Tim Buckley was an experimental vocalist and performer who incorporated jazz, psychedelia, funk, soul, and avant-garde rock in a short career spanning the late 1960s and early 1970s. He often regarded his voice as an instrument, a talent most exploited on his albums Goodbye and Hello, Lorca, and Starsailor. He was the father of musician and singer Jeff Buckley, also known for his three-and-a-half octave voice, who died in 1997. Buckley released his debut album Tim Buckley on Elektra in 1966. A folk-rock album, it contained psychedelic melodies written with input from Beckett. He went on to release Goodbye and Hello (1967), Happy Sad (1969), Blue Afternoon (1969), Lorca (1970), Starsailor (1970), Greetings from L.A. (1972), Sefronia (1973), and Look at the Fool (1974).
Born in Washington DC, Tim Buckley lived for 10 years in New York before moving to southern California. During his childhood, he was a fan of Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Nat King Cole, and Miles Davis, although country music was his foremost passion. He left school at 18 with twenty songs written with Larry Beckett under his belt — many of which later featured on his debut album. Mothers of Invention drummer Jimmy Carl Black introduced Buckley to Herb Cohen, and he quickly got him signed to Elektra record company. He also met guitarist Lee Underwood around this time, who became a big part of nearly all of Buckley’s artistic endeavors.
On June 28, 1975 after returning from the last show of a tour in Dallas, Buckley snorted heroin at a friend’s house. Having diligently controlled his habit while on the road, his tolerance was lowered, and the combination of a small amount of drugs mixed with the amount of alcohol he’d been consuming all day to celebrate the tour’s end was too much. His friend took him home thinking he was merely drunk. He was put to bed by his friends, who told his wife that he’d also used some barbiturates. As she watched TV in bed beside him, Buckley turned blue. Attempts by friends and paramedics to revive him were unsuccessful. Reportedly, Buckley’s last words were “Bye Bye Baby,” delivered in a way reminiscent of the line in Ray Charles’ “Driftin’ Blues.” Buckley was just 28 years of age.
My Fleeting House: A Documentary About The Life And Art Of Tim Buckley
Tin Angel – 20 S 2nd St – Philadelphia, PA 19106
Thursday, May 10th — two showings 7:30 and 10:00 pm
FREE TO THE PUBLIC — RSVP ONLY