If you don’t care to know how your favorite singer songwriter died, that’s totally fine with me, but why do you want to give me a lesson every time I am trying to make a point addressed to people who may be interested? Why every time I post something related to my findings, I get someone repeating ad nausea ‘let’s focus on the music, he is gone and ‘most fans of his music appreciate -the music- and don’t get so caught up in the supposed conspiratorial elements of his death’?
Posts Tagged: Elliott Smith
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 why his music means so much to them and why his songs still resonate so strongly in their lives:
Knowing all this, are we entitled to expect Jennifer Chiba to be aware of some basic rules in psychology and therapy? I guess so, nevertheless, if we believe her narrative, she made four major errors while being a licensed therapist.
Brett Morgen’s ‘Montage of Heck’ received seven nominations for the Creative Arts Emmys which took place on Saturday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, I don’t know how many he actually won but this is revolting,… revolting because Morgen has tried to sell this fiction for the truth, heavily promoting a story that simply is a lie. Didn’t Buzz Osborne say ‘Montage of Heck’ was 90% bullshit?
Producer Kevin Moyer revealed to Pitchfork that the track list had ‘20 Elliott songs from the film with only around four or five having been previously released’. ‘So hopefully we can keep him and his memory alive through the movie and of course his music too with this soundtrack release,’ he said Moyer to Pitchfork. I know that the producers have the best intention, Kevin was a close friend of Elliott’s and he obviously still misses him a lot, but is this the right thing to do?
People have gone overboard with song interpretations and I will start with the worst example of all, Charles Manson. The infamous rockstar wannabe was convinced that the Beatles’ White Album was as prophetic as the Bible, he would often quote ‘The Beatles and the Bible’ and considered the fab four as the ‘four angels’ as in Revelation 9
It is well documented that he started a rehab treatment at the Neurotransmitter Restoration Center in August 2002, and according to what we know (Ben Nugent’s bio and Liam Gowing’s Spin article) moved in with Jennifer Chiba just after his treatment, fall 2002. By then, he and Valerie had split up. However, it looks like Chiba was in his life before the rehab episode, when he was still dating Valerie. This part may bother a few people who are used to a clean-cut story, he dated Valerie Deerin, then Jennifer Chiba, but the reality is much foggier than this!
Elliott Smith died in 2003 and the case has since been left open by the police, the investigation is in limbo and the homicide detectives who have successively been in charge of the case, have basically been waiting for new information to come to them, without actively investigating.
At worst, this petition will be an outlet for our collective frustration, at best, who knows, it may reach a good number of signatures and attract the media’s attention on a case that has been forgotten for too long.
In the Smith case like in the Cobain case (both cases have been heavily put in parallel lately because of these two recent movies), suicide is the easy way out for most people, suicide is more convenient, it is the lazy way of thinking since you could not have come up with an easier reasoning than this one: a depressed junky committed suicide, wow why would you believe anything else? And that’s the problem, at the end people pick what they believe, and believes work hand to hand with emotions, feelings, impressions and presumptions.
‘Your post was reported for violating Facebook’s Community Standards on nudity’? Of course it is totally false, Tom Grant has never posted any nude pictures, and he is a very ethical guy who has even deleted comments, if they were too accusatory against Courtney Love or anybody else.
The tiresome theory in this piece is that, blaming Courtney Love for the death of Kurt Cobain and Jennifer Chiba for the death of Elliott Smith is pure misogyny. I know his language,… people who express their skepticism are just ‘murder conspiracy theorists’ or ‘murder monomaniacs’ and he goes on and on, throwing in the text a few references to Greek mythology to make it sound more intellectual
The world is messy, my house, my room, my desk are messy, I constantly fight against the entropy of the world around me and each day I am losing the battle… but am I right? Should I even fight it?
I was with a friend who is an Elliott Smith outsider as she said, and I would say that the movie works very well for people like her. It introduces them to Elliott’s beautiful music and charming character, someone who just wanted to write songs and record them, someone who was living for his art
We are always told to separate the art from the artist, this should be the norm even though it is often difficult. But when it comes to making movies and writing books about artists, I wonder why directors and writers cheerfully transgress this rule and get away with it?
Stabbing is a very painful way to kill yourself. Those who commit suicide by knife tend to have very deep personality disturbances. And it is more difficult to stab oneself through clothing, requires a lot of strength to do that to yourself (unless the clothing is a thin T-shirt). Being very depressed won’t make it any less painful. There WILL be hesitation marks.
As everyone knows, we are in a dead end regarding Elliott Smith’s death, we may never know how he died, so I decided to contact Dr. Baden,… why not? He may answer? This is the message I left on his website.
When I got there I found him on the floor and I tried everything; CPR, I tried to stop the blood from the wound. Obviously there must have been an argument – that’s what my little brother told me, because I was asleep. He told me that they started arguing and they locked him outside.’
Suicide is the end of a persons story at the place they decided to end it, and murder is an interruption of a life just about randomly. It matters how people die, it matters how an artist dies. Would Sylvia Path read the way she reads if she didn’t kill herself?
I don’t know where these people get their information, The Smoking Gun showing the autopsy report is still online but it’s true there is a lot of confusion in the media. Still, misinformation is one thing, and these are not the comments which bother me the most.
He knocked on the bathroom door. He told Chiba he was sorry. He asked her to come out. He told her he knew he was crazy. He apologized for what he had said. But Chiba wasn’t ready. Impulsively, she told him to leave her the fuck alone. She was sick of the paranoia.’
The ‘innocent until proven guilty’ statement just applies in the courtroom, not only we have the right to express an informed opinion outside of it, but we should! Expressing and writing what we think is part of our rights. What are people so afraid of?
Elliott speaks about listening to Elvis Costello records and feeling like ‘a freak among other freaks’, about be given the ‘Folk music tag’ (which really bothered him) and about calling the addicts in his songs ‘the dependents’
rock-pop stars have always wanted to wear stuff for shock value, decades ago many rockers found it was really cool to wear Nazi propaganda, from Sid Vicious to Scott Weiland, Lemmy, Jimmy Page,… while in the 90’s Axl Rose went on stage every night wearing a Charles Manson shirt and that was really stupid
“The year he died, Elliott came to see me play. He was excited about his studio and he hadn’t been doing drugs. He wanted to show me his studio. I was going to go after the show, but [then girlfriend] Jennifer Chiba threw a fit and made him leave. That was a bummer”
All these points are facts, not opinions, and I know that statistics don’t always explain everything, but suicide in Elliott’s case would make him an incredibly odd statistic. After going through all this, it is difficult to understand why many people still believe it was a suicide.
Thanks to (in no particular order) Alaska Monaco, Juanita Ignacio, Lisa Tyson Dunham, Esajoli D. Jones, Ellie Lowthere , Ro Smith, Local Stigmatic, Heidi Bridget Knight, Brian Cobehr, Yrlic Music-IIc, Hannah Everage, Crystal Jeffrey, William Holbrook, Luiz Felipe Marinho, Grace Moore, Kali Eli, Jade Wood, Amber Smith, Matt Clairmont, Emily Sipiora, Johnny Dalle, Sarah Norden, Damasca Lovecraft, Antony Stevo, Mahmoud Fawzy Khalil, Michele Dena, Micelle Moore, An Mir, Taylor Thomas Barnett, Holly Fields Sesco, Deb Croghan, Alex Rafael Rose, Dave James, James Delahunty, Emily Harp, Emily Smith, John Stanley, Ben Sherwood, Kyle McGill, Mil Reyna
Another person said ‘due to how much information can be ascertained I suspect there is enough evidence to suggest it wasn’t suicide but not enough information to charge or prosecute any possible suspect. That leaves them with an open case.’
I know that many of you have probably read some of this before, but since new people got interested by this sad story every day, it is always useful to go over all these points again in one post
He stabbed himself in the chest while arguing with her, according to a neighbor she’d stormed out of the house briefly after a loud screaming match, but then she turned around and went inside and found Elliott all bleeding. Did she drive him to the hospital? I want to think I remember it that way.
first, as you are going to see, it has a lot of similarities with Elliott’s, secondly, Eline’s brother, Daniël Melters, a postdoc at NIH/NCI, writes this blog to gather his meticulous research about his sister’s death, since he has been very suspicious since the beginning.
the reviews for ‘Heaven Adores You’ are in, and despite the fact that the movie doesn’t even come close to cover Elliott’s last time on earth, the media mentioning his death, stay very neutral, or even emphasize the inconclusive aspect of the case
Elliott was standing up, conscious, and gasping for breath, she pulled the knife out of his chest and saw two cuts on his chest. At this time, he walked away and she followed him to where he collapsed
About one in five people who commit suicide leave a note, so of course it makes a big impression when there is one, but there is a very large literature regarding studies which look for clues to determine differences between genuine suicide notes and simulated suicide notes
I just have a problem with the arrangements, why this terrible change in the chorus? To me, it brings the song down, it makes it less emotional and gut wrenching, it could even bring it in the easy-listening department, or Starbucks counter.
It’s difficult getting distribution when the powers that be don’t support us and have wielded their influence to block or try to block screenings in major cities. I’m also not willing to surrender control of the finished product. And not interested in releasing it online until I discover the best way how
It’s always the same story, or almost the same story, people start to talk to me and when I mention that I want to write about what I have learned about Elliott’s death, they withdraw and become silent… No exception this time! I had a conversation with a friend of Elliott’s, who will stay an anonymous source in this post
We briefly met at Rockfest festival, but later, when he had moved to Los Angeles, I asked my friend Steve [Hanft] to introduce me to him. We were both shy and were smiling while looking at our feet. He offered me a drink and we talked about Russian literature
It seems that no matter how many times we will repeat that Elliott’s death was NOT determined as a suicide by the coroner, people will treat it like a suicide. The LAPD has left his case open, I wrote this post to sum up the main points of what we know so far.
People were jumping from electric poles, the crowd was pushing and the barricades were not holding up, it was scary! I have seen a guy passing out at a Shins in-store show at Amoeba, the poor kid had been waiting too long in the sun without water probably, but what else out of the ordinary could I remember?
Since his death, two books (biographies) and two movies have been made, beside the numerous articles printed in magazines. Before accusing the authors and filmmakers of anything, I just wanted to point out a few things I have noticed which make me cringe, more or less
As someone who has spent some years along with 2 other colleagues researching what is known of Elliott Smith’s passing, maybe I’m the wrong kind of person to review this film. Watching it felt a lot like a slow drive from a respectful distance past the remnants of a collision with the white sheet draped over the aftermath, far from hiding what remained beneath.
I continue to have a problem with posthumous releases and I don’t trust them, they generally do not represent the artists’ intentions, they do not truly reflect his or her work, and I feel so uneasy when it happens to an artist I deeply care about. But there are posthumous releases and posthumous releases, they aren’t all equal on the moral scale
‘Elliott was interested in the dark side, but I don’t remember any obsession with death, I don’t know that he had a death wish’, but interestingly, Schultz relegates another part of the conversation to the notes at the end of the book, in tiny print: ‘Schoenkopf told me that, if Elliott had wanted to commit suicide he would have done it by heroin overdose not stabbing!!’
A month ago she wrote a lengthy post on the meaning behind Smith’s song “Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands”, which she described as “his most vitriolic song” about friends who sought to rescue him from drug abuse.’
A coffee shop will open this summer/fall in the same building that is home to the Sunset boulevard Figure 8 mural, or if you prefer, the Elliott Smith memorial. Ben Hantoot and his wife want to open there ‘Dinosaur Coffee’ but fans should not worry as the mural will be kept intact
I profoundly dislike the term conspiracy theory, it evokes a crazy middle-age guy/gal in front of a computer with a lot of time on his/her hands, a tinfoil hat on the head and a basement filled with food items to survive for a year
All this focus on the respect of the music has always made me laugh a bit when so little respect is accorded to Elliott the person… Aren’t there other people using Elliott persona to sell books and movies, molding him according to their preconceived ideas of the Elliott Smith myth?
Feel free to like it or hate it, it’s not Elliott’s, it’s something else and I certainly can’t speak for him. But I am not someone who could get outraged for this sort of ‘blasphemy’.
Apparently Schultz hasn’t talked to a lot of fans, because I met quite a lot of them who are even more certain than me about what happened to Elliott! Saying that I am a murder theorist is so laughable, when he has developed an obsession with artists who have committed suicide,
Let’s Get Lost – Elliott Smith – Some obscure reference to the legendary Chet Baker –another guy gone before his time and another hard time druggy, and another little boy lost – A