October 22, 2003

Elliot Smith Memory

I dont remember exactly how I first heard of Elliot Smith, but the first time I saw him was in 1995 in a tiny little room in the Georgetown University student center (I was not a student there at the time or ever) where he sat on the ground Indian-style and played acoustic guitar and sang with no mic or amplification. He had the 30 or so other folks there mesmerized by his Drake-like songs and earnest, soulful delivery. After the show, I approached him and purchased from him his first solo release, Roman Candle, then only available on cassette - I had previously purchased the self-titled cd - and distinctly remember thinking "this guy looks rough, I wonder..." He was very gracious and kind during the 30 second transaction.

Just a week ago I purged about 400 cassettes that were taking up precious room in various closets but that I never listened to. I kept about 100 or so. Roman Candle was one of the ones that remain in my collection, and tonight I will listen to it for the first time in a long time.


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