I’ve always thought that photo had a lot of sadness to it


“I’ve always thought that photo had a lot of sadness to it. Even though I don’t think he was sad at that moment. He was lonely. They were both lonely. He’s tuning his guitar backstage. I think Heatmiser was probably over at that point. I think I wasn’t working for him anymore. So I was sort of visiting. We had worked really hard on Heatmiser, so it was sort of heartbreaking when it fell apart. I was far closer to Elliott than I ever was to Kurt. I feel a lot of sadness about both of them. I feel they were both remarkably gifted. I think they had celiac disease. That’s my theory. They were both in pain a lot. There were a lot of similarities. They were both haunted. So bad that they couldn’t live with it. Lots of people have demons. Their demons were pretty bad demons.”

JJ Gonson


He believed in hell

jackie gold starr
©Jackie Gold Starr

“He believed in hell. He was maybe even a little obsessed with it. He was raised in Texas in this very God-fearing, fire and brimstone, you’re-going-to-burn-in-Hell kind of way. He would say to me that he was afraid of the devil. That he was afraid of hell.”

JJ Gonson

I was working at this restaurant

©Sluggo Cawley

“I was working at this restaurant and my friend Jason introduced me to this band Heatmiser and I was really interested in this band even though I had foresworn music. I was like “I’m not going to have anything to do with music because it’s evil.” And I was like “No, no, no, no, I don’t want to be part of the music scene ever again.”(…) Then all of a sudden I was back in this insane thing and I went back to America and I told Heatmiser that I would manage them. Continue reading

It was embarrassing to be doing acoustic music

©Chris Slusarenko

“It was embarrassing to be doing acoustic music. Nobody did it. Everybody was rough. There was no pop going on at that time. Elliott and I used to play Peter Paul & Mary, Beatles, and Captain and Tennille covers together in the bedroom with the door closed, hoping nobody could hear us. I will never forget Neil laughing the first time Elliott played him a solo song, the part where his voice goes up on on “No Name #1”. Laughing. It was just shocking.”

JJ Gonson