Elliott Smith - Clementine live + interview 1995 (Breakfast Time)

This peculiar scene was brought to us thanks to the recent rediscovery of the clip, which was uploaded to YouTube by Shooting Star with credit for its discovery given to a Reddit user who goes by “spirelld.” Taken from a segment on FX’s mid-90s Morning Show, the 1995 video shows Smith doing his very best to endure the high spirits and strained jokes of Bergeron and his co-hosts, Bob The Puppet and Laurie Gelman, before playing “Clementine” from his self-titled 1995 album.

After being introduced in voiceover as “a book-loving, kind of angry acoustic guitarist,” asked by Bergeron “whether any of us might come to physical harm” because of that “kind of angry” music and the fact that his label is called Kill Rock Stars, Smith performs a version of “Clementine” that still manages to be lovely despite interruptions by a squeaking chair and the presence of a red-whiskered, bug-eyed puppet bobbing along behind the musician’s shoulder.


“You’re craving a cigarette big time right now, aren’t you?” Bergeron asks after coming back from the break to the sound of Bob The Puppet yelling “yay!” and applause from the audience. Smith, reading a newspaper and still looking distinctly uncomfortable, nods in the affirmative.

While this video may not be quite as invigorating as watching Smith perform in a Devo cover band the same year he released his first album, it sure does come with a level of absurdity that makes it hard to resist. We can only imagine that Smith, sitting down with a puppet to play Morning Show exactly a week after his second album’s release, might have wondered if this was the path his career was going to take, figuring his future would hold more of the same and not stuff like, say, performing his widely beloved music at the Academy Awards.


[via Stereogum]

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