BECK PAYS TRIBUTE TO ELLIOTT SMITH

The singer pays tribute to his tragic pal and calls him "one of the biggest songwriters of our day"...

BECK has expressed his sadness at the passing of Elliott Smith.

The singers were pals, and Beck admits his friend’s suicide last week in LA (October 21) has left him stunned.

“It is a terrible loss for myself and many of my friends, who knew, worked and hung out with him,” lamented Beck. “Needless to say he was one of the best songwriters of our day and a formidable musician. We know he’s had his struggles over the years and I was heartened by word that he was on an upswing and preparing a new album.

“We even talked a few times about getting together and making some music when I got off tour,” he added. “Nobody was to know what would happen, but I am grateful for the times we got to tour and hang out together. He will be missed and the ramifications of his absence will long be felt.”

Beck‘s long-time drummer Joey Waronker was also keen to share his sympathies. He added: ” I have a good memory of him, from when I recorded a few songs for the ‘XO’ album. We were at Sunset Sound (studios), and on a break we were playing basketball.

“He brought out this pirate hat that somehow had an eye patch built into it, and we devised a game where we had to take turns doing a lay-up wearing the pirate hat and patch. We each had to do our best pirate impersonation while trying to make the shot. It was ridiculous and somehow so sweet!”

“At least he had a light side in there at some point. I’m going to hold on to that image of him hobbling towards the basketball hoop in pirate garb, shouting, “Ahrrrrr!”, and laughing!”

Beck will play at an [/a] tribute gig on November 3 in Los Angeles. He will be joined onstage by acts such as [a] and [a][/a].