Friday, February 26, 2016

The Milk Diaries: Grace

We were in a coffee shop in Soho when my friend slapped a laminated ticket stub on the table. It was from a United Airlines flight and it bore the name Buckley/Jeff and I couldn't help but look at it over and over again, expecting some narrative to tumble out of it. I asked repeatedly how he had managed to come upon this relic but the providence of the stub remained a secret.

I constantly think of the stub while reading Dream Brother, David Browne's dual biography of Jeff and Tim Buckley. Many aspects of it haunt me, I think of Jeff's quiet curiosity of his father's personal regard for him, how Jeff unknowingly mimicked many of his father's personal and musical affectations. You are left with a lingering sadness, thinking of what it would have been like had they lived, what it would have been like had they known each other.

I never claimed to be a Jeff Buckley expert, but as my friend and I sat in that coffee shop that afternoon, we discussed the increased significance of a creating a grand magnum opus like Grace. My friend insisted that we could only ever expect to make one incredible work in our lifetime. I strenuously campaigned for continuous future workings and reworkings, interpretations and reinventions. I wanted twenty albums instead of the one, but I soon came round to his way of thinking.

It's sad to know that there was only one, but it's romantic to consider that there could have been more.

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