"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)
A judge on Wednesday reversed a previous court ruling that forced a Tennessee woman to change her son’s name from “Messiah” to “Martin.”
A disagreement with her son’s father about the child’s last name brought Jaleesa Martin to a court in Cocke County last month, but rather than resolving the dispute about the last name, Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered the baby’s name changed to ”Martin DeShawn McCullough.” Ballew said her decision was based on the fact that, “The word ‘Messiah’ is a title, and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person — and that one person is Jesus Christ.”
Martin called foul on the court order, and appealed the decision, explaining at the time: “I didn’t think a judge could make me change my baby’s name because of her religious beliefs,” she said. “Everybody believes what they want, so I should be able to name my child what I want to name him.”
Chancellor Telford Forgety agreed with Martin, saying Bellew had no business changing the child’s first name.
Martin welcomed the judge’s reversal of the earlier decision, and said she was heartened by the support she received as more and more people learned about the case. “This has been an interesting case — it’s been widely reported, people have been very interested in it, and I think that’s a good thing,” Davis told local news station WBIR.
“We, as Americans, care about our civil liberties,” she added.
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)