I’ll use a cut-up method or sewing box

grant with cat

“I’ll use a cut-up method or sewing box I have that’s full of words that will send me down a certain path. It does seem to unlock your unconscious, I kind of feel the song is buried back somewhere. I turned a few people on to one-minute songs. It’s like this little ritual that you pass to those who might be receptive. Elliott Smith was one of them. There’s a tape somewhere.”

Grant Lee Phillips

He was very into quitting drugs


“He was very into quitting drugs. I don’t think he liked being on drugs, and I don’t think he liked people knowing he was on drugs, necessarily. He was always lying to people about it. It was almost humorous to me. It was almost kind of a joke, ‘Yeah, I know. I’ve been straight for two weeks. I’m doing great.’ And then after he’d say something like that to his manager or whoever, he’d come inside and smoke some heroin and some crack. It was kind of a joke after a while – ‘Oh, yeah, guess who’s sober?'”

David McConnell

Having just returned, & not really having checked the forum

“Having just returned, & not really having checked the forum since just after the web page went up (thanks Charlie), I thought I should drop a few words. First, thank you to all the people who came down to the shows; especially those who got into the spirit & helped the shows fly. This may not have been our biggest tour, but in some ways it may have been our best, despite the difficult circumstances which overtook us along the way. I’ve got to thank Hella (& of course Janet) for showing me that, even as I may find it more & more difficult to tour, when the music kicks in it can still be amazing. Some people have written some nice things about the shows in the forum & we definitely appreciate that. 
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I don’t think Elliott really wanted to die

“I don’t think Elliott really wanted to die. There are people who I think are truly in so much pain that they want to end their lives. I don’t think that was his situation. I don’t think he was going to call Dr. Kevorkian to end his life because he was suffering so much. I think he was in a lot of pain, and I think he was trying to reach out to the universe somehow. And I think that he talked about ending his life a lot, and that was a byproduct of his drug use and the fact that he felt like shit. But he was such a sweetheart, and I don’t think he wanted to die. Continue reading

We toured together for The Spinanes’ Strand in 1996

©Rebecca Gates

“We toured together for The Spinanes’ Strand in 1996. I would never really sit down and play, except for during soundcheck and shows, but when we showed up anywhere, Elliott would just start playing guitar, whether he was writing, or practicing, or just playing covers. It wasn’t like, “Here I am, check me out!” It was just to himself. He was someone who was always thinking about songwriting
We were a pretty silly crew on tour. One time I was sitting shotgun in the van with my head in a book, and I heard all this snickering behind me. I turned around and Elliott had taken electric tape and made an Abe Lincoln beard on his face. And every time I kept turning around, more people had this electric tape facial hair.”

Rebecca Gates

We were on tour, I forget – it has been a few years now

by chapman baehler
©Chapman Baehler

“We were on tour, I forget it has been a few years now, we were on tour when we heard the news that our friend Elliott Smith had died.
And I don’t think we will ever really know if he took his own life or whatever the actual circumstances were. But there were plenty of time when we were around him when we felt as though he was waiting for an answer, and he was waiting for something that was gonna come along and may be make everything bearable for him. And we can’t wait, we have to try to make right now, bearable enough, that’s all we can do, we don’t know what the fuck we’re gonna do so this song is about everybody who has ever felt like this moment is too much and hope that you can get to the next one.


Wayne Coyne (2011)

He talked about New York like it was Oz


“He talked about New York like it was Oz. When he found out I’d never been there, that was all he talked about. He talked about how much I’d love it and all the great things you could do there. I don’t think he cared much about Portland. One of the things he told me is that he hated Portland because everybody played music and everybody did the same thing. He wanted to move to New York City so he could meet people who made movies and were artists and did different stuff.”

Bill Santen

While Elliott was living in Portland, drugs weren’t a problem for him

©Kim Oahn Nguyen

“While Elliott was living in Portland, drugs weren’t a problem for him, he just drank and stuff. I think when he went to New York and Los Angeles, especially L.A., that’s what kind of killed him in a manner of speaking. He was around people who knew him not as Elliott, but as Elliott Smith the rock star. But I think he genuinely wanted to stop feeling so bad.
I don’t have a memory of him as a drug addict or as a crazy person or anything other than my friend, a really funny, really super smart, caring person.”

Pete Krebs

He painted big squares that are one color

“He painted big squares that are one color, but the edges are a little bit of a different color. They’re meant to be seen in an installation, like in a room where they dominate the room. It’s the kind of art that some people just hate, but I really like it. He’s painting these big blocks, these big, static things that don’t change. Everybody’s got things like that in their lives. It’s all the things that they can’t work out. It kind of boils it all down to that, in painting. Stuff like that gets me going a lot more than anybody playing right now that I can think of.”

Elliott Smith