Elliott Smith

Figure 8

Year: 2000
Label: DreamWorks Records
Location: 4334 West Sunset Boulevard | 
 | CA | USA

The wall Smith stands in front of in Autumn de Wilde’s photograph on the cover of the album exists in Los Angeles, and since his death it has become a memorial to him. It is located at 4334 W. Sunset Boulevard, which is a store by the name of Solutions Audio-Video Repair, just east of the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Fountain Avenue. It has at some stages been covered with written messages containing lyrics and personal messages to Smith, as well as displaying a stencil of Smith in order to mimic the photo on the album cover. It is regularly graffiti-ed over, followed by regular restorations from fans.

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Elliott Smith

Biography

Steven Paul Smith (August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003), known professionally as Elliott Smith, was an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised primarily in Texas, and lived much of his life in Portland, Oregon, where he first gained popularity. Smith's primary instrument was the guitar, though he also played piano, clarinet, bass guitar, drums, and harmonica. Smith had a distinctive vocal style, characterized by his "whispery, spiderweb-thin delivery", and often used multi-tracking to create vocal layers, textures, and harmonies.

After playing in the rock band Heatmiser for several years, Smith began his solo career in 1994, with releases on the independent record labels Cavity Search and Kill Rock Stars (KRS). In 1997, he signed a contract with DreamWorks Records, for which he recorded two albums. Smith rose to mainstream prominence when his song "Miss Misery"—included in the soundtrack for the film Good Will Hunting (1997)—was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category in 1998.

Smith was a heavy drinker and drug user at times throughout his life, and was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression. His struggles with drugs and mental illness affected his life and work, and often appeared in his lyrics. In 2003, aged 34, he died in Los Angeles, California, from two stab wounds to the chest. The autopsy evidence was inconclusive as to whether the wounds were self-inflicted or the result of homicide. At the time of his death, Smith was working on his sixth studio album, From a Basement on the Hill, which was posthumously produced and released in 2004.

Steven Paul Smith was born at the Methodist Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, the only child of Gary Smith, a student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Bunny Kay Berryman, an elementary school music teacher. His parents divorced when he was six months old, and Smith moved with his mother to Duncanville, Texas. Smith later had a tattoo of a map of Texas drawn on his upper arm and said: "I didn't get it because I like Texas, kind of the opposite. But I won't forget about it, although I'm tempted to because I don't like it there."

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Elliott Smith - Figure 8
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