"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)
Speaking at Wake Forest University’s memorial service for the beloved writer, first lady Michelle Obama praised the late Maya Angelou on Saturday as an inspiration to her and countless other black women across the world.
“She touched me,” Obama said, “she touched all of you, she touched people all across the globe, including a young white woman from Kansas who named her daughter after Maya and raised her son to be the first black president of the United States.”
The first lady was joined by Oprah Winfrey and former president Bill Clinton; but Angelou — as a writer, but also as a person — was the real star.
“She was the master,” Obama said of Angelou. “For at a time when there were such stifling constraints on how a black woman could exist in the world, she serenely disregarded all the rules with fiercely, passionate, unapologetic self.”
“In so many ways,” Obama continued, “Maya Angelou knew us. She knew our hope, our pain, our ambition, our fear, our anger, our shame, and she assured us that in spite of it all — in fact, because of it all — we were good. And in doing so, she paved the way for me and Oprah and so many others just to be our good old black woman selves.”
You can watch Obama’s speech below.
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)