Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ten Years After

Today is the tenth anniversary of Jeff Buckley's death.

How can ten years already have passed? It seems like it just happened. I remember hearing that he'd been lost in the Mississippi and was believed to have drowned. I remember fighting the news, telling myself they were going to find him alive. I remember pretending it was a hoax of some sort, that Jeff was just hiding from the publicity that had begun to follow him. But I knew none of that was true, that this incredible man had been lost. As crazy as it sounds, I cried for days about his death. It was much more than losing a talented musician. His dying affected me on a personal level, leaving something undone, unfinished. I felt, and still feel, like his death was the death of a future, an end to possibilities, not only his but somehow my own as well. I was surprised at my reaction.

I went to see Jeff once in 1994. I had no idea who he was, just went along with a friend who had told me "He's Tim Buckley's son," which meant nothing to me. I went anyway, expecting some mild entertainment, some folky singer. But something happened to me that night. From the moment the music started, I knew this was more than just a good musician, more than just "Tim Buckley's son." I can't even explain it, but when he started playing I got a chill, a feeling of being in the presence of something essential, something powerful, something very, very important. I have never, before or since, been so blown away by a performer.

Here are some lyrics from his song "Lover You Should Have Come Over":

It's never over
My kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder
It's never over
All my riches for her smiles when I slept so soft against her
It's never over
All my blood for the sweetness of her laughter
It's never over
She's the tear that hangs inside my soul forever

The almost medieval quality of those lyrics, combined with the chord progressions and swelling force of the music, is something no one but Jeff could do.

Jeff Buckley was something incredibly unique and special, a creative, intense, spiritual yet earthy human being. I know he's gone, but I still feel him here and have a weird sensation that I will meet him again. It's impossible to explain. Suffice it to say that I mourn him today but don't really think he is gone.

Here's an interview I've never seen before, where he talks about love, creative moments in everyday life, sex, the power of the live performance and the divinity of life:

And my favorite song,

"I think people are divine and eternal"


mike said...

hello...I like him too..be carefull swimming in rivrs at night..haaalleeeejuaaaa..

Chicken & Waffles said...

This was an inspired tribute, Miss Julie. You did Mr. B proud.
Have I told you that your blog rocks? I will do so--in person--this weekend.