"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)
There were roughly a billion Michael Jackson tributes over the weekend, but none could possibly match the one mounted Saturday at a Filipino prison — site of the infamous “Thriller” re-enactment that brought so much joy to the Internet way back in 2007. Seven hundred tourists flocked to the jail south of Manila to see what the 1500 orange jumpsuited prisoners would pull off, and they did not disappoint, with a sprawling nine-minute spectacle featuring “Ben,” “We Are the World” and, at about the five-minute mark, a poster of Michael Jackson dressed as a knight and holding a sword. Even in the robust pantheon of weird Michael Jackson pictures, this one manages to impress. And who knew you could do the “Thriller” dance to “I’ll Be There”? Anyway, I don’t care how crazy your dance party was, or how many times you sang along to “Off the Wall” this weekend, I seriously doubt your tribute had a flag corps.
If you happened to miss this over the weekend, well, happy Monday.
Sarah Hepola is an editor at Salon.More Sarah Hepola.
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)