling for Elliott’s solo songs at a Heatmiser show I saw at the Mercury Lounge. He was mortified by that. Continue reading

Part of what I like about Figure 8

“Part of what I like about Figure 8, well, to the extent that I can like my own music, is that I like it better when it’s hard to name it, you know, or to really describe it. I think it’s more varied than the last record, there’s more different kinds of songs and the range of emotions on it are greater. Or maybe that’s just what I prefer to believe. The only thing I know is that it feels different than the other ones, and that’s all I really require. Sometimes I know what I was thinking when I wrote the songs, and sometimes I only have theories about what I was thinking, that change from time to time. And even if I knew what I was thinking, I wouldn’t necessarily want to talk about it. ”

Elliott Smith

It’s very different from the kind of songs that I seem to make up

 

“[The Marble Index] is very different from the kind of songs that I seem to make up, and it seems very static in a way. It doesn’t move a whole lot, but it’s still really great, and I’m intrigued by that. There’s something really cool about how static and immovable it is – very stream-of-consciousness-like and harmonically kind of droning. Even though I’ve been listening to it over and over again, I still can’t put my finger on what I like about it. But I really do like it.”

Elliott Smith (avril 2000)

The thing I really wanted to help do with this film is shift the mythology

sarahmccown
©Sarah McCown

“The thing I really wanted to help do with this film is shift the mythology of Elliott Smith, the sad-sack, depressed guy who made depressed music, the junkie, blah blah blah, when all the other stories I was getting from his friends were, he was this incredibly creative, generous, funny, great-to-be-around friend, brother, lover. He was so much more than how the media summed him up at the end of his life. It was, “Depressed singer-songwriter guy does himself in.” There was so much more to celebrate in Elliott’s career than, ‘yup, sad guy, possibly killed himself.’ There was all this music! And it’s all really amazing music. So why aren’t we remembering that part? Continue reading