That image of me


“That image of me as the pale, morose artist, the only people that really buy into it are journalists. They go with the cliche. They don’t really care if it fits or not. It’s always kind of ridiculous to compare what somebody’s doing with records made 30 years ago with only a very passing resemblance. Comparisons don’t take up very much space. I guess that’s their appeal.”

Elliott Smith

That’s actually how Elliott and I became friends

©Heather Conley

“That’s actually how Elliott and I became friends, because we were both hired by this crazy Lithuanian building contractor who kind of knew people who knew people who were musicians. So I really got to know Elliott for a few months when we worked on this warehouse, in what is now the Pearl District. Continue reading

A year or two ago, my mom unearthed a note


“A year or two ago my mom unearthed a note while we were going through some of her old records. She received it at the Neurolux circa 1997. It was scratched out in barely legible handwriting, had an address in Portland, Oregon and an invitation for letters to be sent to that address. She never wrote him, to my knowledge. Later on, I learned that this is who wrote that note…”


In late 1990 I broke up with my girlfriend

“In late 1990 I broke up with my girlfriend of the last three years, the punk rock photographer JJ Gonson, and I moved from Boston to San Francisco. I am honored to say that she is still one of my best and closest friends. But for a couple of years after our breakup we had as little as possible to do with each other. She in turn moved to Portland, OR.

In January of 1993 we reconnected and she rather generously offered my band, Ain’t, a show in Portland with Heatmiser and Gas Huffer. She also offered us a place to stay: 2522 SE 16th Ave. on the corner of SE Division, where she lived with her new boyfriend, Elliott Smith, and where his band, Heatmiser, practiced in the basement. Elliott and the rest of the band (Neil Gust, Tony Lash, and Brandt Peterson) were kind of shy and I guess a little nervous at the show as they were performing for the first time for their new label, Frontier Records. I dug their music; it was introspective and melodic yet played through Marshall amps. Neil and Elliott shared lead vocal duties and I liked both voices. I was happy for JJ as well — she had a boyfriend who was nice to her and a band to manage that seemed to be going somewhere. Of course, I was jealous for I had no steady girlfriend and my band was nowhere near as good. Continue reading