“I flew into Boston to meet the rest of The Brigade last Wed evening. I have to admit that I was in a bit of a haze as when I landed I found out that Elliott Smith had passed on from this life to the next, so much that I loaded my gear in from the cab to the club next door. I know his music affected all the players in this cast, and our condolences went out to all in attendance in Cambridge during Colin’s solo renditions of The Decemberists “Clementine”, which floated easily into Mr. Smith’s “Clementine”. We all will miss his contributions to this art form. Moving on….”
“It’s so tragic. He’s from Portland, Oregon and I met him a few times and he was a really friendly guy and really nice. Every time I’ve seen him I had nothing bad to say about him, but I don’t know him that well. It was more of a general greeting. It was almost sort of my friends that knew him very well and how it went really wrong down there in Los Angeles. So everybody’s really gutted about it up in Portland because some of his true good friends are from Heatmiser and stuff. I don’t know him that well, so it was just a general thing for me. That’s sad. We really didn’t see the full brunt of it because we were on tour. We didn’t see much in Europe because we didn’t read the papers or search the internet.”
“‘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.”
“Having just returned, & not really having checked the forum since just after the web page went up (thanks Charlie), I thought I should drop a few words. First, thank you to all the people who came down to the shows; especially those who got into the spirit & helped the shows fly. This may not have been our biggest tour, but in some ways it may have been our best, despite the difficult circumstances which overtook us along the way. I’ve got to thank Hella (& of course Janet) for showing me that, even as I may find it more & more difficult to tour, when the music kicks in it can still be amazing. Some people have written some nice things about the shows in the forum & we definitely appreciate that. Continue reading →
“The project was becoming more and more ‘tense’ before Elliott’s death, some people described Jen and Elliott’s relationship as a kind of ‘Sid and Nancy’ situation, it certainly was getting very difficult for us and the rest of the band to work with the two of them. Continue reading →
“We’ve been lucky to play with a lot of great bands. One of my favorite memories was when we were asked to open for Elliott Smith at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, CA. At the end of his set, he invited us on stage with him to play, “Can’t Make A Sound” which was a dream come true.
He had a big smile on his face when we were playing that I will always remember.”
“He told me he didn’t need heroin anymore. I was there in the transition period between the well-documented problems that were going on and during his rehabilitation at the institute. Paranoia? For sure. But it wasn’t constant. Granted, I wasn’t with him 24-7, and I was in no position to interrogate him, but what I’ll say in general is things were really fucking bad prior to the rehabilitation institute, when he was moving out of the Snow White castle, or whatever you want to call it. Then – into the institute and then over to Jen’s – dramatic changes. Russ Pollard would be like, ‘I can’t believe it. I haven’t seen Elliott looking this good in so long.’ He was a new person, and he was groggy and irritable and, yeah, paranoid, but then he was funny and warm and vital… still frail from the treatment, which was very radical. It was a rebirth – it was all about reclaiming his greatness and his identity and everything. Yeah, obviously he was still suffering some problems but he was doing better and everyone was taking note.”
“Well, I’m sitting in Portland, Oregon, right now, after postponing part of our tour. Here to spend time with loved ones and attend memorial services for our beloved friend. Portland is where I first met Elliott, but I really came to know him in L.A. I feel very lucky to have been a part of his life and he a part of mine. He was so warm and generous. I learned so much from him, not just musically, but in life as a whole. He was inspiring, hilarious, hyperintelligent and completely frustrating.
But there was always a lesson to be learned from his positives and negatives. I went over to his house so that he could help me out with a song I was stuck on.