Saturday, October 6, 2007

Hystoria, Chapter I: Dream Brothers Pt. III: Dream Brother

From time to time a persona gathers more force than the actual person. The saying larger than life seems to dig at this. With some, they are just too great to be exposed to this world for too long. Like a dying star, they burn bright and fast letting the whole world know of their existence; at least to those who are looking to the heavens. As it is, these stars die just as fast.

Tim and Jeff Buckley are two of these stars; the fact that they were father and son does not just double the loss, but multiple it infinitely. Tim Buckley died on June 28th 1975 from a heroine overdose, just nine years after his debut album in '66 (the same year Jeff was born). Thirty years later Jeff drowned when he went "swimming in Wolf River harbor, a tributary of the Mississippi River , while wearing steel-toed boots, all of his clothing, and singing along to a radio playing Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love"(Wikipedia, Jeff Buckley Article). Perhaps his swan dive just four years after his only album Grace, Buckley would never return from the water.

On Grace, the last song entitled Dream Brother, Jeff warns a friend about walking out on his unborn child. This is a haunting reflection of his own estranged relationship with his father, Tim. The wear of the relationship breaks in the line, "Don't be like the one who made me so old"as he pleads to his friend. Jeff always struggled with separating himself from his father. It would be his biggest fight; but in the end it would be this struggle that defined him.

Their contributions, though seemingly small, are no less integral to music than Dylan's or Baez's. In a way, their tragically short lives reinforce their importance. This was confirmed with the release of Dream Brother:The Songs of Tim & Jeff Buckley. This tribute album features The Magic Numbers, Sufjan Stevens, Micah P. Hinson, and Kathryn Williams among others. If this album shows us anything it is that, while father and son, their songs magnificently stand on their own.

Jeff Buckley - Sketches (For My Sweetheart the Drunk)*- Yard of Blond Girls
Micah P. Hinson - Dream Brother -Yard Of Blond Girls
Tim Buckley - Happy Sad - Buzzin' Fly
Kathryn Williams - Dream Brother - Buzzin' Fly

* This album was released after Jeff's death, and close friend maintain this release does not do justice to what the album should have been.

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