I Weep For Jeff Buckley

A friend forwarded a link to a page where she is named on the “thank you” page for the documentary Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley.

I get shivers every time I hear Jeff Buckley’s music.

I bought the only studio release he finished, Grace, based on a recommendation from NOW Magazine. They featured him on the cover and I couldn’t resist his soulful face.

One of my biggest regrets is never seeing him perform live. He in the Mississippi in 1997. Princess Diana and Gianni Versace also died that year but it was Buckley’s passing that affected me the most.

The hairs on my arms stood up the first time I heard the soft twangy guitar that opens Last Good-bye (still does) and the bass kicks in moments later to draw you in further. As the instrumentals builds in the first minute, when you think it couldn’t possibly get any better, he starts to sing….

So beautiful and powerful. Angelic and raw.

His voice is tempered by a certain edge that keeps it honest and real- it rips you open and exposes all the painful emotions that most of us hide- sometimes from ourselves.

I’ve stumble across clips of interviews and live performances on YouTube that give you a glimpse of what he was like. When asked about his main musical influences he replies, “Love, anger, depression, joy and dreams… and Zepplin. Totally.”

His vocal range, power and control remind me of Thom Yorke though their styles are very different. He was a poet who set his words to transcendent music and his mastery of the guitar is just another layer that adds to the mythos surrounding him.

But words alone cannot convey the depth of feeling- it has to be experienced first-hand.

There is a reason he is revered with near godlike status in Europe and yet so many people here (Canada, U.S.) have no idea who he is.

In a way, it is kind of cool that people are still discovering him in a more organic way but it is sad that a version of Hallelujah by the winner of some reality show beat out Buckley’s (arguably the definitive version- sorry Leonard Cohen) rendition as the best selling single on the UK Sales Chart in 2008. There is a degree of homogeneity in music put out these days- when compared to his genius, it is nothing but pablum.

Apparently there is a biopic in the works- I hope they don’t screw it up….


~ by angryegg on May 4, 2010.

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