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Douglas Capraro Douglas Capraro

Video: Elliott Smith Discusses Drugs and Dependency

The late singer-songwriter talks about dependence on people and drugs in this animated version of a 1998 interview.

31 Substance

Elliott Smith, who died in 2003 from an apparent suicide at aged 34, made references to addiction in many of his famously heart-wrenching songs. He admitted that at one point, his crack and heroin use had cost him up to $1,500 a day.

After a successful stint in rehab, he played benefit concerts for an LA needle exchange program, and was drug-free at the time of his death. The latest installment of PBS’s Blank on Blank series (below), which animates seldom-heard interviews with iconic artists, offers a glimpse into the singer’s views on drugs and dependence.

This interview, which mainly focuses on his musical inspirations, was conducted not long after he performed “Miss Misery” from Good Will Hunting at the Oscars in 1998. When asked whether or not the “dependents” that he sings about are based on his own experiences, Smith says: “it’s good to call them dependents ’cause that was the point, as opposed to them being songs strictly about drugs. There are a lot of ways people can be dependent on another person or drugs.”