“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, 7 th 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.
I was literally the smallest kid at ARJHS so hanging out with the wild older kids around there was a real thrill. I knew a few, but was really too young, must have looked 10 at the time. Anyways I would always really listen when Elliott played, There was something heavy there that was way different then he few people I’d heard before like my dad and a few others. The clearest memory of him I have from then was him playing with 3 or 4 people listening, and I was really spacing out staring, just marveling I guess at the intensity of what he was doing, and he looked at me and gave this weird little smile It was like an understanding. After that, whenever I passed the church on a bus or whatever, I would look and see if he was out there playing. He did some shows at this locals hangout Mike’s Billiards, and my dad put the poster up in his tool box. He was playing with this kid Jesse ( can’t remember his last name) at the time so pops thought it was cool since I had told him about how good this guy was. I wish he still had that poster. What has stayed with me all these years as an artist, has been these memories I have of seeing a real artist, which I really felt like he was something special, before the rest of the world found out about him. Years later I found out he went to Hampshire college, I never knew at the time.”