Elliott Smith died October 21st, 2003, of an apparent suicide.
Elliott's body was discovered by his live-in girlfriend, who took him to a hospital, sadly, too late. He died of an apparently self-inflicted knife wound. His reasons for suicide may never be known; some suspect his recent bouts with alcoholism may have helped push him over the edge. (Elliott recently came out of rehab in a Beverly Hills Neurotransmitter Restoration Center.) At age 34, his death invokes disturbing parallels to that of Nick Drake. Regardless, his hauntingly beautiful music promises to endure beyind his demise.
The obituary used by his website immediately after his death reads as follows:
Steven Paul (Elliott) Smith. August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003.
Elliott Smith was born on August 6, 1969 in Omaha, Nebraska. Elliott spent his
childhood near Dallas, Texas where he began his musical training at the age
of nine, winning a local award for original composition at the age of ten.
Elliott relocated to Portland, Oregon as a Sophomore at Lincoln High School
where he achieved the rank of National Merit Scholar. During his time at Lincoln
High School, Elliott joined the band “Stranger Than Fiction” in
which he composed music and performed until his graduation in 1987.
Elliott later attended Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he
majored in Philosophy and Political Science. During his time at Hampshire, Elliott,
known then as Elliott Stillwater-Rotter, co-founded the band “A Murder
of Crows”. He later became a member of well known band “Heatmiser”.
It was during this time that Elliott began to release music as a solo artist.
During his lifetime, Elliott released five full-length albums as a solo artist
as well as a number of singles. Elliott was nominated for an Academy Award for
“Miss Misery”, his musical contribution to the Academy Award winning
movie, “Good Will Hunting”.
At the time of his death, Elliott was recording his sixth album, “From
A Basement On The Hill”.
Elliott is survived by a host of family, friends and fans.
I wish I had the energy to write some sort of eloquent tribute, something to feel that I've done my small (mostly worthless) part to express the way in which this bothers me and the gift the world has lost. I don't. Elliott lives on.