I guess it was 1997  and Elliott Smith and I had just embarked on a little tour. He was my opener and nobody knew who he was yet because he didn’t have any records out yet, but he was like my little buddy and I loved him loved him loved him, and totally believed in him, loved him. Anyway Slim sent in a proposal for me to play or whatever and it got rejected. and I was like, “Well fuck that, I’ve got the amp in the back, let’s just go. Who do they think they are? They don’t know! We’re awesome!” So we were on tour anyway, so we drove to Texas. Continue reading
“He wrote the song when I was visiting him in Portland around 96?
He played it for me just after he wrote it, but told me he didn’t like it. He had just gotten a brand new Manley mic though, and wanted to “test it out”. I told him I actually loved the new song, and I started playing around with it, and when we went into the little Heatmiser house studio, we messed around with it, and the next thing you know, it had been recorded. Elliott played everything on the version I did with him (bass, drums, guitar, etc), and he did an amazing job! The song was SO new, and I hardly knew it yet, but it just flowed so beautifully. I never really knew what or who the song was about… Continue reading
“On a sadder note…We’re all still bummed out about Elliott’s passing…I did what I could to put my emotions to some sort of positive direction, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him and miss him…. I had been missing him when he was my friend, but I thought that there would come a day when we could hang out again and let bygones be bygones… The day will never come now, but there are always new friends to be made and maybe the friendships will be made through Elliott’s music itself… And there’s still a whole new generation now that needs to know who he was and hear his incredible music… I’ll always (as I did in the very beginning) continue to do my best to make sure he doesn’t go unknown…
“‘Turn your words around’ is about a really heavy evening I had in New York at the CMJ festival, years ago – 2003. I noticed a woman just completely lose it in a bar, like hysterically upset. Me and my friends went to see if she was ok. After a while she told us that her dear friend had just been found dead, with a knife in his chest. The friend was Elliott Smith and the girl Mary Lou Lord. It had a very deep resonating effect on me, I didn’t know Elliott and wasn’t familiar with his music at the time but knowing what we did before the rest of the world felt wrong. People talk about the New York fear and I was skeptical but I got it bad that night.”
“She started talking about I Figured You Out. She said that she watched Elliott as he wrote the song–I guess it was during one of the times when they were touring together–and then he played it. And he said “It sounds like the Eagles! I can’t wait for [she said a name, I forget who, I don’t know anything about the Eagles] to get off the highway and take a dump!”And then he crumpled up the paper and threw it in the trash. Later on she got into the trashcan and took the bit of paper with the song written on it out. Then a bit later, I guess when Elliott was in a better mood, she said something like “As a singer-songwriter who doesn’t write many songs, would you mind if I kept this?” Elliott said it was okay, and I guess then later on he was the engineer for her recording of the song on the Martian Saints EP. Continue reading
Mary Lou Lord described you as sensitive, vulnerable and said you aroused maternal feelings in her.
Mary is nice. Maybe she thinks I’m vulnerable. She knew Kurt Cobain, and we met right after his death. I think that ever since we got to know each other, she tried to transfer the feelings she had for him onto me. But “vulnerable”… that actually fits Cobain better than me.
“I often talk about Kurt Cobain and Elliott Smith in the same timelines and in the same paragraphs because I knew them both. And not a lot of people knew both of them; they either knew Kurt or Elliott but didn’t all know them both and I did, so I have a certain perspective. And when you’re talking about the loss, if Kurt had just fucking stayed alive for a couple of more months, if you look at the timeline and you look at where both of them were geographically, they were only like two hours away from each other. And if fucking Kurt had just stuck around for a few more months, which was when Elliott had started to record, I know for a fucking fact that he would have adored Elliott. He would have gone to one of the shows, or they would have met somehow. Continue reading
“I’m pretty sure he had issues of trust. Trusting people. Because he could see right through you if you weren’t completely honest. There were a few hard feelings between us at the end because I was part of a little campaign of people that tried to get him help. It was what I thought was best.I thought, I can’t live with seeing him like this. Kevin and I knew that if he didn’t completely get well, that one day we would get a phone call. And we did.”
Mary Lou Lord
“I think he’s going to be a major, major figure in social songwriting and timeless writing. I’ve worn out my Joni Mitchell records, I’ve worn out the Neil Youngs and the Bob Dylans and to an extent, the Beatles. I needed something new and he’s got that same consistency. It’s really refreshing. I don’t know what happens to people. I mean, Neil Young has been pretty on top of things in recent years. But it seems like those people, after a while, just lose something. You get burnt out and you wait for somebody new and then it’s like “Yay! I need to feel like a teenage girl again!” Elliott brings that out in me. It makes me think, “Thank God, I still am a fan of music!”
Mary Lou Lord