We always made mix tapes for each other

pilot

“We always made mix tapes for each other. He and I and two friends were going to this party, and we made this pact to make mix tapes. We realized that we’d all put ‘Rocks Off’ by the Rolling Stones on all four tapes. So Elliott invented this game where every time that song came on, we had to yell ‘Rocks Off!’ and name the city we were driving through – ‘Rocks Off, Delaware!’, ‘Rocks Off, Newark!'”

Dorien Garry

He loved a lot of the neighborhoods

“He loved a lot of the neighborhoods, but he had little qualms about not wanting to have neighbors nearby. There was somebody who was living up in Woodstock at the time who made records who had a studio, and I mentioned it to him once when we were up there, and he was like, ‘I don’t want to live in the town where the other dude who makes records has a studio. Big Pink was for sale, then a Japanese collector swooped in and took it off the market. We still went up there a lot and took pictures in front of it and sat in the driveway and tried to figure out what went on in the garage. I wanted that to happen really badly because I thought it would have been good for him to get out of the city and get away from the ‘I can go to a bar any time of night’ accessibility of Manhattan and Brooklyn. None of those places were really suitable for having a studio or even a practice space. It was really a pain in the ass: he really didn’t get to play or write nearly as much as he wanted to and it just sort of seemed like it would have been a perfect – things weren’t all right then and I thought it might have been a perfect chance to get things a little bit better. He was really into it and then this need for him to be in LA just happened.”

Dorien Garry

I hung out with Elliott after the shows

hdo
©Bill Santen

“I hung out with Elliott after the shows but I didn’t like what was going on. When he lived in New York he didn’t really hang out so much with the New York rocker people. He actually made fun of them when he’d see them at Max Fish and stuff, and then somewhere down the line they became embracing of him, and he of them. But he didn’t really seem like himself and he didn’t seem like he was necessarily sober. I’m sure that the Blues Explosion people knew more than anyone that he was not always okay. And I sort of think you have a responsibility, morally, toward somebody if you do really care about them. When Elliott came to town, it wasn’t my idea to go to a bar, it was like, ‘Let’s go to a movie or go get some food, or go get some tea or something. I don’t want to sit in a bar and sit with you and be an enabler’, for lack of a better stupid term for it. Everybody was going out to the bar after the show and buying drinks and shot after shot and it was like, ‘Fuck them for thinking this was a good idea, you’re supposed to be getting your shit together. You’ve been trying to get your shit together and everybody knows you’ve been down some rough roads, and fuck the people who live some stupid rock and roll party lifestyle and think that it’s okay.'”

Dorien Garry