In late 1990 I broke up with my girlfriend

“In late 1990 I broke up with my girlfriend of the last three years, the punk rock photographer JJ Gonson, and I moved from Boston to San Francisco. I am honored to say that she is still one of my best and closest friends. But for a couple of years after our breakup we had as little as possible to do with each other. She in turn moved to Portland, OR.

In January of 1993 we reconnected and she rather generously offered my band, Ain’t, a show in Portland with Heatmiser and Gas Huffer. She also offered us a place to stay: 2522 SE 16th Ave. on the corner of SE Division, where she lived with her new boyfriend, Elliott Smith, and where his band, Heatmiser, practiced in the basement. Elliott and the rest of the band (Neil Gust, Tony Lash, and Brandt Peterson) were kind of shy and I guess a little nervous at the show as they were performing for the first time for their new label, Frontier Records. I dug their music; it was introspective and melodic yet played through Marshall amps. Neil and Elliott shared lead vocal duties and I liked both voices. I was happy for JJ as well — she had a boyfriend who was nice to her and a band to manage that seemed to be going somewhere. Of course, I was jealous for I had no steady girlfriend and my band was nowhere near as good. Continue reading