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 Post subject: Elliott Smith Dead At 34
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 4:12 am 
King Ghidorah

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American singer songwriter has died at the age of 34 of an apparent suicide.

The singer whose style is described as folk punk was once an Academy Award nominee for his song 'Miss Misery' from Good Will Hunting. The movie starred Robin Williams, Ben Afleck and Matt Damon.

Smith has recorded five album and was in the process of completing this sixth which was to be titled 'From A Basement On A Hill'.

Elliott Smith was born August 6, 1969 in Ohamha, Nebraska.


from here

There is also an obituary here and here


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 7:11 am 
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mother fuck.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 10:15 am 
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Folk-punk singer/songwriter Elliott Smith has died of an apparent suicide, according to the Los Angeles County Department of the Coroner's office. Smith's body was found in his apartment, in the Silverlake section of Los Angeles, by a female friend, who took him to a local hospital at approximately 12:18 p.m. on Tuesday.

He was pronounced dead at Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center just over an hour later. He was 34.

A single knife wound that appeared to be self-inflicted was evident on the body, though police detectives are investigating the incident for foul play and/or other possibilities. No other details were available at press time.

Smith (real name Steven Paul Smith) had battled drug and alcohol addition throughout his career. His first two albums, 1994's Roman Candle and the next year's self-titled LP for Olympia, Washington's Kill Rock Stars label, intimated these subjects with haunting, sparsely recorded acoustic songs such as "Needle in the Hay" that drew comparisons to 1960s singer/songwriter Nick Drake and Simon and Garfunkel. He reportedly cleaned up midway through his career, but the problem was believed to have escalated in recent years due to a reclusive nature and sporadic public performances.

A cornerstone of the indie-rock scene in Portland, Oregon, in the mid-1990s, Smith gained critical acclaim with 1997's Either/Or and 1998's XO, albums that best demonstrated his ability to delicately deliver poetic, emotional lyrics and beautifully dark, lush pop melodies. "Miss Misery," his contribution to the film "Good Will Hunting" that earned him an Academy Award nomination in 1997, brought mainstream recognition to the artist regarded as a figurehead of the indie-rock underground, and influenced such artists as Bright Eyes and Dashboard Confessional.

Born August 6, 1969 in Omaha, Nebraska, Smith grew up near Dallas and took an interest in music at age 9, and began writing and recording original compositions as a teenager. He moved to Portland in high school, where he played in a local band, before attending Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Returning to Portland, he formed the alternative-rock quartet Heatmiser with future Quasi member Sam Coomes. The band released three albums and disbanded after hitting its creative stride with 1996's Mic City Sons.

While still a member of Heatmiser, Smith retreated to his basement to focus on more intimate material in vast contrast to Heatmiser's heavier sound. Roman Candle, on which he played all the instruments, was recorded on a four-track and epitomized the lo-fi DIY aesthetic while showcasing Smith's talent to craft emotive song structures that emphasized the dark themes of his lyrics.

The promise of a great songwriter was furthered on Smith's self-titled album. While keeping with an overall melancholy vibe, he concentrated on beautifying the melodies. The songs floated like lullabies, though the lyrics could disrupt sleep for weeks.

Smith continued to play all the instruments on 1997's Either/Or, while focusing on the arrangements. Dramatic constructions combine with Smith's eerily potent stripped-down fare for the album that cemented his role in the indie-folk pantheon. At the time of the LP's release, filmmaker and Portland native Gus Van Sant used Smith's music for the soundtrack to "Good Will Hunting." Smith performed "Miss Misery," which was nominated for Best Original Song, at the Academy Awards show in April 1998. The Oscar went to Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On," from "Titanic," though simply being nominated helped his subsequent LP, 1998's XO, become Smith's best-selling album.

XO and his final album, 2000's Figure 8, both released on major-label DreamWorks Records, were marked by lush textures and acoustic melodies inspired by the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson and latter-day Beatles, that brimmed with a sunny brilliance, but still retained Smith's keen commentaries and forlorn sentiments. He had been working on a follow-up album, From a Basement on the Hill, at the time of his death (see "Elliott Smith Flying Solo On Next LP, But It Won't Sound Like It").

The limited-edition 7-inch single "Pretty (Ugly Before)" was released in August on Seattle indie Suicide Squeeze Records, and the previously unreleased songs "Splittsville" and the instrumental "Snowbunny's Serenade" appear in the film "Southlander: Diary of a Desperate Musician," directed by Silverlake resident Steve Hanft, who's helmed videos for Beck. After limited theatrical showings, the movie was released on DVD October 7.

In June, Smith performed on the second stage of the Field Day festival in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which was headlined by the Beastie Boys, Radiohead, and Blur. A brief tour of the U.S. followed. He was scheduled to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Los Angeles on November 9.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 10:29 am 
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Wow. I haven't heard everything he's done, but fell in love with Figure 8 a about a year ago when my bass player introduced me to him.

I want to get drunk now.

"Everything means nothing to me..."
--Elliot Smith

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 10:45 am 
King Ghidorah
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:cry:
I can't even begin to describe how much this bums me out. Elliott Smith's music and lyrics had a particular resonance for me. Having lived in Portland, the imagery of his songs always conjured very specific scenes to me, while his articulation of depression and sadness was always so incisive. Moreover, I had a good friend who after years of being on and off heroin, took his life, and I could completely understand the pathology of songs like "Needle in the Hay". As such his suicide isn't completely surprising, but incredibly saddening nonetheless. The fact that he won't be making any more of his truly remarkable songs is equally depressing. I guess it was his own fragility that perhaps made his songs so emotional. He'll definitely be missed.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 10:57 am 
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Much to your ear's dismay, it's Elliott's fault that I ever got the notion to play my guitar in public. His music was so beautiful and personal and inspirational... every song seemed like it was written for you/me. And his style... the DIY thing or whatever you want to call it... he had this way of making me feel like I should try to play some songs too. He was so encouraging. Fucking hell.

'All I want now is happiness for you and me.'

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 Post subject: wow.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 11:07 am 
Mechagodzilla
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couldn't have said it better myself dj sleepy. especially the stuff about his fragility making the music what it was...
-its one of those bizarre things that you want to be pissed off because, I guess, when you admire an artist and hold them in such high regard as I did with Elliott Smith, its disappointing to hear that they succumbed to such a sadly cliche rock'n'roll departure. But, at the same time, you accept it because no one except Elliott himself can answer if his drug addiction is what allowed him that fragility and honesty in his songwriting...
In other words, would a rehabilitated, sober Elliott Smith be able to write the same moving songs? Perhaps that was his own personal fear and struggle...

though i'm not shocked by the drug use or suicide, it still is unsettling. I know when I heard the rumors of his heroin addiction, I kept that knowledge in the recesses of my mind and kept my fingers tightly crossed, hoping this day wouldn't come, but alas...

he's one of my favorite lyricists and songwriters and i just can't believe there will be no new elliott smith records ever. that just bums me out beyond belief. I wonder if anyone (dreamworks, his lawyers, family, estate, etc) will try to put out the record he was working on...after all the posthumous Buckley releases, that idea kinda makes me sick too as much as I want to hear it all...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 11:23 am 
King Ghidorah
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I tend to think that the drug addiction is a manifestation of a soul troubled to begin with. I believe that Elliott, like my friend, probably self-medicated with heroin. Of course, this turns into a vicious circle, with the heroin feeding into that depression and eventually into a much more fatalistic outlook. Either way, I think Smith could have made those records clean (I believe he was clean when he made Figure 8).

But yeah, it is maddening that he succombed to what has become a rock cliche. But cliches exist for a reason, and in this case I think that sensitive/troubled people tend to create art (or perhaps those that create art tend to be sensitive/troubled) and hence it's no coincidence that there are more suicides within the artistic community.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 11:43 am 
Jet Jaguar

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Man this sucks, I'm pretty sure they will release something. I would be really suprised if they didn't. He was working on a new album. Too bad the man couldnt get off the drugs, I always thought he was a musician who had more in store, or could have had more in store. Like DJsleepy has said, he could have done it without the drugs. Now not everything would have been the same but I think a turnaround would have help his music and life. I did get to see him live in Kentucky which was an amazing show.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 11:48 am 
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Most Elliott Smith sites are crashing today because of the high volume of traffic, but I was able to find this one MP3. A demo version of Waltz #1

http://www.epitonic.com/files/reg/songs ... No_1_(Demo).mp3

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 Post subject: try here
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:15 pm 
Mechagodzilla
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that's all i wanted too, i just want to hear a few songs right now... and didn't have any of his CDs on me at work...

finally found some here:

http://www.buyolympia.com/killrockstars ... iott+Smith

including my favorite, "Between the Bars" - every song has a new element now and his voice sounds so much sadder now.

god damn it. this sucks.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:35 pm 
i can't really begin to try and explain how much his songs and words
ment to me. if you listened to him, i'm sure you already understand.
the saddest thing about his passing is that everyone who knew him
already knew that he was going to die at any time, but no one could
really do anything about it except just wonder when.
but there was something really special and magical about his playing
and singing. anyone who had seen him play by himself knows what i mean.

i guess all i want to do is post some lyrics to a song that could be/have been on his next album. i really hope it gets released.

it's called Fond Farwell.

the light bright's now black and white
you took apart a picture that wasnt right
pitch burning on a shining sheet
the only maker that you'd wanna meet

a dying man in a living room
trying to get to the door
god knows what for
this is not my life...

it's just a fond farwell to a friend
it's not what i'm like
it's just a fond farwell to a friend
who couldnt get things right
a fond farwell to a friend

he said really i just wanna dance
good and evil matched perfect
it's a great romance
i can deal with some psychic pain
if it'll slow down my higher brain

veins full of disapearing ink
vommiting in the kitchen sink
disconnecting from the missing link
this is not my life

it's just a fond farwell to a friend
it's not what i'm like
it's just a fond farwell to a friend
who couldnt get things right
a fond farwell to a friend

i see you're leaving me
and taking up with the enemy
the cold comfort of the inbetween
a little less than a human being

a little less than a happy high
a little less than a suicide
the only things that you really tried
this is not my life

it's just a fond farwell to a friend
it's not what i'm like
it's just a fond farwell to a friend
who couldnt get things right
a fond farwell to a friend


he will be missed.

eric


Last edited by Kevin Bacon on Wed Oct 22, 2003 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:44 pm 
Godzilla

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i too have seen people lose their life to heroin, while also seeing others turn their life around after an addiction. these kind of events only conjure up bad memories and aggravating thoughts of "what if".for what its worth, i can only say i truly hope he is at peace now with whatever demons were chasing him ,for however close any listener of his music may have felt to him there was obviously something much deeper he was unwilling to share and thus this is what he saw as his only outlet.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:53 pm 
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I'm saddest for all of those who looked at him as such an influence and even when Elliott didn't have an album out, or a song on the radio, they were always look for him..waiting patiently for his next piece of music to surface.

I'm sad for my husband who will really miss one of his greatest music influences.

-kim

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 3:20 pm 
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This fucking breaks my heart....

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 5:19 pm 
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from Rolling Stone
-------------------------
Elliott Smith, whose fragile melodies and voice positioned him as a Nick Drake for a new generation, died yesterday of a knife wound to the chest, an apparent suicide; he was thirty-four. Smith's body was found at his home in Los Angeles by a friend yesterday just after noon. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead an hour later.
Smith's life and career eerily reflect that of Drake, who mined a similar vein of melancholy folk-rock before an overdose (it has never been determined whether intentional or not) ended his career at age twenty-six. Like Drake, Smith's output is striking and spare: Six full-length solo albums, three with his old band Heatmiser, and, true to the independent ethic that defined and dogged him throughout his career, a few handfuls of EPs and seven-inch releases.

To those who followed obsessively, Smith's career was as varied as it was brief. But his blessing and burden was an Academy Award nomination for a song that he would effectively retire from his live performances. Smith never quite seemed comfortable with the degree of attention drawn by "Miss Misery," an original song that appeared (along with several other of his tunes) in Good Will Hunting. The song earned Smith a slot on prime-time television at the Oscars ceremony alongside Celine Dion along with endless barbs and queries. "She was a very nice, lovely person," he said.

The appearance was a long way from Smith's underground rock roots. Born Steven Paul Smith in Omaha, Nebraska, on August 6, 1969, Smith spent his childhood years in Dallas with his mother and stepfather. He began playing music at age nine and composing a year later. By the time Smith was in high school, he had moved to live with his father in Portland, Oregon. Smith seemed nomadic by nature, spending a few years in Brooklyn, Los Angeles and back in the Pacific Northwest. "I just like moving around," he told Rolling Stone in 2000, "because, you know, you only live once. I kinda wanna try out living in a bunch of different places and see if anything sticks. I guess I've pared down my stuff over time to things I can easily move."

It was at Lincoln High School in Portland that Smith fell in with his first band, Stranger Than Fiction, which ended with his graduation from high school. Smith moved to Amherst, Massachusetts, where he attended Hampshire College, and played with a local band. Smith met fellow singer-songwriter Neil Gust at school and the two relocated to Portland, forming Heatmiser in 1992, along with bassist Sam Coomes (who would later form Quasi) and drummer Tony Lash (who would go on to be a noted producer). The band's sound was more punk than folk, though in interviews, Gust would note that before and after shows, Smith would sit and play quieter fare on his acoustic guitar. Heatmiser would release three LPs and an EP between 1993 and 1996, and during that time, Smith also released Roman Candle (1994) and Elliott Smith (1995) under his own name.

Heatmiser flared out by 1996, and Smith turned to a full-time solo career, writing and recording songs that were largely acoustic, sing-song melodic and tinged with melancholy and embraced by a cult-sized audience. Either/Or arrived in 1997, but prior to that release, Smith had earned a fan in filmmaker Gus Van Sant. Six of Smith's songs appeared on the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, but perhaps more striking was the way Van Sant incorporated the songs into the fabric of the film, using them to fill in the silences.

In addition to the much ballyhooed Oscar appearance (at which a game Smith appeared in a white tuxedo), Good Will Hunting earned him interest from major labels, with Dreamworks signing him and releasing XO in 1998. The album found Smith broadening his sound, with cascading production on "Sweet Adeline" and a hooky piano vamp on the dancing "Waltz #2 (XO)." Another Dreamworks record, Figure 8 was released in 2000 and again found a marriage between Smith's acoustic foundation and a more robust production dynamic. "There's no point in making the same record over and over again," he said. "It's always going to be kind of coherent because it's all coming from the same person. So given that amount of boredom, you might as well change it up as much as possible."

Figure 8 marked the beginning of a quiet period for Smith. His gaunt appearance and world-weary manner had long fueled rumors of chemical addiction, though Smith kept his personal life guarded. As for what could have been perceived as idle time, he said, "I don't really think of time off as writing blocks. I think that's a Western notion of demonizing inactivity. When your imagination decides it needs to take a nap, then maybe that's what it needs to do."

Smith had begun to show signs of resurfacing this year. In August he released "Pretty (Ugly Before)"/"A Distorted Reality Is Now a Necessity to Be Free," a new seven-inch. He was also working on his sixth album, From a Basement on the Hill, with plans for a release next year.

And while Smith's tragic end will no doubt seal his legacy as a Drake-like poet of gloom, he thought such focus wasn't fair to the whole scope of his work. "The 'depressing' thing is a superficial tag," he said. "Everybody gets a tag. If you listen to a Velvet Underground record, you don't think, 'Godfathers of Punk.' You just think, 'This sounds great.' The tags are there in order to help try to sell something by giving it a name that's going to stick in somebody's memory. But it doesn't describe it. So 'depressing' isn't a word I would use to describe my music. But there is some sadness in it -- there has to be, so that the happiness in it will matter."

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 8:45 pm 
Godzilla
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"Last call, he was sick of it all"
"And I think I'm all done, You can switch me off safely"

Last nite I was listening to Roman Holiday as I'm wont to do when things aren't going well for me and I'm thinking dark thoughts and saying mean things. It usually helps. Sometimes it's VU, sometimes Beatles, sometimes others, last nite it was Roman Holiday. When it ends with "Kiwi Mad Dog 20/20" I always feel a little better.

When I got a call this afternoon about Elliott's death, I was rather cold about it, like "well, he Was a dark kind of fellow and it sort of seemed inevitable."

Now I'm crying

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 11:19 pm 
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either/or was the soundtrack of my life circa 1997

daaaaaaamn.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 11:19 pm 
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THIS SHIT SUCKS

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2003 12:51 am 
Snarf

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There is a weirdness here. At a superficial level you can see it in the "Suicide Squeeze Records" label name. At root it is a certain combination of showbusiness and depression, usually with the performers more on the depression side of it, and everybody else like "Ooh, so sad, so pretty..." or "Step right up! Come see the Violently Miserable Bastard submit himself to your collective scrutiny and confusion!"

I guess there is a flipside too, something like "Since I'm a miserable bastard, I might as well make the best of it..."

I suppose recording contracts and touring aren't exaclty the kind of gigs that come w/ healthcare benefits, let alone some kind of mental health coverage. That surely doesn't help.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2003 9:31 am 
Godzilla

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i am truly most horrified by the method of suicide he decided on. it so supercedes the desire to drown in a sea of pills and booze and shows an inner darkness i dont think i can comprehend

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2003 10:52 am 
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I guess Elliott Smith killed himself rather than waiting for the drugs to do it, so this isn't really a fair thing to ask, but ... how can people like Scott Weiland of STP, Courtney Love, and Robert Downey Jr. continue to get second and third and fourth chances in life, and even further their careers, when people like Elliott Smith, Layne Staley, and Shannon Hoon don't get those chances?

I'm not saying that I wish Weiland, Love, or Downey dead, but it seems to me like those 3, in particular, have had problems as bad as, if not worse, then those who have died.

Life. It's a weird thing.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2003 11:00 am 
Godzilla

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ned i see where your coming from but others have different individuals and music that touches them. i was not a big fan of elliot smith and would count weiland as one of my biggest influences. so i guess had he (weiland) died a few years ago (or yesterday or 8 years ago for that matter) , i would be left to ask why he died and why people like (insert other drug addled artist here) are still playing. since only a select few of us are lucky enough to meet the artists that touch us i guess these kinds of responses will always exist.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2003 12:02 pm 
Godzilla
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And, for that matter, why don't people like the doodz in ICP or Aaron Nevill or other drain clogs become Oxycontin-munching recluses, waiting to die?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2003 12:21 pm 
i've been listening to his records all day today. i have a bunch of live solo shows that
he played last year & this year and they just take on a new meaning now.
alot of his songs talked about the idea of suicide and/or the concept of ending it and
not being around anymore. i guess maybe i'm starting to read things into his songs
now that he's gone, but i just can't listen to a phrase like "i know you'd rather see
me gone, then to see me the way that i am, when i am in the life anyway" without
thinking a little more in depth about it.

he had tried suicide before, at least to my knowledge, jumping off a cliff in Portland
and being impaled by trees, somehow surviving with only scars on his face & body.
he had been in and out of hospitalization & rehab all through his life it seems.

his music & songs will continue to be important to me because they represent
what a person can overcome thru the process of doing something creative, doing
anything, to get past the horrible truths that everyone has to face in life. and also
to be able to celebrate the beautiful things that can balance them out.
even though he didnt make it, his songs are still here.

eric


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