"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 Saudi Arabian boy named Ibrahim was left paralyzed after a car accident, over a year ago. According to the Independent, he’d not had a visit from his family in months. Alone in the hospital he took to social media, tweeting that he had no visitors — and the response showed the incredible power of Twitter.
Soon the hashtag #visitimbrahim was trending on Twitter in Saudi Arabia, and within a short day it became the most retweeted message in Saudi Arabia. In 24 hours, according to the Independent, it had been retweeted more than 200,000 times.
More than just the social media response was the response of the people who saw the tweet. Visitors poured in bringing flowers, pizza and gifts. Hundreds lined up outside King Khalid University Hospital in Riyadh to visit the boy, all due to a Twitter hashtag. (The hospital even had to put a temporary hold on visitors.)
The tweet generated more than just foot traffic to his hospital room. His Twitter followers also helped to fund a lifesaving surgery. The surgery, which cost $130,000 and required a trip to Germany, was quickly covered.
Below is an imgur of Ibrahim, and his visitors:
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)