"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)
“Pan’s Labyrinth”and “Pacific Rim” director Guillermo del Toro, who is apparently a “huge” “Simpsons” fan, has created a brilliant extended opening for the show’s upcoming Halloween special, “Treehouse of Horror XXIV.”
“We talked about doing it around the movies I have done, but I felt I’d rather mix those images with the creatures and monsters of film, which have influenced me enormously,” del Toro told USA Today. “So, I said, ‘Why don’t we do a really long riff on the title sequence, rather than just a couch gag?’”
The opening pays homage to filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, writers Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King and Ray Bradbury, and fantasy figures like Cyclops, Hellboy and Frankenstein’s monster, to name a few. Although del Toro claims that he “ended up cramming in about 1/50th of what I wanted,” executive producer Al Jean called the opening “encyclopedic.” “There’s very little you could think of that’s missing,” he said.
Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.More Prachi Gupta.
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)