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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dream Brother

I just read "Dream Brother," by David Browne. What a haunting read. Browne tells the story of the Buckleys, Tim and Jeff. Both were singer/songwriters, Tim, the father, and Jeff the son.

The book is well-written, it alternates chapters between the two men. I didn't know much about Tim, who died at 28 of a heroin overdose, but I knew a lot about Jeff, who at 30 drowned in a river in Tennessee.

Jeff was an extraordinary singer who had a "five octave voice." His influences were wide-ranging - from Edith Piaf, Nina Simone, Van Morrison, to Led Zeppelin and Robert Johnson. Maybe he was too wide-ranging for some tastes. To me it was all amazing and dazzling. I discovered him early from his glorious live set a Sin e in New York in the 90's. Later he released "Grace." One of my favorite records of all time.

Jeff was one of those sensitive souls who seemed too lit up for the world. He wore all his feelings, and his heart, on his sleeve. The description of his final day is just so haunting and heart-breaking.

Simple steps, he did this, he did that led to his death that day. One step different and maybe he would have lived a long wonderful life. The dude really resonates with me. A person and an archetype - think Keats, Shelley, Cobain.

Of course Jeff Buckley was very much his own extraordinary star.

The day I read the chapter about Jeff's drowning, I had a lucid dream in which I lived through a plane crash. I ended up swimming to shore, alive. It was one of those life-changing kind of dreams.

In some weird way I feel like he was my Dream Brother.

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