"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)
BOSTON – Larry Day was diagnosed with HIV in April, 1996, after being tested without giving his consent. He arrived at the hospital sick, and the doctor tested him for HIV without his knowledge. Without the opportunity for counseling or a conversation with the doctor, he said, he wasn’t mentally prepared to hear the news.
In Massachusetts, a law will take effect on July 26 that requires verbal consent from patients before an HIV test can be given, as opposed to necessitating written consent, which is the commonwealth’s current requirement. Massachusetts was the second to last state in the country to change its law to require verbal consent (Nebraska is the only other state where written consent is needed).
States and AIDS advocacy organizations are pushing for routinized testing because according to the CDC, nearly 20 percent of the 1.1 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS do not know they’re infected. Without that knowledge, of course, HIV positive people risk not knowing to seek treatment until it is too late.
In this video, Day tells his HIV testing story and explains why both the new law and doctor-patient conversation are important.
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)
Salon is proud to feature content from GlobalPost, an awarding-winning international news site that focuses on original reporting from journalists stationed around the world. GlobalPost combines traditional journalistic values with the power of new media to offer a fresh perspective on global developments.