The One, The Only…. Jeff Buckley 1966-1997
1. As a Child, he wasn’t Jeff Buckley. Jeff’s full name is Jeffery Scott Buckley, and he went by Scotty Moorehead until high school. In the early 80’s he decided to become Jeff.
2. He barely knew his famous father. Jeff only met his father, Tim Buckley, a few times during his childhood. His father was a 60’s cult folk icon & penned “I Never Asked to Be Your Mountain” as a tribe to his ex-wife & son he barely knew. Tim died at 28 of an overdose.
3. The 1st solo Jeff had was April 1991, at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church Brooklyn NY. Jeff sang tribute to his late father “Greetings From Tim Buckley”& other Tim Buckley’s songs at his father’s memorial service in NY at St. Anne’s.
4. Jeff almost backed Mick Jagger on a solo tour before Jeff became famous. He played guitar behind actor Andrew Strong in a band promoting the movie “The Commitments” in NY, LA & Chicago.
5. Jeff signed with Sony Columbia Records in the early 90’s because Bob Dylan was at Sony & was 1 of Jeff’s heros. Jeff recorded a version of Dylan’s “If You See Her Say Hello” that never made the “Grace” album.
6. Jeff frequently played at NYC coffeehouse at 122 St. Marks Place in the East Village. It was a tiny 50 seat venue because Jeff wanted to perfect himself at a performer & singer. The underground venue attracted high-powered record executives & many new fans. Jeff was discovered here at this coffeehouse.
7. “Grace” was released on Columbia Records in August 23, 1994. It did not make an impact on the charts, so the label pushed hard for the second single, “Last Goodbye” that ignited Jeff’s career. In heavy rotation on the radio, MTV & VH1 for 9 months. The single charted at 174 on the Billboard Charts.
8. Jeff’s musical talent & sense of humor reached new heights when a Radio host, Nicholas Hill once phoned Buckley live on an ep. of “The Music Faucet” & requested Jeff to sing. Buckley sang & played harmonica to a Bob Dylan song, “I Shall Be Released.” This amazing rendition was a big success with fans. Jeff’s “phone-in” performance was unheard of at the time.
9. Jeff was modest & he was mortified when he was named one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People, in May 1995.
10. Jeff needed to escape from the madness of NYC & he was feeling the pressure to write & record his 2nd album. He relocated to Memphis. On May 29, 1997, the day his band flew in from NYC to begin recording, Jeff unexpectedly drowned in the Wolf River Harbor. He was last seen going into the water, with all his clothes on, singing Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” before he disappeared. He was 30 years old.
The Music World Lost a True Legend…. RIP Jeff.