"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)
This post has been edited for clarity.
Religious right leader and conservative activist Ralph Reed’s speech at CPAC on Friday morning was perhaps the most strident, uncompromising and sweeping condemnation of the Obama administration delivered at the conservative convention thus far.
While Reed ran through a greatest hits of religious right complaints about Democrats — their supposed hatred of religious liberty, disdain for the faithful, and obsession with pushing their “radical” agenda — his most incendiary charge was a comparison of the first African-American president to George Wallace, the infamous former governor of Alabama who in the 1960s became the face of Jim Crow’s defenders in the American South.
“Fifty years ago, George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door and said that African-Americans couldn’t come in,” Reed told the conservative crowd. “Today, the Obama administration stands in that same door and says those children can’t leave.”
“It was wrong then, and it was wrong now,” Reed said, “and we say to President Obama, ‘Let those children go!’”
Reed’s comparison echoed one put forward a day earlier by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. In both instances, the attack stemmed from the Obama administration’s resistance to Jindal’s charter-school policy, which is considered by its critics, including Louisiana’s Supreme Court, to divert public money to private and parochial schools in an unconstitutional manner.
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)