father was a decorated second World War veteran whose
parents immigrated from Cork. His mother Elaine was Italian-American
and both were fond of feeding their beloved son music.
He was nurtured by it, fed all the finest works by all
the greatest singers and encouraged every step of the
way to follow in their footsteps should he so desire.
The shape-shifting genius of his mid-career high was reflective
of his unencumbered meanderings as a child. He had the
world at his feet and he was free to roam.
family’s shared love of music was the glue that held them
together, but there were deep fissures too. For all the
light he was pointed towards, an unshakable darkness seem
to shadow his every move from the get-go. Some would say
he was blessed and others, cursed. His ticket to ride
was issued young and the freedom he enjoyed instilled
a restlessness and taste for experimentation that would
yield some extraordinary music, but also precipitate his
tragic early demise from a heroin overdose in 1975.
prodigious talent with the guitar and multi-octave voice
drew other musicians to him, and by his late teens he
had assembled a troupe that would include a lifelong collaborator
in guitarist Lee Underwood. He was still only 20 when
his breakout second album Goodbye and Hello was released.
The jazz inflections, the poetry and the songs in different
timings were strong hints that the maverick soul was already
finding its expression.
there was more and better to come. The year of 1969 was
a good one to be living out any sort of dream. Tim Buckley’s
template for his third LP was founded on reveries of new
colours and possibilities. It was where his skills at
using his voice as an instrument reached its apogee. The
full range from baritone to high falsetto was given free
reign. When the orchestrated beauty of the sound conspired
to match it word for word, pure magic emerged. The soaring
Buzzin’ Fly was the record’s peak and one of Buckley’s
It was a paen to the power of love. It would take a hardened
heart to deny that he didn’t mean every word. Hearts were
burning at a great height for all to see.
2017 Dineen /Irish