The Tim Buckley Archives


Hitweek (Holland)


Translated from the Dutch by Hans Kerkhof

Tim Buckley is a nice, kindly guy, who loves to play for a small audience.
Tim Buckley was in Amsterdam for a couple of days, a visit which hardly caused a sensation because Buckley isn't very well-known in this area. That's why here's some quick information.

Tim is a nice guy who has made two LP's. The first LP is called Tim Buckley and the second, Goodbye and Hello. Manager Herb Cohen (manager of the Mothers of Invention) sent him from the West Coast (where he played country music) to the East Coast.

In the Night Owl Cafe in New York, he was discovered by Elektra (record company) and the result: two very original records which have made him one of the best and original composers/singers. You have to accept this from us. The best is to listen to Goodbye and Hello, then you will probably agree with us.

Tim Buckley was here last week for a TV appearance (Twien). When Tim arrived at the Fantasio Club (pr. Hendrikkade 142), he liked it so much that he decided to do his appearance in this diggers-shop. The evening before his appearance at the Fantasio Club, some Hitweek journalists talked with him about the scene in America at the moment.

In his hotel room, Tim Buckley was playing his twelve-string guitar. He wore old, worn-out clothes and he wore two different colored socks. The Hitweek journalists sat respectfully on his bed and started the conversation.

"We're from a Dutch pop magazine, which is trying to cultivate interest in better and profound pop music. We notice exactly the things that happen and we think that at the moment music is being made of incredible high quality. That in America better things are happening than in England (since about a year ago). Even the recording quality of the LP's is much better than those in England."

Tim thoughtfully plays his guitar and tells us that he barely listens to pop music, because he cannot learn anything from pop music, that pop music is rust in tight schedules and gives too little room for improvisation, so it's like creating a fake musical world. A musical world in which a human being cannot exist.

"I would like to show the man behind the music and not only the sterile sound which is stuck to an ever-returning blues schedule.

"I only learn from people when I play with them in, for instance, a living room. People like Tim Hardin and Eric Clapton who I play sometimes with. I only want to learn, learn. Every day I learn something. The difference between England and America is obviously clear now, I think. I play every day, sometimes a whole week, every evening in the same club. In this way, you get to know the audience, and the audience has a chance to get to know you. In this way, you have to show something else every day and you have to work yourself hard.

"There are people who come to listen every evening. In England, groups appear in different clubs and often only some evenings during the week. If they become a little well-known, they stop learning and they get a prima-donna attitude. The Jefferson Airplane is such a group which earns too much money and thinks that they made it. They really don't want to work anymore; their latest LP is simply without spirit. I have listened to the record about ten times without discovering anything good, and that in spite that they worked for a very long time on this record. They don't agree with what they are doing, they will stop to exist one of these days."

"Your music?"

"I cannot say much about it. When you have to play like me, every evening, you have to show every time something new. My songs often arise on stage. I try to create simple things which are easy to understand, that takes a lot of time. It costs Ringo Starr a lot of time to come to this now very simple style, a very fantastic drummer."

"Referring to England, you played in the Royal Festival Hall?"

"Yes, people have to pay a lot of money to get in, I don't like that. I've also played, in the Arts Laboratory of Jim Haynes ... you know that? It's like your Fantasio Club. I did a very fine gig. The people there were very relaxed and they reacted to my music, a feedback that you learn from.

"I think England is unfair. Nice people who really are not nice at all. Groups get dressed up when they have to play, a kind of unreal circus, a kind of friendly candy-stall with disguised actors. They don't agree with the music. They make a show and not music, you can't discover them in what they are doing. The people in the Arts Lab, they could listen, a fantastic audience."

"How is your relationship to other music being made at the moment in the US?"

"Have you ever heard of Dr. John, the Nighttripper? I think it's thrilling music. It's something very new, incredible. A kind of black magic. This guy comes from Florida, the Everglades, a village in the swamps, mosquitoes, snakes, Bahama's, that kind of foreign area. You've got to be strong to live there.

"Erik Satie, do you know him? A classical composer that I listen to very often. John Coltrane... One day, he said to his musicians: everyone is playing for himself, what we feel, there is no key, no deal. Yourself, that's only what counts... That is the kind of music where lots of good things happen. "Mind Gardens" by the Byrds made a great impression on me... you know that song?

"The Doors have a good show... I mean a real show... that Jim Morrison is someone who believes in what he is doing, it's no theatre... he is it, Jim Morrison of the Doors. Cream and Hendrix... tremendous groups, but that's England."

"What is the starting point of your music?"

"My philosophy is... so what philosophy... (smiles apologetically). It's good if you can daydream with music or even fall asleep. If music takes you away and creates a new world. Like Dr. John opens for you a jungle and you enter a magic forest with weird birds and mysterious sounds. I will try to make my new album as simple as possible, but in fact I can tell you nothing more about it. Maybe next week, I'll change my mind. I have to learn a lot and I have to work hard."

© 1968 Hitweek

Hitweek was a Dutch underground weekly newspaper that ran between 1965 and 1969

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