I can tell you what was on my tape player


“I can tell you what was on my tape player. It was Elliott Smith and Missy Elliott. Missy Elliott Smith! Elliott Smith was really popular. Not pop culture popular. He was underground popular. He didn’t have any pop savvy at all. It was all clear, beautiful documents. I’m not one to love singer songwriters. Like, I do not give a shit about Bob Dylan. I appreciate him as a human being but I do not care about his songs in the least. When people speak about Bob Dylan, that’s how I feel about Elliott Smith. He was a genius. XO and Either/Or are great.”

Beth Ditto


Slim Moon who started Kill Rock Stars

portia sabin jason quigley
©Jason Quigley

“Slim Moon, who started the label, was documenting the Riot grrrl scene in Olympia, Washington, in the 1990s. He put out Bikini Kill’s record and records from Bratmobile and Huggy Bear. Before you know, it was a hotbed of what became the Riot grrrl scene. Not too many years later he discovered singer-songwriter Elliott Smith and put out his first record to very little acclaim, because in those days putting out a record in your own name was a death knell. In 1997, Slim put out Elliott’s second record, “Either/Or.” Elliott got invited to put some music on the Good Will Hunting soundtrack. Continue reading

About the Spin article

©Sam Coomes

“About the Spin article… I can’t comment on how accurate it is, or what I’d say differently, although I’d like to. All I can say is that, regardless of how true or untrue some of the people interviewed and some of the stuff the author wrote is, Elliott’s biggest wish was not to hurt his mom. We all know that he had some rough times. Really rough times. And nobody can change that, nobody can fix it, and for that matter, nobody at this point may ever know the full truth. Continue reading

He wasn’t that well-known then

©Michael Galinsky

“He wasn’t that well-known then, he was on a small independent label out of Portland. I got in touch and – it was one of the only easy films I’ve ever done. No interference from record labels, no crew, no concept, no grand intention. It was just “What’s it like when this guy makes music? Let’s capture that.” And then a little bit of “Hey, what places are important to you? Let’s just walk around and get a few shots of those places.“ I called it Lucky Three because it was. I think he was at his peak. He hadn’t fallen down that dark rabbit hole of celebrity and drugs and all that. The sad, horrible thing was I used to show that piece and say, “This is what we ought to be doing with musicians that we care about, because the bullshit lip-sync music videos aren’t gonna tell us much, particularly when they’re gone.”

Jem Cohen

I don’t know who the gentleman was that followed Alaska


“I don’t know who the gentleman was that followed Alaska but he told us of how he and friends had spent the night with Elliott before taking his life. It was apparent he was still emotionally distraught and one couldn’t help but feel his sorrow. He related to us that the song he was about to sing had been written by Elliott who had come to him in a dream the previous night. It had no title, was raw and quite emotional…he could barely finish the song. He apologized, tried catching his breath, but it was clear that singing it was overwhelming. The audience was gracious and applauded loudly, encouraging him along. But, you knew we all had giant lumps in our throats.”

“unknown” about Tito Larriva (3 novembre 2003)

I would see him in Amherst center

jesse mosher
©Tom John Kubik

“I would see him in Amherst center playing guitar in front of the Unitarian church. It was where everyone hung out, smoked weed, hackey sacked , skateboarded. There was a handicapped ramp there, and some low walls. There was usually someone playing guitar there. In 1989 or ’90, 7th grade for me, I remember listening to Elliott doing a song and was mesmerized. It was very powerful compared to the other kids who played. I was a hick kid, from Shutesbury, in the big regional jr. high school. Continue reading

I have big defenses against receiving a compliment

©Charlie Gross

“I have big defenses against receiving a compliment and actually carrying it around with me. I mean, compliments are nice, but I don’t think it’s any accident that there’s so many people who have a hard time accepting them, even though they know that they’re nice. It’s like you don’t want to let in the little bomb that might go off later when it’s retracted. I’ve been really lucky in the last few years. I don’t expect it to always be like that. And I know what it’s like to not be like that…”

Elliott Smith