Tim Buckley – My Fleeting House (dvd)

Originally published in The Aquarian Weekly
April 25, 2007

Tim Buckley
My Fleeting House/MVD

Tim Buckley was a tragically
underappreciated singer/songwriter
who died in 1975.
Although he is fondly
remembered by a core
constituency of aficionados, these
days he is more often recalled
as the late Jeff Buckley’s father.
This new DVD aims to burnish
the older Buckley’s reputation
while illustrating the lasting impact
that he has on today’s music.

The filmmakers employ
commentary by two key players
in the Buckley legacy, co-songwriter
Larry Beckett, and
longtime Buckley guitarist Lee
Underwood, as well as
biographer David Browne (Dream
Brothers: The Lives and Music
of Jeff and Tim Buckley). Their
comments are interspersed with
a series of largely unreleased
performance segments that are
presented in chronological order.
We see Buckley move from folk
troubadour, performing on The
Monkees television show, to jazz
innovator, before settling in as a
middle-of-the-road folk rocker in
the years preceding his death.

Much is made of Buckley’s
1970 album Starsailor. The
album, with its echoes of Miles
Davis, was roundly rejected by
his audience at the time of its
release. But the performances
of songs from this era, including
“I Woke Up,” “Come Here
Woman” and the unreleased
“Venice Beach (Music Boats By
The Bay),” are the most revelatory
moments in the film. Although
he never really knew his father,
it was this music that had the
biggest impact on Jeff Buckley.

Tim Buckley was a well-known
artist in his time, but his restless
nature never allowed him to
become a major star. He never
made a lot of money. He just
wasn’t willing to stand in one
place long enough. The drugs
that took his life are never
mentioned here. These
performances make it clear that
it is time for a reappraisal of his
career.

—by Ken Shane

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