The Tim Buckley Archives


Hotel California

The True-Life Adventures of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young,
Mitchell, Taylor, Browne, Ronstadt, Geffen, the Eagles, and Their Many Friends

by Barney Hoskyns

A kindred spirit of sorts was former Elektra star Tim Buckley, another product of the Herb Cohen school.

By the time Buckley covered Tom Waits Martha on his 1973 album Sefronia, he’d toned down his the experimentalism of Starsailor and was making more accessible R&B-based music. But he remained at odds with Southern California, as his 1972 album Greetings from LA - complete with a birds-eye view of a city under a shroud of smog - heavily suggested.

Greetings was also aggressively sexual, a long way from the effete and cerebral music that Buckley’s singer-songwriter peers were making. Fueled by a diet of blaxploitation movies, songs such as Get on Top and Move With Me took aim not only at the acoustic bards of the day, but also at Buckley’s former incarnation as curly-headed protest poet.

“When I saw his LA set over a year ago,” Chrissie Hynde wrote in New Musical Express, “ I trotted dutifully to some bowling alley dive to see him and felt my brains drip outta my ears when the virginal innocent of my dreams got on stage and started belting out ‘Get on top of me woo-man! Let me see what you learned.‘”

Like Neil Young, Buckley argued that the 1960’s dream was over, that folks idealism had little relevance for the decadent 1970s. Iit’ll be more moronic,” Tim told Hynde.” The ‘70s haven’t been to optimistic have they? But it’s going to be great for the avant-garde…”

British journalist Barney Hoskyns has spent much of his professional life in Los Angeles as a correspondent for England's New Musical Express and Mojo. He has written regularly on pop culture and the arts for British Vogue, has contributed to Rolling Stone, GQ, Harper's Bazaar, Interview, and Spin, and has published several books on music and pop culture, including Waiting for the Sun: Strange Days, Weird Scenes, and the Sound of Los Angeles.

US Publisher: Wiley 2007

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