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Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley Paperback – 1 Oct 2001


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Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley + Blue Melody: Tim Buckley Remembered
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; New Ed edition (1 Oct 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857029895
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857029895
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 388,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

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.

Review

‘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


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Dec 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm a little surprised at the reception "Dream Brother" has received on this page. Having just finished the book I came away extremely impressed. Browne has complied an incredibly detailed (and well written) account of the lives of both Jeff and Tim, and revealed aspects about both men's character I was not aware of before reading "Dream Brother".
Being a fan of Jeff slightly more than Tim, I particularly enjoyed his chapters. Jeff, as most fans will know, rarely gave interviews to the UK music press, and those he did always appeared very 'general', because as I understand it he always approached UK journalists with deep rooted suspicion.
So as Browne follows the events in his life from his late teenage years, right up to the recording of "Sketches..." he provides an insight into his character I had not before seen.
Ultimately I admire Browne for his treatment of both characters. I disagree that his account is sentimental, I most admired the book because Browne always appears to be non-judgemental. No one I think can deny that having read it, it is clear Jeff, for all his talent, was an incredibly frustrating individual who never seemed to settle on whether he should become the album releasing "proper" musician his friends and record label thought he should be (and knew he could be), and the kid just playing in the corner of the coffee bar that perhaps he wanted to be.
Neither man was perfect they had dark sides to their personalities that the people closest to them found frustrating and upsetting, and Browne (thankfully) does not hide this fact.
If you're a fan of Tim, Jeff or both. Buy this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Aug 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Out of the two Buckley's it was Jeff I bought this for and indeed atleast three fifths must be devoted to him. I haven't even heard any of Tim's music to be honest but the chapters on him are still interesting because he's Jeff's dad and some of their life choices and feelings towards the music industry, to my mind, were quite similar. I don't usually go in for biographies, I've never read one before, but there's something compelling about Jeff Buckley and I was interested to learn more about him. Obviously you have qualms about being nosy but the book was written with Mary Guibert's (Jeff's mother) blessing.
The book goes into the family tree on both sides, through Tim and Mary's romance and starting with Jeff's childhood right up until that fateful night in Memphis. Its detailed stuff and must have been quite a mountainous task for the author, but besides being very informative about Jeff, its also very telling about how the music industry works, I learnt a fair bit I didn't know. To conclude the book delivers what it aimed to, I especially like the way information is given but not always analysed, leaving the reader to their own conclusions. A fascinating read, but the latter part of the book based on Jeff's final days in Memphis isn't easy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Oct 2005
Format: Paperback
Very insightful. I have never read an autobiography before. i prefer science fiction novels, but after hearing Grace and Dream brother by Jeff, (an artist that i had no idea existed till 3 months ago this year, 8 years after his death), I just had to know more about him.
This book helped fill in the blanks. Not only about Jeff but Tim as well, whose music i have also been appreciating since reading this book.
This book is well written and gives an interesting account of the Buckley's world.
It is not for Buckley fans only, i think anyone would find this book interesting (but then i am a Buckley fan so it is difficult to say otherwise).
I must admit though there were so many music references, and alot of the time mainly with the bands mentioned during Tim buckley's era i was left thinking...who?
I like the way it is structured, following both of their lives, Buckley per chapter, it makes it easy to follow as well as allowing to make your own conclusions about how similar father and son were.
Great stuff, thanks David Browne!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 April 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have always wondered why a writer for Entertainment Weekly was given the royal blessing to do this book (I still wonder). Someone with similar talents to the Buckleys, word and otherwise, might have worked harder at transcending the experience that is Jeff, and Tim, life like and playing music, and like all great biography writers, would have "taken you there" with their words, aura, and anecdote. Because their music transcended like few others and that did not happen in this book. Browne got such unusual and dramatic authorization to read Jeff's journals and had access to many, (but not all) of so many close to Jeff, you wonder why it had to be the portions of a persons private diaries that were the saving grace of this book. But then, that's why we love Jeff: the one and only in music and words. After Jeff's mother and Tim's ex-wife Mary Guibert got wind that the book was not well liked, she promised to pen her own, which we all look forward to. Despite this ones short length and uneeded shared bio status, the book was saved by the insight given into the father-son relationship, music and otherwise, which was heart warming, intelligent, and even hilarious, completely Jeff, completely from his journals. Who wouldn't love to read a entire book written by the man himself? I'll be saying and thinking it sucks forever...as I know we all will, especially those who were close to him. But some have critiqued this for being the dual biography of Jeff and his dad, the magnificent & talented Tim, and used even Jeff's own words to defend that view. A reprint diary excerpt was used and seemed out of place in the Sketches posthumus release artwork that said something to that effect.Read more ›
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