Elliott Smith Continues To Touch Lives Twelve Years Later
Twelve years ago, singer songwriter Elliott Smith died of two stab wounds in the chest, leaving a deep and painful hole in the music world. I asked a few fans on our Justice For Elliott Smith Facebook Page (here) why his music means so much to them and why his songs still resonate so strongly in their lives:
Denise Cabral Goldstein: It’s difficult to put into words how Elliott has affected me and has helped me through some emotional times in my life. I believe that Elliott Smith had much more to give. He was full of love and he was a humble, sweet guy. I miss you everyday Elliott Smith.
Dulce Mendes: When I discovered his music I was literally sucked into Smith’s supermassive black hole of a melodic dark, depressive, painful realistic world in an instante; that was kind of a surprise to me. It was astonishing to realize that even he’s now dissolved into ink, megabites and plastic, could touch a soul so deeply. I wasn’t alone in that path, many felt just the same all over the world about him and his work.
What I found really important in this singer/songwriter work was the absolute awareness of how important words are in shaping reality, how he comprehend words: “I think about it more like shapes” he said. The way he used this shapes to create a unique spiritual bound to the listeners, set him apart, as words can illuminate, can charm, can condemn or demean, elevate or heal. Since then, I read hundreds of words about him, saw dozens of hours of live performances available on the web, collected all of his songs that I could put my hands on, learned his lyrics, often in tears and, maybe in some macabre way, found the details of his horrific death. Just couldn’t let go of this growing “thing”, this euphoric quietness!…
For a countless number of days, I walked alone, listening to all I needed to hear from him, trying to figure him out, feeling his presence (how crazy and strange that is?) and have no shame, whatsoever, to admit that Elliott Smith’s music make me company, like hummingbirds singing, in all gestures of my every day life. Even when I embrace silence and solitude, which I do very often, the sounds that he brought out to this world, are actually a part of my absence of noise. He is my ghost in my town.
Ellie Lowther: The very first time I listened to Elliott Smith I knew he was special, fact of the matter at that time was I didn’t realize how special. His words made sense of the darkness within me and literally saved my life. It’s a crying shame that he is not with us today, life ripped away so brutally. his fans who find solace in his songs keep his memory alive, sending prayers up on this sad anniversary.
Jef Leppard: I love Elliott because he was an old soul. I find it supremely poetic that Harry Nilsson died the same year Roman Candle appeared. Both artists had an unmatched talent for composing baroque yet gritty pop ditties. As Nilsson was lauded by The Beatles, Elliott proved a veritable One-Man-Beatles (reminding me more of George). Mr. Smith was intimately bare and honest in his lyrics and peerless in his compositions. As a personal friend of mine said, “That dude was an anomaly.”
Líbero Penello: Meet Elliott Smith songs for the first time was like my head was spinning fast, my heart beating out of control, in a way I hardly could deal with. And suddenly I was a child, despite my 53 years, 35 of them as an experimented bassist. Cheers, Elliott.
Local Stigmatic: Elliott Smith was whispers and thunder, and I fell in love with his bare soul, disconcerting honesty, haunting words and melodies. I marvel at his craftsmanship, at the beauty he created out of the mess he endured, through songs that manage to capture the whole human experience in under 3 minutes, and resonate deep within me.
Teresa Treiger: Hearing an ES song is a reminder to me that no matter how hard some try, everybody is just people. Words, feelings, simple, relatable… human.
Maria del Carmen: I love Elliott for his humility yet grandiose mind. The man could write a song yet he never let the fame get to him. The first time I listened to Elliott Smith it wouldn’t be long before I was consumed by his whole discography. At the time I was going through a really turbulent patch in my life and having experienced my first of many panic attacks at age 15 I just remember putting his playlist on repeat until I fell asleep at early hours of the morning. I’ve learned to enjoy his music in ways that aren’t so chaotic anymore since then. I’ve gone from this 15 year old girl to being an adult all whilst his music plays subtly in the background now no longer on an ipod but my car. I just love his music, simple as that. There’s too much to say and I can’t put it into words…I just wish I could have seen him live.
John Samaras: Elliott taught me that when you write a song, it’s okay to be completely honest and not be afraid of what comes out. Some artists use music as a veil to hide behind but I think what makes Elliott great is his honesty. Of course his musicality and lyricism is amazing, too, but it’s the honesty in both that make them what they are for me. Vulnerability is not weakness if you use it as a strength.
Jaime Meisler: I never got to see Elliot Smith but his music has saved me emotionally many times. When I listen to his music- which is everyday- it is a great comfort, even though so much of his music is so sad. But it’s not only sad; it is the humanity of his work that moves me. I miss him even though I will never know him.
Mary Hyland: I love Elliott Smith because his music is soul stirring and never fails to bring a tear to my eye or a smile to my face. His gentle and gracious manner belied the demons trying to devour him and he fought a valiant fight with his words, with his musicianship…with his very being. I am so very sorry he passed in such a violently cruel and needless way. I will always love Elliott and the wondrous, heartbreakingly beautiful music he created which shall remain timeless.
Ashley Shinn: I love Elliott Smith because I became a fan when I had left home to go to college and had a terrible first year living in a city where I didn’t really know anybody and feeling incredibly homesick and depressed most of the time, and his music and interviews and words and everything else about him gave me solace. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone. It made me want to stay true to who I was, and still makes me want to stay true to who I am now as well. He told it like it is in his interviews but his songs revealed the most beautiful and special part of him that I have never seen in another singer. Mostly his music just felt like a friend when I really needed one.
Adrian Hernandez: As unique as it gets. His music is and will always be timeless. Its easy to get lost in his music. He will always be one of the greatest musicians from my generation.
Iman Lababedi: As a lover of justice, I’ve spent years enraged at the lack of justice Smith has received. May he be at peace.