"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)
Today’s column has no words, really. It doesn’t need any words. The picture you see at the top of this post, snapped by yours truly at a large U.S. airport, does all the speaking that might be required.
Funny, all the writing — which is to say, ranting and raving — I’ve done about airport security over the past eight years. This picture says it so much better.
You can savor a full-screen version here, via Flickr.
What we see is at once hilarious, sad and perhaps deeply worrying. Do I need to explain? This is the state of airport security in the United States of America, and we, as American citizens, have allowed this to happen. Not only have we become willingly subjugated cowards, we’ve clearly lost our minds.
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Do you have questions for Salon’s aviation expert? Contact Patrick Smith through his website and look for answers in a future column.
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)