I was looking for an article on Radio 4’s website when I happened upon an amazing piece about Jeff Buckley. It was only half an hour, but had interviews from photographers, promoters and others. Appropriately it was called The Grace of Jeff Buckley and included just a few live recordings, and the story of his gentle, yet aloof approach that made him the man so many loved.
His performance of Grace, live on GLR Radio was stunning, even twenty years later. The poor DJ really couldn’t respond in anything like an appropriate way, and no surprise, it was a wail, a lament, but also a song of joy and love.
It made me think back to when I first came across his music. I guess he would have recently drowned, it must have been 1997. We were camping in Plitvic Park back when you could do such a thing. People we met and ate with were playing Grace and I was hooked, I ordered everything I could as soon as I got home.
His Hallelujah was the first I heard. OK, so I now love Leonard Cohen’s more, but I was so moved by Buckley’s for years. What a shame it has been ruined by all the TV wannabes, but hearing Cohen sing it live last year was a stunning experience.
Buckley. Beautiful. Elegiac. Gone. At the height of his talent. It’s harsh, but what a way to go!