Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Listen to BOTTLE UP & EXPLODE! (DEMO VERSION) by Elliott Smith.

"Before I knew who Elliott Smith was, I knew him as this very quiet guy that had discovered the bar (at Luna) and would stay there till closing or near closing most nights, writing constantly in a journal with some kind of dark whiskey drink on the rocks or straight-up in front of him; he always had some kind of bourbon or something like that in front of him. Week after week after week.

They said his name is Elliott, and I thought he was Elliott Sharp, an avant-garde jazz musician. Night-after-night he'd be in there and I didn't want to disturb him while he was writing, but he'd see me walk in or he'd look up across the bar and see me and nod or sometimes I was next to him or something, and I'd say something very small, but I never felt comfortable disturbing his sanctuary. So after about six months of this, he came up to me one night, and he said, "I'm playing at Fez. Would you like to come and see me?" And he was so shy about it and he was so sweet, I said, "Absolutely." And I thought I was going to listen to avant-garde jazz or something which is totally not my thing, but he seemed like such a nice guy.

And so I went to Fez to see him, and there was a line of like 800 people to trying to get into this place and it only held like 300, you know. And I said, "This guy's huge. I wonder what he's about." I had no idea who he was. I got in, and it was wall-to-wall people downstairs--I mean I couldn't move an inch in any direction. And he came out and he did only like 9 songs or 8 songs by himself. It's just hard to put into words, but he was stunning. It was like George Harrison. The beauty of George Harrison in say 1972, you know -- All Things Must Pass. And the grit of Kurt Cobain, who I never met, but I could always kind of feel that grit that he had. Elliott was like a blend of those two things. To be in such a small room and to know that I was a part of that album XO--that I put some walls together for him to write--because he wrote that album, XO at the bar at Luna."

Photo: All is forgiven (3).


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