Jeff and Tim Buckley

 

On May 29, 1997 : Jeff Buckley dies at the age of 30

On June 29, 1975 : Tim Buckley dies at the age of 28

Jeff Buckley Real Audio 200 K. Tim Buckley 162 K.

Jeff Buckley

Tim Buckley

Jeff Buckley was found in the Memphis Harbor on Wednesday afternoon, June 4. 1997 The 30-year-old singer had been missing since Thursday, May 29, but had been presumed drowned by his family and friends.

Memphis police reported that passengers aboard the American Queen riverboat first saw the body near the southern tip of Mud Island at approximately 4:30pm; American Queen crew members rode a rubber dinghy to the location of the body and brought it ashore at the foot of Beale Street in Memphis.

After the body was found on June 4, 1997, a positive identification had been made by Gene Bowen, a close friend of Buckley's who had acted as the artist's tour manager for the last three years. Lt. Lemons of the Memphis Police Department stated that there were no indications of any other cause of death other than accidental drowning. An autopsy was conducted indicating no signs of alcohol or narcotics (drugs) in his system at the time of death.

Buckley's disappearance occurred after the musician and a friend, Keith Foti, 23, went to the Memphis Harbor shore, where Buckley had swum on previous occasions, to sing and play music. Buckley had gone swimming, fully-clothed, in the harbor, while Foti remained on the shore. According to Foti, a passing towboat created a wash on the shore and Foti lost sight of Buckley when he turned away from the water to move a portable stereo away from the waves. After calling out and searching for the singer, Foti reported Buckley's disappearance to the Memphis police at 9:22pm.

With the release of his debut album ``Grace, Jeff Buckley emerged from the shadow of his late musician-father, TIM BUCKLEY, a popular performer during the 1960 s and early 70 s who died from a drug overdose in 1975 at the age of 28.

The 28-year-old singer/guitarist had a voice that sounds as if it came from a different era. On his cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," Buckley peels back the husk of Cohen's voice to reveal the latent sensuality in the words he gently croons : "But remember when I moved in you, the holy dove was moving too, and every breath we drew was hallelujah."

Jeff was voted by People magazine's annual "50 Most Beautiful People" issue. Number 12 on the list .

Buckley emerged in the mid-90 s as one of the most gifted singer-songwriters of his generation: a remarkable feat considering it was achieved on the basis of just one album - and that everyone was comparing him to his late father, Tim, himself one of the most creative talents of the 60 s.

Jeff Buckley was born in November 1966, the only child from a brief marriage between the then-unknown Tim Buckley and his teen-aged bride, Mary. Father and son met only once, spending a week together just two months before Tim Buckleys death.

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TIM BUCKLEY said in April 1975:

"We're in the habit of emulating those pure voices when they're dead."

Three months later Buckley was dead. The Los Angeles County coroner's office determined that Buckley was the victim of "acute heroin-morphine and ethanol intoxication." Overdose. His longtime frend Richard Keeling was charged with murder under California law for having allegedly furnished the drugs that caused the death. The drug charge was subsequently dropped and Keeling pleaded guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter. He served 120 days.

The death shocked Buckley's friends, family and associates, but the autopsy puzzled them; heroin had never played a big part in his diet. The coroner declared that Buckley was no addict.

One thing he wasn't was a pop star in the accepted definition of either word. His albums weren't big sellers, even in the relatively scaled-down record business of the late '60 s: At the height of his fame he barely cracked Billboard's Top 100. Singles.

But Tim Buckley's importance can't be measured in chart placings or dollar amounts. He lived his life almost in defiance of such standards. If he paid the price for his rebelliousness, he also left an enduring legacy.

Between 1966 and 1975 Buckley released nine albums that could have been recorded by no one else. Buckley put his vocal virtuosity in the service of an artistic vision that showed little consistency beyond a restless searching, an impatience with the present. The sadness in his voice reinforced the heroic futility of his music. His was the sound of defenselessness.

Buckley outlived his friend Jim Morrison by nine months. But while the media keep resurrecting the Lizard King, the equally photogenic Buckley has proven harder to exploit.

 

If you listen to the Jeff Buckley " Grace CD" and the folk-rock LP "Goodbye and Hello" from Tim, you know what a great loss the Buckleys are to popular music.

Jeff Buckley

Tim Buckley