Buckley Llewellyn - Memories of Tim
109 Interview - 2000
was very fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct the following interview
with Tims wife Judy. She answered my questions on audio tape and Judys
husband Llew transcribed them for us. For that I am deeply appreciative. I know
what its like to transcribe from tape to keyboard and it can be a trying
experience. Id also like to thank Llew for all his help with the editing
you for participating in our forum, Judy. Id like to begin by asking you,
when and under what circumstances did you and Tim meet?
very first time I met Tim, my first husband Darrell and I were introduced by our
mutual friend Molly LeMay, who brought him to our house. That was when he first
started his career I guess. He wore love beads and had a great big bushy Afro.
did you think of him?
didnt. I thought that perhaps he was a homeless person with his guitar strapped
on his back. I had my baby (Taylor) and my dog and stuff. Molly knew a lot of
when did you begin to take an interest in each other?
wrote to me after I got out of the hospital.
(Note: Judy was hospitalized
for an extensive period after an automobile accident in Mexico that claimed the
life of her archeologist husband Darrell Sutcliffe. Their son Taylor was slightly
had been in touch with my dad in 1969, about a year and a half after I recovered
and my dad arranged for me to come out to California for a vacation. Tim came
to Mollys house and he had changed. We were both a bit older and he was
very bright and we took long walks on the beach, just talking as friends.
We would walk up as far as his friend Dan Gordons house, but we wouldnt
go in, we would just talk. He took me to see Ray Charles. I wanted to pay for
the tickets, I felt bad for him. I had no idea that he had any money. He just
had these funny old corduroy pants and this holey sweater.
werent aware of his success?
No. I hadnt listened to any of his music. We would go to this great little
jazz club on the beach in Santa Monica, in an old hotel that was on the boardwalk.
It had an amazing jukebox and he would sit in with some of the people there at
times with that incredible voice, doing old standards, but I didnt hear
him play or anything and he never had lots of music people around him.
told me that he had a band, and they had been to Europe. I just ended up spending
time with him. He had this great little Arts and Crafts house with nothing in
it except his guitars and a tape machine
the kind with the big reels. Miles
Davis In A Silent Way on it and that was it.
were no chairs or sofas or carpets, no pictures or paintings. There was a table
and chairs in the dining room and in the bedroom there was a bed. He did talk
about how he was married when he was young and his little boy.
went out to eat and listened to that Miles Davis tape, which was all he would
listen to. We went to all kinds of jazz and blues clubs. I had no idea that there
were so many. We took cabs because he didnt have a car. I remember going
downtown somewhere and we walked into a club and Carmen McRae started singing
White Bird and I wanted to leave. Tim said: Lets have one drink
and then well leave.
ended up staying?
because he broke the ice by ordering a drink. I heard that song and I was ready
Molly, I went to a concert and she never saw me again! No one did. After about
three weeks I left and went back to Taylor. Tim wanted to talk about the future
and wanted me to come right back, but we made an agreement not to talk for three
I had told my father that I had spent those weeks there with Tim and
he went out to see if he could find an album, because thats what this guy
said he did. He did find Blue Afternoon and brought it home and I
was blown away! I was really surprised. It was quite nice.
was strange because it was three months to the day, I realized that I had been
keeping track, that morning the phone rang and my father went to answer it and
I said, I think that its for me
I just knew.
came back with me to LA for a trial run. I had met Tims mom
Elaine, and she just wanted to make wedding plans! Taylor was about six and a
half years old and at the airport he was testy. He remembered his father, He was
getting defensive, even though he was small when everything had happened. Elaine
told him that we were already married and he called her Grandma from the very
was strange (at the beginning). Taylor and Tim would go down to the beach and
Taylor would kick sand at Tim and pull away from him and wouldnt let him
touch him. Tim rented one of those VW vans because he thought Taylor would like
it. Taylor would be so awful to him, but when Tim went to leave, Taylor would
have hidden the car keys in his room, so Tim couldnt leave. It was amazing
to watch. He didnt want him to go.
of me started to fall in love with this guy who was giving so much love to my
child. The light bulb came on and I knew! He made me laugh again, he showed me
that the heart doesnt forget, but it can make room for someone else.