In 2016, I flew to Los Angeles to see Emitt Rhodes at the Grammy Museum. It was his first public appearance in nearly 20 years. I was photographing the show through Omnivore Recordings (thank you Cheryl Pawelski), who had just released Emitt's new album, Rainbow Ends. So yes, for a day, I could put Emitt Rhodes on my resume.
Discovering the music of Emitt Rhodes was like discovering a lost world. Where one man could write, sing and produce beautiful music. Whether the world noticed, or not. His songs with the Merry Go Round, and then THOSE solo albums. If you know, then you know. And if you don't, go find them.
Emitt did not sing on this night, due to a bad cold, and his ever-present nerves. But just bearing witness to Chris Price, members of Jellyfish, performing Emitt's songs with Emitt, was priceless. I did not have room in my camera bag for an album, so I had Emitt sign my plane ticket, so that he would see where I had flown from. After drinks with Cheryl and Audrey Bilger, I returned to LAX and slept on the floor, wishing that all days like that could continue a little longer, before the world in inevitably moves on.
Emitt now belongs to the ages. But, like many he shared the stage with, his music and songs live on. They will always fill the spaces that Emitt has left behind, and we will always be glad that our lives crossed paths with his.
Safe travels, Emitt.
July 19, 2020