Buckley and Me
was Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley's Press Secretary when I
received the phone call from a friend of Tim Buckley's that,"Tim
died of an overdose last night."
had just come off the road in Texas, I believe, and had a
lot of alcohol in his system, when he went over to a friends
house and evidently snorted some drug. He went home, crawled
into bed with his wife, "Wu" (her real name is Judy) and subsequently
passed away at age 28.
was first introduced to Tim by novelist and screenwriter,
I would pick up Tim at his home in Venice, and he would insist
on low-riding, while listening only to the music blasting from
my AM radio playing Mexican music. He couldn't stand to listen
to any of the other stations in LA.
Tim and Judy (left and center left) at Bob Kholos' home
in Venice, California, circa 1974
would tell me that he had the vocal range of Yma Sumac--I
believe it was four octaves.
main frustration at the time was that he couldn't get out
of his contract, so he could go independent and experiment
with his music.
I asked him how the contract happened, he just said that,
"When you are 18 years old and they put that recording contract
in your face, you'll sign anything."
was so upset when he died, I couldn't stop crying.
Tim and Wu loved the fact that I didn't know anything about
the music world...and I didn't. But Tim was impressed with
the way I thought about PR, and besides I really liked the
time he set me up with a date in Oakland at an after hours
bar. It was mostly an African-American establishment. So,
after he introduced me to the lady, and we danced....someone
yelled out that I danced like a White Man. It was true, and
everybody had a laugh on me. But, what I didn't realize was
that the entire thing was a set up. At about four in the
morning, when I thought I was going home with the woman, she
announced..."Didn't Tim tell you that I'm a Lesbian?" Funny
joke. But, that was Tim.
I understand it, when he came off the road from Texas, he
was going to sign a contract to do a movie about Woody Guthrie.
Tim told me that he was going to be allowed to use his own
I have no doubt that Tim would have made a great movie
star. He had the "it"...the star power that only a few performers
I remember once when he performed at the Whiskey in Hollywood,
the entire place was going crazy and cheering his stand.
famous music critic, Leonard Feather, wrote in the next day's
Los Angeles Times, that someone should sign Buckley again.
died during the summer of 1975. Even now, I can remember
vividly his sardonic smile, and the warmth of a short friendship
which also died that day. Thanks for reading:
Kholos was the First Press Secretary to Los Angeles Mayor
Communications Advisor in 1969 campaign as well as 1973 campaign,
Bob devised an "Alternative News Conference" to