As David Browne points out in Dream Brother
, a poignant cross-generational biography of Jeff Buckley and his father Tim, throughout his tragically short life, Jeff faced a constant battle to assert his individuality beyond the shadow of his brilliant and innovative father, Tim. It was a battle he lost fatally, drowning at the age of 30 in 1997, an early death that echoed that of his father and ensured that it would be their similarities, rather than their great individual achievements, that would be remembered. However, such similarities were misleading. Indeed, Jeff Buckley barely knew his father, and their careers took wildly different turns. Nevertheless, their combined tragedy provides a fascinating, though often uneasy read.
In uncovering the true story behind this repeated family tragedy, David Browne has had the full cooperation of Mary Guibert (Jeff's mother and Tim's first wife), along with former band mates, friends and other insiders. The careers of both musicians, from the arrival of Tim Buckley as an innovative 60s cult figure with nine albums to his credit, to his son's breathtakingly virtuoso emergence with his classic debut album Grace, are covered in satisfying and revealing detail. With the accompaniment of rare photographs, the personalities of both men are also beautifully captured, as they make their respective, often haphazard, journeys through an industry not noted for its understanding of sensitive characters.
Throughout, revealing anecdotes abound, but perhaps the most moving element of the book is Browne's discovery, through interviews and exclusive access to Jeff's journals and correspondences, of the painful journey the younger man made throughout his life to understand the music and motives of the father who went to New York... "and decided not to be a husband [or father] anymore". It is the sensitivity of Browne's writing in such passages that marks out this excellent book; a fine tribute to both men, musicians who, despite the fact that they never quite fulfilled their immense potential, nevertheless left behind some of pop's most innovative and affecting music. --Steve Price
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
‘Are the Buckleys the Kennedys of rock ‘n’ roll – talented but cursed?…A highly accomplished, dual biography by the well-respected writer David Browne has dug deep into both men's lives and the entire Buckley family history to throw some light on this enigmatic tale. Extensively researched and featuring previously unpublished letters and diaries, Dream Brother does a great service to the legacy of these two talented musicians.’ Irish Times
‘David Browne is a sensitive and committed writer eminently qualified to write the book his subjects so richly deserve…There is a wealth of detail and a series of memorable vignettes which will fascinate those who have embraced “Starsailor” and “Blue Afternoon” or “Grace and Live At Sin-E” as part of their lives.’ Uncut
‘A rich and moving portrait of two damaged, gifted people.’ Esquire