Maker (UK) - April 1968
Call Me a Poet..."
Buckley is slightly built and a mass of brown curls wreath
his head. He is a quiet, rather serious, person but is quick to smile when something
appeals to his sense of humor.
headlined at London's Middle Earth club on Aril15, 1968
twenty-one he is one of the best contemporary singer/songwriters to emerge in
recent years, as his two albums, "Tim Buckley" and "Goodbye And
him a poet, and he denies being such. "Poetry is poetry and songs are songs,"
says Tim currently on tour in Britain, "I know poets who write things I could
from New York, Tim grew up in Southern California. "I've lived in most places
in America. I went to school in New York, then my folks moved to the West Coast
because all the work was there."
started his musical career playing country music, teaching himself first banjo,
then guitar. "I learnt to play for a country band," says Tim. "I
played with them for a couple of years then I started getting into my own thing."
first came to light when he was working clubs with Larry Beckett, whose poetry
he set to music, and bass player Jim Fielder. At a club called It's Boss he met
Mothers of Invention drummer, Jim Black, who introduced him to the Mothers' manager,
booked Tim into New York's Night Owl cafe and there he was heard by Elektra Records
chief, Jac Holzman, in August 1966 and two months later Tim's first album was
released. Critics acclaimed it, and from there on in Tim began to work the big
clubs and festivals throughout America.
was while appearing at the Cafe Au Go-Go in Greenwich village that the late Brian
Epstein went to hear Tim on the recommendation of Beatle George Harrison.
June 1967, Buckley cut his second Elektra album,
Goodbye And Hello from which a single, Wings has just been released
in Britain. Though Tim denies being a poet, there is a poetic feeling about his
points to no particular influences saying, "I listen to what other people
are doing, but I have never been a chameleon. Of course you learn from other writers
and you learn from everything around you--I don't learn anything from pop--I'm
not saying that to be careful, I mean it. One person I have learned from is Eric
Clapton. We just sat and played guitar together.
there is a vast difference between what happens on stage and on an album. Some
people have more time to sit and write. It depends on how much time I have. I
write on stage. If you are playing three sets a night for three weeks then you
have to have new things.
different city suggests different ideas. But you have to be open or you don't
really communicate with people. You have to keep up with people in order to communicate."
Tim's music changed much? "It's not for me to judge," he replies. "I'm
living too close to it. It's a transition. I have to be ruthless and say what
is happening. I'm not sentimental over old songs. I'm constantly writing. The
main thing is the music."
was worried at the start of his visit as to what he should sing and what the reaction
would be. Judging by his appearances on the recent Incredible String Band concert
at the Royal Festival Hall and London's Speakeasy club, it has been good.
writing things now that are unbelievably simple, very commonplace. I guess you
would call them clichés, but they are clichés to the point of how
you say them," he says.
Buckley is concerned only with his music. He dresses casually, simply.
the story he related about his appearance on the Monkees show sums it up. He had
been writing with Monkee Mike Nesmith in Texas before Mike had become a Monkee.
asked me to sing on the show. I went along and there was Mike in his mohair suit,
and I turned up in working shirt and trousers.
said, 'Hey, you're still wearing the same old clothes.' I replied, 'Yes, and I'm
still singing my own songs.'"