Monday, June 29, 2015

40 Year Itch : Death My Bride

"He continually took chances with his life. He'd drive like a maniac, risking accidents. For a couple of years he drank a lot and took downers to the point where it nearly killed him, but he'd always escape. Then he got into this romantic heroin-taking thing. Then his luck ran out."
     -Lyricist Larry Beckett

   On June 29, 1975 Tim Buckley died of an overdose, apparently by snorting what he thought was cocaine but turned out to be heroin. A coroner's report also found morphine in Buckley's system. The dose was given to Buckley by a friend named Richard Keeling, who would face second degree murder charges that were eventually dropped. Buckley was hurting right away and Keeling got him home where Buckley's wife got him to bed. When she checked in on him again, he was blue.

   Buckley left us with nine albums that leap from folkie introspection to far out avant garde rock to four octave sex god yowling, each album so different from the previous one that his audience appeared and disappeared in waves. Never big enough to sell "successful " numbers.

   His masterpiece is "Song of the Siren", which somehow found its way on the final episode of The Monkees TV show. In the 1980's, This Mortal Coil's rendition reignited some interest but it was son, Jeff Buckley's, short-lived fame that encourages most fans to pursue this artist's back catalog. There are gems to be sure. I have a soft spot for Greetings From L.A. But most readers will be happy with the two CD anthology Morning Glory.

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