Talk:Jeff Buckley

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  • Moving to the East coast from California was the most extreme and successful self-rescue operation I'd ever implemented. Otherwise I was going to rot from the inside. It was do or die. I've always done music, been in bands, but at the time I was staring at the walls, with no hope and no confidence.
  • Your thought is your right, your art is your right. You are allowed to invent and explore your song. You are allowed to make it real through your concentration and hold onto your gift, man, and let go.
  • The most audacious thing I could possibly state in this day and age is that life is worth living. It's worth being bashed against. It's worth getting scarred by. It's worth pouring yourself over every one of its hot coals.
  • The only way to really know anything is if you taste it for yourself, whether it's me or your friends or just the world. You can't leave it up to the media, to magazines, to TV, to MTV to feed you life—it's somebody's corporate fiction.
  • I try to make my music joyful—it makes me joyful—to feel the music soar through the body. It changes your posture, you raise your chin, throw your shoulders back, walk with a swagger. When I sing, my face changes shape. If feels like my skull changes shape—the bones bend. "Grace" and "Eternal Life" are about the joy that music gives—the, probably illusory, feeling of being able to do anything. Sex is like that. You become utterly consumed by the moment.
  • I've got a song called "Love Is Twisted" The tuning is A9: bass A, natural A, C, G, B, B (first and second strings in unison). And the night I wrote it, the sonority of the slide figure I used began to frighten me. Like the Devil was coming to get me unless I stopped playing his mating call.
  • Sensitivity isn't about being wimpy. It's about being so painfully aware that a flea landing on a dog is like a sonic boom.
  • Just feeling is a subversive act. Expressing it is rebellious.
  • The thing is that I want it all next week, right now, this millisecond. The leader, the instigator, the creator, the cold origination; life should sparkle and rush, burn with fire, hot like melting steel, like freeze-burn from a comet. Be seriously involved with growing, with your own development, and never fear. Be the kind of person who is naturally powerful, positive, ingenious, open, to the highest degree, but with no interest in coersion or pressure or power over other people. That kind of power is hollow. It contains nothing and brings you nothing in the long run. BE THE BEST. NO NEGATIVITY, NO WEAKNESS, NO ACQUIESCENCE TO FEAR OR DISASTER, NO ERRORS OF IGNORANCE, NO EVASION FROM REALITY.
  • Look, you're hired guns. You kill people for money. Don't bother talking about morals, you have no credibility.
    • (on the US Army's complaints about admitting homosexuals)
  • Nightmares. Oh, I have wicked dreams sometimes. Last night's was stunningly twisted, the King of Bad Dreams. There was this artist who wanted to show me his art; took me to this warehouse out in a bleak, bleak piece of desert, showed me into his barn. It turns out his art is human bodies, with the skin eased away from the bone with razors, and woven into baskets, into sculptures of living skin. All of his works of art are still alive—but their vocal chords are nicked and they are blind—they writhe and writhe, with their bodies twisted and out of shape by this man's vision. And he's looking to me for confirmation that his art is valid and special. He keeps saying, 'It's shit, isn't it?' But in the way that you do when you want the other person to go, 'No, no, it's brilliant. And then he turns on me, knife glinting in his hand, and tells me he wants me to be his greatest work of all. I run...
  • I daydream thinking about great songwriters. I was brought up with all these different influences—Nina Simone, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Patti Smith—people who showed me music should be free, should be penetrating, should carry you.
  • There is no ‘good’ singing, there’s only ‘present’ and ‘absent.’ That’s it—it’s the balls. Just the utter deathlessness, fearlessness.
  • What really fuels your art is the courage to express yourself, and just, sometimes you get kicked in the nuts for it.
  • Fear is an exit sign. Fear is just a door—either to transformation, or enlightenment to a tragic illusion you have.
  • It's all about supporting the voice—any real guitar player should know that. Rhythm and melody are the king and queen and it's all to support the voice—ask Keith Richards, ask Robert Johnson. Because of my interest in jazz, modality and harmonies were all things I enjoyed, but playing it on the guitar I just sounded like a complete wanker, some lounge bar guy. Then I got really into tunings and that's how I found my cornucopia. I use loads of tunings and that's where you get different and interesting tonalities whilst still being guitar-ish, and simultaneously creating texture and drama.
  • I admit it, for a time I delved into the evils of what being a guitar player can bring, what I call the God of Wank syndrome. Every kid does it. When I first got a guitar I used to put my marbles on it and listen to them rolling down my guitar—that's more like what I play like now. The guitar is a mysterious instrument, but a lot of the mystery has gone or has been hidden. It's like when people have real hard, meaningless sex all the time they become insensitive—to me that's like what the guitar has become. But that doesn't mean that aspect doesn't exist—you've just got to find it.
  • I'm convinced that the guitar must have been invented in a bar by some drunken Spaniard, some guy who'd just been kicked out of his house. I mean, you listen to it—you get it in tune in G and it's never in tune in E major, and when you get in tune E major it's not in tune in G. It's weird. All those blues guys used to tune the G string a little bit sharper, and though that makes it out of tune, it tempers the sound in other ways. It's a beautifully chaotic instrument.
  • When I was younger I wanted to be Miles Davis. He gave me a really deep love of jazz, the stuff where the composition has a seduction to it. Fusion or jazz rock just annoys the hell out of me, especially the fact that it's still here today. All I see there is a lot of people who are afraid of what real music is. I don't see any heart, I just see a lot of chops and whiz kid bullshit, and a lot of damage being done. Miles was naked, very romantic.
  • Relentless, endless joy peaking into tears, resting in calmness, a simmering beauty. If you let yourself listen with the whole of yourself, you will have the pure feeling of flight while firmly rooted to the ground. Your soul can fly outward, stringed to your ribcage like a shimmering kite in the shape of an open hand. Be still and listen to the evidence of your own holiness.
  • Our suffering is peeling off and revealing a brand new skin, a new power. Love heals all wounds and not just time alone.
  • I like low stage volume. I want the idea and the sound of the idea to intoxicate—not the voltage. Otherwise it's mindless thrusting that brings nothing but repulsion. Once you have stacks of Marshalls, you need stacks of people to take care of them.
  • The thing is that I also like to have lyrics that are inclusive, that give you space to be inside them, to put your experience on to them, so that they can move through other moments.
  • All the metal guys have got nothing anymore. To me, it was always a bit played out but it's really on its last legs now. You got the guys in Motley Crue totally pierced and tattooed with their fake punk outfits, and the music still sounds like Troubador, Sunset Strip bullshit. These are the guys that used to yell at punks, and now they're wearing their boots. Pathetic.
  • When I wake up in your hair, when I wake up in your arms...I swear upon my blood I understand you. I swear on my grave, I understand you.
  • Sometimes things get my brain in a twist and reading your words of support really does my heart good. I shouldn't think so much.
  • There's a way of writing where you just include all the streets around your house and all the people you meet. You actually name them autobiographically in the song. Well, that song is very hard to travel through time. It may not last in its meaning. It may not touch every time because those people and events fade away and they may mean something to your life and your understanding of that life. I like things to be more universal. It's a balance between—obviously it's got to grab some skin from me.
  • I like the way that songs sort of have light, and sort of travel around despite you. It's good. It helps to have songs that you love, that you can be inside. It's good. It's part of the invention.
  • "If I wasn't able to do this," says Buckley, "I think I would really lay down and die. Music comes from a very primal, twisted place. When a person sings, their body, their mouth, their eyes, their words, their voice says all these unspeakable things that you really can't explain but that mean something anyway. People are completely transformed when they sing; people look like that when they sing or when they make love. But it's a weird thing—at the end of the night I feel strange, because I feel I've told everybody all my secrets."
  • New York permeates every aspect of the media and art, therefore, sooner or later, it's there that you find yourself. When I was still living in California the people that fascinated me were always from New York. I was tired of being on the west coast because I felt I didn't belong; I could never be tired of New York. But here there's also a lot of fear. It's difficult for a woman in this city. Damnably difficult. It makes me angry. If women wear something that's even minutely sexy, they feel such a lot of stares that even a simple walk through the streets becomes difficult. There's a lot of anger and tension between the sexes, out on the streets. But there's also a lot of romanticism in the air. It's the city of hate, but also the city of love.
  • "It was after that night," Jeff says of quitting Gods & Monsters, "that I knew I needed to invoke the real essence of my voice. I didn't know what it tasted like at all. I knew I had to get down to work and that anything else would be a distraction. In that band there were conflicts. It was really crazy, a desperate situation. I just didn't need things to be desperate. I needed them to be natural."
  • "The first time I heard "How Soon Is Now" (by The Smiths), I can remember things changing in myself. It was 1984, in my friend's apartment in this really horrible building in Hollywood. We were there eating some sort of horrible food, with ketchup 'cause we didn't have any money, and it came on the television. The video was great, but the song completely blew everything away. I've never heard of The Smiths before and it was like, whooosh, I went out and got Meat Is Murder. It was the first time I ever heard writing like that over music like that. It influenced me because the writing was so great, because Morrissey's lyrics were so great in such a way, I don't know, like just completely freaky, unique. Really cool and not only literate, because that's a real precious term to use for it. It was just a better world than what I'd been hearing, and clever in a real admirable way, not in an annoying way. It really felt like the steam of teapots and uniforms and public schools, some sort of distant romantic vision of what it meant to be English."
  • Grace is what matters. In anything. Especially life, especially growth, tragedy, pain, love, death. About people, that's what matters. That's a quality I admire very greatly. It keeps you from reaching for the gun too quickly; it keeps you from destroying things too foolishly; it sort of keeps you alive and keeps you open for more understanding.
  • I have no advice for anybody; except to, you know, be awake enough to see where you are at any given time, and how that is beautiful, and has poetry inside. Even places you hate.
  • It's part of maturity, to project upon your life- goals, and project upon your life- realized dreams, and a result that you want. It's part of becoming whole that you do this.. just like a childish game, it's honest- it's an honest game, cause you want your life to hold hope and possibility. It's just that when you get to the real meat of life, it's that life has it's own rhythm and you cannot impose your own structure upon it.. you have to listen to what it tells you, and you have to listen to what your path tells you. It's not earth that you move with a tractor, life is not like that. Life is more like earth that you learn about and plant seeds in. It's something you have to have a relationship with in order to experience.. you can't mold it.. you can't control it, just like men can't control women. So, yes I've had dreams die.
  • I don't use cocaine but i like the smell of it. (singing jokingly)
  • Songs come out of poems, and sometimes poems come out of dreams.
  • The thing is, I never went and pursued a record deal—ever. It's too funny to even talk about. It's like playing craps in Vegas. You know the odds belong to the house. You'll always lose. If that's why you're up there doing it, forget it. You're already fucked.
  • The only way to really make it—anywhere—is to put every bit of your being into the thing that only you can provide. The only angle is the art that you choose, that only you can provide. And to do that, you have to be quiet for a long time and find out what you bring forth. You have to know what's in yourself—all your eccentricities, all your banalities, the full flavor of your woe and your joy. What does it look like? What does it feel like? What makes it different from everybody else's? It's totally subjective. You're just given the task of bringing it up.
  • Sensitivity isn't being wimpy. It's about being so painfully aware that a flea landing on a dog is like a sonic boom.
  • My music is like a lowdown dreamy bit of the psyche. It's part quagmire and part structure. The quagmire is important for things to grow in. Do you ever have one of those memories where you think you remember a taste or a feel of something, maybe an object, but the feeling is so bizarre and imperceptible that you just can't quite get a hold of it? It drives you crazy. That's my musical aesthetic, just this imperceptible fleeting memory.
  • Apparently orgasm is the only point where your mind becomes completely empty—you think of nothing for that second. That's why it's so compelling—it's a tiny taste of death. Your mind is void—you have nothing in your head save white light. Nothing save that white light and 'YES!'—which is fantastic. Just knowing 'Yes.'

About Jeff Buckley (unsourced)[edit]

  • Man I had this Guy with me once ... and we were sittin' down and talkin' and jammin'... He played his version of Indifference for me... man I tell ya... I' ll never forget the way He did it... I was just fuckin' speechless... one of the most memorable moments of my life... I just wish I had seen him more.
    • Eddie Vedder – Pearl Jam/Temple of the Dog from Monkeywrench Radio show, after listening to What Will You Say.
  • I'm here because I adore his spirit, and I adore him and the place from which he creates.
  • Jeff is one of my favorite musicians and singers of all time. Never have I seen such infinite musical potential in anyone. It's just gone. It's chilling how much it hurts.
  • We were in the studio working on a song called 'Undertow' when we heard the news of Jeff Buckley's drowning. I had played a couple of benefits with Jeff, talked with him a few times on the street or as he mingled with the crowd after one of his shows. He was always complementary and nice to me. There was a period when I couldn't get through the day without hearing him sing 'Hallelujah' 3 or 4 times. He had a one in a billion voice and an emotionally piercing guitar style and.....I know, everyone is saying this, but it hurts so much to lose an artist who was capable of so much before he'd had a chance to do his best work. I guess I should be thankful for what there is: the album "Grace", his first EP, the bootleg live cassettes floating around, and whatever SONY will inevitably scrape together for release. It's a fucking shame.
  • I saw Buckley perform at the Glasgow School of Art - it was amazing, I thought his voice wasn't something of earth, it was fantastic. It was uplifting and I definitely tried to copy him so I didn't get it from Thom. It's just something you feel when you hear someone's voice
  • Jeff Buckley's recording 'Hallelujah' humbles me and takes him to that special place that only very few songs manage to do.
  • No, seriously, Jeff is a god of complex chord progressions. That whole fetal position thing was a joke, I swear.
  • "I went out to California, and one of my best friends out there was Jeff Buckley. He was an amazing musician; he had the whole package. We were inseparable when we were in school together. He was younger than me, by about four years. He was eighteen and I was twenty-two or something, but he was just a freak, man! He had the best set of ears of any musician I’ve ever known! We were in the same ear training class, the same theory classes, and we spent a lot of time out of school together, along with a lot of other people, too, who were great musicians. So it was a wonderful environment to be in.
  • Asked in a 2003 interview what he was listening to lately, Jimmy Page replied, "Nothing that's had the impact on me did," and coincidentally, in the same issue of Mojo magazine, Elton John was asked about his favourite all-time record, and he cited either Nina Simone at Town Hall or Jeff Buckley's Grace: "Like an album made by someone from another planet."
  • No one can be that good and survive, when every lyric coming out of your mouth must be taking years off of your life.
    • Henry Rollins - Singer from Rollins Band/Black Flag/State of Alert/Henrietta Collins and the Wifebeating Childhaters/Wartime/Mother Superior
  • It's his poetic nature to him that I think was sadly untapped; you know, he died to soon--I don't mean untapped, I mean we have some, luckily we have some records to listen to and things to watch, you know, but it could've gone even farther; it's too bad.
    • Jack White Guitarist/Vocalist from The White Stripes