Elliott Smith Article in Under the Radar’s 10th Anniversary Issue Tackles His Life and Legacy

Features Interviews With Friends and Family

Nov 11, 2011 Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern
Bookmark and Share

Under the Radar's 10th Anniversary Issue features a new in-depth look at the life and work of Elliott SmithUnder the Radar was the last publication to conduct an interview and photo shoot Smith before his untimely death. That original cover story article ran in our Spring 2003 issue.

For the new article, writer Matt Fink spoke with friends and family of the late musician. People interviewed include: owner of Portland’s In Music We Trust label Alex Steininger, Grandaddy's Jason Lytle, From a Basement on a Hill producer David McConnell, Smith's touring guitarist and keyboardist Shon Sullivan, Jenny Lewis, curator of fan website Sweet Adeline Charlie Ramirez, archivist/producer Larry Crane, pianist Christopher O’Riley, and Searching for Elliott Smith director Gil Reyes. 

The article focuses mainly on the creation of From a Basement on a Hill and Smith's final years.

The article also includes previously unpublished photographs from the last ever photo shoot with Smith, taken in his Los Angeles home and at his studio. The digital version of the 10th Anniversary Issue also contains additional quotes and photos.

“I don’t think Elliott really wanted to die.” – David McConnell, Elliott Smith’s producer and friend

"Somebody who is that far into their addictions, it's really hard to tell who's talking when the words are coming out of their mouth." - Grandaddy's Jason Lytle, who toured with Elliott Smith 

“The day [Elliott] passed, Conor [Oberst] was staying with me in L.A. We were both pretty devastated. I remember walking with him to the Figure 8 mural from my apartment in Silverlake.” – Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis

“I put [Elliott] in the pantheon of great American songwriters, with George Gershwin and Cole Porter, rather than his peers.” – Christopher O’Riley, classical composer and NPR radio host


Subscribe to the print version here.

Subscribe to the digital version here.

Buy a single copy of the print version of this issue here.

Buy a single copy of the digital version of this issue here.

See a map of where you can buy the print version of the issue here




Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Meagan M. Jackson
November 12th 2011

Under the Radar, Laura, Wendy + Matt Fink are officially my new favorite music people online! This article is incredible, and I cannot believe there are photos I haven’t seen of Elliott. I am so touched and excited to read what I am sure are wonderful heart-felt stories and personal account from others in his life. I am going directly to work on a post for Blue Sky that will feature/link to this! Thank you so much for doing a beautiful piece on a so very beautiful artist. [RIP♥ES]