Refound Sounds: Further Explorations Into Buckley
I warned you that Tim Buckley is far too big a concept to bend down to and limit into words.I'm not an expert, but I am learning. So after an accidental revelation that I'd missed out on him I realised at Rat, I've been exploring.Not obsessively like Klaus Kinski looking for El Dorado in the Herzog Hell better than you can even deal with dry run for Apocalypse Now, Aguirre Wrath of God. One of the greatest films of all time.More like a tired and distracted worker bee vaguely aware of a dark rose garden just over there.In any journey, you need a native guide to get anywhere - and so lurking behind these words is the Groovy Gravitational Gaul, who knows all the terrain. His position on Buckley is very clear, provocative, and thermonuclear in intensity:"Tim Buckley : The greatest sound to ever come out of a human being aside from silence."Strong.Fighting words, even.Yet why, what is it that makes this one voice and poetic intelligence worth such a Zen Koan?What is so different, so magical that one of the most precise, careful and colourful critical intelligences I've ever encountered raises this lost mistake for some, messiah for more and artist to the sensible above others?"I think what really makes Tim Buckley stand out is the ease with which he seems to hold onto notes. It beggars belief that someone that young can, in one same song, remind you of Nina Simone, his major influence Fred Neil and the sound of birds of preys...Anyway, I've not seen him live or read anything about him, and Jeff was nothing like him in artistic terms."Tim Buckley's story in full is best told elsewhere. And you'll see this in the quotes I'm ripping this ace article off of.In essence, like so many artists, he got interested and was spotted young. He jobbed around Orange County near LA a bit in the Bourgeois Belt before being discovered by the growing music industry. Like most geniuses, he was a very complex man who created his own story, from truth, desire and self fashioned fabrication as he went.Yet despite the looks, the talent and the honeyed voice he just could not deliver what his label masters and the markets wanted.Read between the lines, and listen to his words.Like many other artists rejected by the right on Sixties consensus from The Stooges to The Velvet Underground to Creedence Clearwater Revival and plenty I've not heard of Tim Buckley did not fit the radical, cynical marketing needs of the Man.It was a time for bold statements and deep feelings with a global spiritual jive vibe targeted at College Kids, not hard truths about everyday life or the basic problems and the trials of being alive.Love, pain, regret, distance, family, or even just pure sex magic blood sweat dance and tears based sounds started to get boring to media, marketers and broadcasters. The escapist capricious crusades of rich white people were pushed hardest, loved most and were a symptom of a sick generation. A generation that infected the future.Next time you pay your rape high rent, or clock on to a non-Union hump job before looking at your big tax bill for faddy foolishness and failure, you'll see the legacy of these Baby Boomer political priorities, wherever you are in the West. Next time someone calls you out for not having sustainable organic fair trade socks, you'll smell the same poison today.Tim took an adult view of all this.Like David Lynch, who once said "If you want to send a message, send a telegram" he knew and felt the limits, the limiting nature and the inherent sell by dates of political music and turned to something deeper:"Talking about the war is futile," he reckoned. "What can you say about it? You want it to end but you know it won't. Fear is a limited subject but love isn't. I ain't talking about sunsets 'n' trees, I'm involved with America...but the people in America, not the politics. All I can see is the injustice."Injustice was something he was about to feel in the marketplace. He sure didn't help himself though. This toxic twin knockout of capitalist reality and artistic arrogance sealed and perhaps poisoned his legacy forever.