Shocking and depressing news today, with the word that Elliott Smith is dead.
I first heard Elliott Smith’s music in 1997, when a friend dragged me to a performance in Philly. It was the first concert I’d ever attended. He’s alright, I told her, but my opinion changed once I got home and downloaded a few tracks off Napster. Not only did I eventually buy all his CDs, but I’ve been listening to him ever since. In fact, I’ve been anxiously searching Amazon for signs of a new album (his last was in 2000).
It’s unusual, the way Smith died, brutally stabbing himself in the heart. It indicates a pretty strong feeling of self-loathing/hatred, or perhaps that he was just lovesick. I think there’s more to that story to be revealed later.
But assuming he did, in fact, kill himself, then I have no sympathy. I’m disappointed, sure, but I also feel no inclination to attend sobfests for people who choose death when they have the resources to get help.
Still, though, I will miss Elliott Smith’s angelic voice. An industry full of pop acts and boy bands has truly lost one of its brighter stars.