Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Elliott Smith - RIP

Five years ago today the world lost a musical genius. Other than Ben Folds, no other songwriter has brought me more joy, happiness, sadness and pain than Elliott Smith. He passed away at the young age of 34 only weeks after playing his final show, strangely enough, at the University of Utah. I will forever be glad that I was in attendance that night.

I first learned of Elliott's music from the film Good Will Hunting. The director Gus Van Sant was a big fan of Elliott and the director featured Elliott's music prominently in the film. After purchasing the soundtrack to the film and nearly wearing it out in a week, I purchased his first three albums shortly thereafter.

Elliott's early music was Simon and Garfunkel type folk, very simple. As he grew more confident, his music expanded into a Beatlesesque mix of pop and rock. He ended up putting out 5 solo studio albums during his life and his estate has released 1 album that was near completion before his death and another album of rarities posthumously.

Here are a few selections from Elliott's large collection of masterpieces:

Here is a clip from his final performance at the UofU. He looks like a mess. It's horribly sad.

Elliott, I hope you have found your peace.

UPDATE - 11:52 AM
Here is a nice article I read today. Just wanted to pass it along.


Anonymous said...

This is a sad day for sure. Like kirk said not only did we get goodwill hunting one of my fav movies of all time. We got one of my fav musicians as well. One of my greatest memories was when Elliott did not have a show in SLC planned so Kirk calls me Sunday moring and says how do you feel about driving to Vegas to catch Elliott tonight. Sounded good we were both working crap jobs had no real money, my Jeep got like 8 miles to the gallon so we went up to the G house and stole Bry's car that was like Planes Trains and Automobiles did not have a speedometer. So we had no idea how fast we were going. But the radio came in clear as a bell. So as we are pulling in to the city of vegas after a good 5 hour drive. Kirk leans over and says now is about as good as any time to tell you this, but the show is sold out and we have no tix. I was like pardon? He said don't worry we will get in. I was a little worried but we finally get to the venue and are the first in line and about an hour into the waiting in line the ticket office guy came out and we asked if he had any tix and he was like well it says sold out and we were like come on man we drove from SLC just for this show. He said oh don't worry then I will make sure you get tix. So we went in and say a great set of Granddaddy and then Elliott. And then after a not so good drive home that involved kirk eating clam chowder at 3 am from the St. George Dennys and a bunch of stops to run around the car to wake up. But this is one of the greatest memories in my life and a great time shared with a great music and great company. Elliott you are missed buy not forgoten.

Anonymous said...

Well said.