Mister Misery

Looks like this is turning into music day at AF&O, which usually is cause for joy. But this next piece of music news is the worst kind: Moody, tortured singer-songwriter Elliott Smith is dead from a stab wound in the chest at the age of 34. His girlfriend discovered his body Tuesday in their Los Angeles home. Authorities believe Smith’s death may be the result of suicide.

I’ve been a fan of Smith’s music since his unsettlingly fascinating and Oscar-nominated work in the 1998 film Good Will Hunting — dark stuff resonates with me. And it’s weird, over the years I became worried about the artist. His battles with alcohol and substance abuse were pretty well known, and many of his songs opened a window, letting listeners have a look into his apparently troubled life.

The Washington Post recalled an old quote of his: “I don’t really have any goals as a songwriter other than to show what it’s like to be a person – just like everybody else who’s ever played music does.”

A nice obit piece by Craig Lyndall can be found on Blogcritics; check it out.

Hearing this tragic news makes me think of another artist I had great concerns for long ago: Kurt Cobain. Man, this knocks the wind right out of me.

Rest in peace, Elliott.

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2 thoughts on “Mister Misery

  1. I heard the news about 2am this morning. It was not what I wanted in my mind before heading to bed. I loved his music and can’t believe this is true. But it is. What saddens me more is not so much his death, but the demons he must have wrestled with that lead him to do this.

    I don’t mean to be flippant but I really wonder if living in Los Angeles was the final straw. As a somewhat melancholy person who has to battle the beautiful dark lord of depression, I have realized that this place , so vapid and unfriendly (unless you are “hot”) is not the place for me. I wish he had stayed in Portland.

  2. I deal with the demon too, quite a lot lately. And you are correct. Los Angeles is a dangerous place for delicate people. Even some of the so-called “hot” people find the city a nightmarish place.

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