Friday, November 16, 2007

So Sick and Tired of All These Pictures of Me


Elliott Smith wrote that in his song "Pictures of Me" from his first masterpiece, "Either/Or." Is it about the Academy Awards appearance? Don't know. Is it about heroin? Probably. EITHER way OR whatever - it's a great song with a great little guitar solo.

I used to see Elliott in the East Village fairly regularly. One Saturday I saw him twice in the same day and we both looked at each other like "what the fuck?" I was once at a "Bastards of Soul" show at the long-gone and incredibly missed Tramps, when my nose was so suddenly overcome by human funk that I literally had to step to the right by three or four people. Elliott had walked up beside me to watch the show.

My friend Greg's band used to play with Elliott's first band, Heatmiser, and knew him pretty well. It was Greg who gave me this album, saying "I think you'll dig this" when he came up once and we drank an entire bottle of smuggled in Absinthe - the real stuff, not that froofy NOT absinthe stuff that the cruds are selling now. Wormwood and Elliott Smith late on a Saturday night. The last time I saw him was at Irving Plaza on the "XO" (his second masterpiece) tour. It was awful. The size of the room was literally smothering him. He didn’t know what to do with the size of the crowd and just tried as best he could to get through it. I felt sorry for him, but hey...

A little while later, someone played me a copy of "Figure 8" and I couldn't stand it. It sounded to me like what that show had been for him. Too much. I still have yet to hear it a second time.

Then suddenly, he was dead. "Self-inflicted stab wound." Think about what it would take to do that to yourself without the proper Ninja training. Really. Think about it. The Portland police said "case closed."

Someone killed Elliott Smith. Popular thought is that it was a dealer.

It's sad that he didn't rate highly enough as a human being - forget his genius - that the cops didn't see fit to think twice about it.

If Elliott couldn't get a second thought, where does that leave me?

This is my friend Emilie who I shot in Portland in 2005. As far as I know, she's still around. For Portland detictive work's sake, let's hope so...

Listen.

"Start stop and start
Stupid acting smart
Flirting with the flicks
You say it's just for kicks
You'll be the victim of your own dirty tricks
You got yourself to tease and displease

Doors swinging wide
You walked in to hide
Looking at your feet
Failures complete
Saw you and me on the coin-op TV
Frozen in fear every time we appear

I'm not surprised at all
And really, why should I be?
See nothing wrong
See nothing wrong

So sick and tired of
All these pictures of me
Completely wrong
Totally wrong

Go walking by
Here come another guy
Jailer who sells
Personal hells
Who'd like to see me down on my fucking knees
Everybody's dying just to get the disease

Im not surprised at all
And really, why should I be?
See nothing wrong
See nothing wrong

So sick and tired of
All these pictures of me
Completely wrong
Totally wrong

Im not surprised at all
And really, why should I be?
See nothing wrong
See nothing wrong

So sick and tired of
all these pictures of me
Oh everybody's dying just to get the disease
Everybody's dying just to get the disease
Everybody's dying just to get the disease"

---

EDIT: An apology to the good Policepeople of Portland.
Elliott "died" in Los Angeles. And I don't have to say anything about the cops there...

4 comments:

India said...

Yeah, I didn't like Figure 8, either. But then again, I find that most of the highest rated tracks in my combined Elliott Smith/Heatmiser/No. 2 playlist are from Heatmiser, anyway. Maybe because they make me feel less like killing myself than the pure-Elliott products do.

By the way, darlin', Thursday's photo? Would be really awesome if you cropped out the creepy naked lady. Or you could leave her socks in; I like the socks.

Maybe I should get me some land somewhere and start a clothesist colony . . .

Varvara said...

good song.

Mockingbird Girl said...

One of my absolutest favourite Elliott Smith songs ever. I knew I liked you for a reason. ;-)

The Pin-Up Poet said...

I can relate. I have a knife by the bed, albeit a Minx knife prop that isn't really that sharp, but which could really startle an intruder. Well, you know that it would be tough for an intruder to get past my doorman...except for photographers of course. Even so, I have this sick morbid streak that raises it's ugly head often enough to be considered dangerous. And sometimes I think that if my arts career doesn't end up what I want it to be by the age of 50, I will jump off the Brooklyn Bridge. Oh, I think I just wrote my next blog...ha.

Shopping = redemption.

xo a