"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
Like many of his generation, Bill Bryson backpacked across Europe in the early ’70s in search of enlightenment, beer and women. Over 20 years later, the acclaimed author of “Notes From a Small Island” and “A Walk in the Woods” decided to retrace the journey he undertook in the halcyon days of his youth, carrying with him a bag of maps, old clothes … and a stinging wit honed to razor sharpness by two decades of adult experience.
For his latest book, “In a Sunburned Country,” he has traveled all the way to Australia, a shockingly underdiscovered country with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet.
“In a Sunburned Country” is his report on what he found there — a deliciously funny, fact-filled and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder and unflagging curiosity.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)