"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)
Earth Day may have devolved from a spontaneous outburst of benevolence toward nature to a green marketing opportunity in its 40-year history, but for a group of activists and residents of contaminated areas in San Francisco, the day has retained its value. Standing outside the Pacific Gas & Electric headquarters this week, residents of Bayview-Hunters Point, a predominantly African-American section in southeast San Francisco, and activists from the group Greenaction chanted for clean air.
For 25 years, residents of the area fought for the closure of a polluting PG&E power plant. They finally got what they wanted in 2006, but they say the damage had been done, the cleanup has been ineffective, and the effects have lingered.
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)