"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)
I’m on vacation Tuesday and Wednesday but I had to at least acknowledge Sen. Ted Kennedy’s death. I wish healing and comfort for his family. As an Irish Catholic I’ve spoken before about the impact of the Kennedys on my personal and political conscience; I may write more later.
But it’s my job to talk about the political impact of Kennedy’s death, and I have to say: Despite Sen. Orrin Hatch’s statement this weekend that Kennedy would have brokered a bipartisan healthcare bill, absolutely no evidence supports that point of view. So Democrats must actively refute Hatch’s (now multiple) statements insisting healthcare reform would have Republican support if Kennedy were still in the Senate, glad-handing and arm-twisting.
That’s completely dishonest. If Kennedy moved hearts and minds in the Senate, it would be by moving Republicans towards sanity. Since I don’t believe Republicans have any interest in bipartisan compromise, a healthy Ted Kennedy would be kicking Republican asses — while possibly treating them warmly in person. A healthy Ted Kennedy would never have put up with the unhealthy politics of the Republican Party on healthcare — and Orrin Hatch should be ashamed, on the occasion of Kennedy’s death, to have said otherwise.
Joan Walsh is Salon's editor at large and the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."More Joan Walsh.
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)