"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)
The New York Times conducted a lengthy interview with Steven Donziger, the lawyer who two years back won an $18 billion case against Chevron’s destruction of jungles in Ecuador. The oil giant contends that the case amounted to little more than a shakedown, and Donziger is now facing a countersuit, scheduled for October.
Speaking publically for the first time in recent years, Donziger told the Times, “a giant oil company is trying to destroy me because I was able to hold them accountable for toxic dumping on a mass scale.”
He says shadowy men have trailed him. Watched his family. Sat in cars outside his home. He had his apartment swept for bugs, but found nothing.
While Donziger continues to insist that Chevron, then Texaco, caused an environmental disaster in Ecuador, the oil company is turning things around by accusing him of unethical conduct:
He is accused of engineering the ghostwriting of a crucial report submitted to the Ecuadorean court that decided the case, a claim he says is exaggerated and misconstrues local legal customs. Some of his former allies have abandoned him and signed statements taking Chevron’s side.
The New Yorker published a detailed profile of the original case last year. As of yet, Chevron has yet to pay out any of the money from Donziger’s victory.
Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email email@example.com.More Lindsay Abrams.
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)