They’ll Never Take Her Love Away from Me (George Jones cover) - Elliott Smith
So much sadness in this little song and video. Elliott is clearly sad while playing it (he mentions having just broken up with his girlfriend “two days ago”) and it’s a sad old country song in general. But now both these men, Elliott and George, are no longer with us, Elliott having left us nearly ten years ago now (!) and George passing away this morning.
I don’t really believe in heaven, but if there is one, hopefully they’re up there this morning having a quiet little jam session together somewhere off in a little corner of the room.
Elliott once mentioned that, in his verison of heaven, “George Jones would be singing all the time. It would be like New York in reverse: people would be nice to each other for no reason at all, and it would smell good.”
Earlier today, director Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, etc) uploaded to YouTube a copy of the original and never-aired pilot he directed for a Jon Brion variety show type thing for VH1 back in 2000. The nearly 45 minute pilot features, among other things, several performances from Elliott Smith - including absolutely gorgeous renditions of The Kinks’ “Waterloo Sunset” and John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy”. Honestly? Crying a little bit over here.
He was at his best, or at least right up near it, at this show. A year or so before Good Will Hunting made him a bit more known, before the Oscars, before Dreamworks, before everything else, there was this: a guy, his guitar, and a handful of some of the finest songs ever written.
In honor of the still unbearably sad anniversary of his passing, nine years ago this week, take a long listen and realize all that was lost when he left the world on October 21, 2003.
Clementine Roman Candle Some Song No Confidence Man Big Decision Condor Ave Division Day Angeles Antonio Carlos Jobim (talking, re: Xena the Warrior Princess) Between the Bars See You Later Thirteen
Re-posting this on ECEU again in honor of Elliott’s passing eight years ago today:
This picture makes my heart hurt.
It’s Gary Smith and his son, Steven Paul Smith, many moons ago - long before little Steven grew up and became Elliott Smith and wrote some of the best songs of the last century and then broke everybody’s heart.