Magazine - 1974
His Songs Are Sexier The Second Time Around
Buckley has long been a member of that nebulous club of talented "underknowns"
whose records fill the Village bargain bins and who always manage to make TV appearances
sandwiched in between Brownsville Station and Phisohex. The name is familiar but
you can't place the face. Eight years of relative anonymity can wear anybody down,
but it looks like this might be the year people forget Goodbye and Hello
and get into more recent stuff.
Buckley started out in the hearts and flower idealism of the mid-sixties and released
four, well-received albums: Tim Buckley, Goodbye and Hello, Happy/Sad, and
Blue Afternoon. It was with the release of his fifth and sixth albums, Lorca
and Starsailor, that he veered away from his familiar melodies and
put a stronger, harsher emphasis on lyric.
explanation for 'blowing it' attempts to refute the critical beating he's taken
from all over.
regard each album as a chapter in a book. Most people write for a business purpose,
to milk a certain sound. That's all right, but I never felt that I had that much
time to mess around with that sort of thing. So I tried to develop as quickly
as possible to get into different moods, different ways of playing, because music
is what I'm all about, not business.
I made it through Lorca. Finally it's me; I couldn't detect any influences.
Then I know I was going to do Starsailor [the song]; Larry Beckett and
I wrote the whole thing as a view of the universe through the eye of a bee. It's
a great cartoon. So nothing I did was an experiment, but I guess you can put them
all under an experimental category in that decade."
sixties had a great source of songwriting inspiration that the tomfoolery of the
seventies has killed off--politics.
the time, it was easier to put two and two together and say, 'This is the fault.'
Also Beckett and I were young and blind enough to actually believe what we were
saying. It'll be another five or six years before we write something that puts
that away. I don't understand what's going on and the reason why I'm working is
to figure it out."
the sex symbols that had ever been in rock and roll
music, from Elvis to Jagger, had never said anything
dirty or constructive about making love. You could never
learn anything from any of those songs..."
the seventies bumped politics into an apathetic oblivion, then sex has certainly
taken its place, and Buckley is basing his come-back on what goes on "down
between the sheets."
was tremendous doing this radio show in San Francisco. These girls were calling
up, there was this live thing, talk over the phone on the air. I guess the girl
had only heard of one album - Greetings From L.A. - and was asking why
I only wrote about sex. I cited her many songs, and she said, 'Why write about
it at all?' and I told her why I even recorded Greetings.
was because it was so odd to me that all the sex symbols that had ever been in
rock and roll music, from Elvis to Jagger, had never said anything dirty or constructive
about making love. You could never learn anything from any of those songs. So
I figure, talk about stretch marks, which really lays out people in Iowa
can't do the black lyric with any clear conscience at all, so if you're going
to do a style of music, the only way to do it is to bring something new to it,
but not necessarily a sitar; I mean, conception, not a gimmick. Then the people
who originated the music won't hate you so much."
new album, Look At The Fool, is another of his [funk] rockers. Unlike his
previous albums, Fool will be more of a commercial venture, complete with ads
and radio campaigning. Looking back on a quite varied [career] that is nearing
the end of its ninth year, Buckley shakes his head and said, "I'm one of
a few people that comes out with an album and it immediately becomes a collector's
item. I know why they don't distribute the things; I just don't understand it..."