Start reading Touched by Grace: My Time with Jeff Buckley on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Touched by Grace: My Time with Jeff Buckley
 
 

Touched by Grace: My Time with Jeff Buckley [Kindle Edition]

Gary Lucas
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £14.95
Kindle Price: £9.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £5.46 (37%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £8.04  
Kindle Edition, 1 Sep 2013 £9.49  
Paperback £10.47  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: At least 60% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Description

Product Description

(Book). Touched By Grace is an up-close-and-personal account by the legendary guitarist and songwriter Gary Lucas of the time he spent with his friend and collaborator, Jeff Buckley, during Jeff's early days in New York City. It describes their magical performance together at the Greetings from Tim Buckley concert at the Church of St Ann in 1991 the event that first introduced Jeff to the world at large; the creation of their songs "Mojo Pin" and "Grace," which started life as guitar instrumentals by Gary and would later become integral to Jeff's debut album, Grace ; and their plan to take on the world together in Gary's band Gods & Monsters. Just as the band was set to soar, however, Jeff pulled the plug, opting instead to sign a solo deal with Columbia Records the very label that had recently cut short its recording contract with the original incarnation of Gods & Monsters. In this fascinating, revelatory new book, Gary Lucas writes with vivid, heartfelt honesty about the highs and lows of this all-too-brief musical union, from his first meeting with Jeff through to the devastating phone call from an MTV journalist with news of Jeff's disappearance in the Mississippi River. Touched By Grace is an eye-opening tale of music, passion, betrayal, and more.

About the Author

Gary Lucas (www.garylucas.com) is a world-class guitarist and Grammy-nominated songwriter. Dubbed "the greatest living electric guitarist" by Daniel Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain In Music, Lucas has recorded more than 20 acclaimed solo albums spanning everything from psychedelic rock to Chinese pop. He was a key member of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band during the 80s, and is currently working on a variety of new projects, including an a collaboration with Van der Graaf Generator front man Peter Hammill. He was a consultant on the forthcoming film Greetings From Tim Buckley, which stars Penn Bagley as Jeff Buckley and covers the same time period as the book.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2628 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Jawbone Press (1 Sep 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GFR9EK4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #510,033 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Customer Reviews

4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The first true narrative? 28 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This read as the first "true" narrative of Jeff, how he strove to develop his own songwriting craft, the crucial and central role that Gary played in this, the pressures of the industry he seemingly courted and the intolerable pressures he seemed to be under when he eventually and tragically put himself in harm's way. It must be so difficult for Gary not to feel resentful that his that his role in Jeff's art has been marginalised by an industry that promotes the "next big thing" and this book is an honest assessment of his views of this industry. It left me wondering what might have transpired if Jeff had followed up his request for some more music from Gary into a full blown musical "reconciliation" as from all I have heard Jeff was sorely in need of this sort of true friend in his last time.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Gary Lucas's book is full of honesty and heart, 22 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It was, as I expected, terribly difficult to put down. I was deeply impressed and in full admiration of the honesty that courses through the book. I felt for Gary, rooted for him and begun to understand more about his time with Jeff. Gary is one of the good guys swimming in a pool of sharks, a rare and much needed quality in the music biz. I felt for Jeff too. I don't think he fully understood the monster until it right up in front of him. Lee Underwood had a few things to say regarding Jeff in his book about Tim Buckley 'Blue Melody' and a similar point about Jeff's lack of songs came across. I first heard Grace before I ever heard Tim Buckley, but I came to love Tim more simply because there were 9 albums to lose myself in. The other lovely thing about Gary's book was being able to envision him as The Guitarist and his role as musician being a wide and beautiful thing. I'm very glad I got to see him live at the Liverpool Philharmonic rooms in 2012. Treated to hear one of the greats up and close. He opens the door to this bitter sweet past. I know it must have cost him emotionally to do it. I am just a well read fan and I wasn't there and I am not truly qualified to comment, but I think I have a good picture and its down to the honesty in this book about his time with Jeff, and Lee's book about Tim Buckley, both which tell a heart story and aren't just Rock Bio's. Gary was so lucky to meet Jeff, and Jeff was so lucky to Gary.
It was SO refreshing. What comes across are real human beings and not music biz facsimiles or projected images. For me the personal and the true are the attractive qualities in the artists I admire.
5 stars because its a book with HEART.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars jeff buckley 26 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
talk about sour grapes!! I thought gary lucas was supposed to be jeff buckley's friend. this book will not endear him to jeff's legions of fans.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful 2 Feb 2014
By Lee Underwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Letter I wrote to Gary Lucas after reading Touched By Grace —

Dear Gary,
I approached your book with a certain amount of trepidation. Did not want to get swept back into that neo-Gothic vortex of the Buckley saga. But as I got into the first chapter, I said to myself, “Hey, anybody who is a master performing guitarist, a major independent recording artist, and a first-rate writer who attended Yale and regards Joyce’s Ulysses as his favorite novel, can’t be all bad. Press on!”

I am glad I did.

Touched By Grace is superbly well written, full of insight, passion, love, wisdom, heart. Couldn’t put it down. Didn’t even want to.

Thank you for undertaking such a monumental labor. I know what it took to go back into those ecstasies and agonies, those heights of creative fire, those depths of humiliation, disappointment, anger, those shining peaks of love and exuberant musical performances.

And I know exactly what you mean when you say not a day goes by without remembering Jeff, the love you felt and still feel after all of these years, and how that aching loss still brings tears to the surface of your psyche. Indelible experiences, undimmed by time’s passing. As you know, those experiences and those memories will stay with you. They are yours and yours alone, to be honored and treasured and cherished forever.

I stand in admiration of you, Gary. Your independence as a man and as a musician. Your “loner” stance in a violent, cynical music business context. The ways in which you retain your fundamental integrity, your gentleness, your respect for others even when moving among those ruthless corporate sharks (not to mention the back-biting, opportunistic fellow musicians who step on other musicians just to get another leg up the ladder toward fame, fortune, and fleeting recognition).

You have managed to go your own way, no matter what. You have managed to pull yourself up out of the ashes of egregious disappointment and continue working, evolving, growing as a man, as a musician, as a writer, and as a devoted servant to music itself.

I tip my hat to you, Gary Lucas. Way to go.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gary Lucas's book is full of honesty and heart, 22 Nov 2013
By Stuart Anthony - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
It was, as I expected, terribly difficult to put down. I was deeply impressed and in full admiration of the honesty that courses through the book. I felt for Gary, rooted for him and begun to understand more about his time with Jeff. Gary is one of the good guys swimming in a pool of sharks, a rare and much needed quality in the music biz. I felt for Jeff too. I don't think he fully understood the monster until it right up in front of him. Lee Underwood had a few things to say regarding Jeff in his book about Tim Buckley 'Blue Melody' and a similar point about Jeff's lack of songs came across. I first heard Grace before I ever heard Tim Buckley, but I came to love Tim more simply because there were 9 albums to lose myself in. The other lovely thing about Gary's book was being able to envision him as The Guitarist and his role as musician being a wide and beautiful thing. I'm very glad I got to see him live at the Liverpool Philharmonic rooms in 2012. Treated to hear one of the greats up and close. He opens the door to this bitter sweet past. I know it must have cost him emotionally to do it. I am just a well read fan and I wasn't there and I am not truly qualified to comment, but I think I have a good picture and its down to the honesty in this book about his time with Jeff, and Lee's book about Tim Buckley, both which tell a heart story and aren't just Rock Bio's. Gary was so lucky to meet Jeff, and Jeff was so lucky to Gary.
It was SO refreshing. What comes across are real human beings and not music biz facsimiles or projected images. For me the personal and the true are the attractive qualities in the artists I admire.
5 stars because its a book with HEART.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Work of Grace and Dignity 13 July 2014
By Paul R. Mauceri - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As someone who spends way too much of his (limited) free time reading books about music and the music industry, Gary Lucas’s “Touched By Grace: My Time With Jeff Buckley” was a no-brainer. As a friend and fan of Gary Lucas and an admirer of Jeff Buckley’s considerable talents and his too limited output due to his all too brief time on Earth, I figured this would be a welcome addition to my growing library of rock and roll reads. What I didn’t know beforehand was, like others who have reviewed this book here, once I started reading it I could not put it down; I think I tore through it in something like three days. Had I not had other things to do, like go to a job, for example, or sleep, I can see myself having read it all in one sitting. It is that engrossing. Lucas’s words flow with the same eloquence, passion, and lyricism of his extraordinary (and very underappreciated) guitar playing, and the vicissitudes of the story mirror his career as an artist. Several famous and noteworthy musicians make appearances and are referenced throughout the book (including my uncle Maestro John Mauceri, who Lucas namechecks early on when writing about his “first major professional experience” as a member of the Yale Symphony Orchestra, for which he was featured solo guitarist when they performed the European premier of Leonard Bernstain’s “Mass,” and received high praise from Lenny himself!). He leaves it all there on the page, and we readers are the beneficiaries of his tale of the sparks that ignited, and subsequently imploded, one of the great but unfulfilled musical collaborations of the late 20th century.

The joining of forces of these two formidable, but ultimately incompatible talents – due to the typical power struggles and ego trips that seem to go with pursuing a music career, rather than creative differences – is a tragedy of near Shakespearian proportions. Being the astute and erudite musician Gary Lucas is, he of course knew Tim Buckley’s music well at the time of his fateful encounter with Tim’s estranged son Jeff in preparation for a tribute concert for the elder Buckley in Brooklyn, NY, and he was quick to pick up on the younger Buckley’s obvious talent and potential. Lucas himself had only fairly recently at the time thrown caution to the wind and decided to follow his true calling as a professional musician (at age 35), giving up a secure but soul-destroying career in the music industry itself as an ad copyist for CBS Records (he coined the slogan “The Only Group That Matters” for The Clash). As a solo guitarist, he helped put famed NYC avant-garde institution The Knitting Factory on the map with his concerts there and as part of their tour packages throughout Europe. Prior to this however, he had himself arrived on the musical map as a member of the last incarnation of musical innovator Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, joining as a full-fledged member for their last official album release Ice Cream for Crow. Unsurprisingly, Beefheart’s challenging and uncategorizable brand of blues-poetry-polyrhythmic-psychedelic-freak rock was not destined for any commercial success (the fact that a major label actually signed them seems miraculous given the state of the music industry in recent years; today a major label wouldn’t give an artist like Beefheart the time of day, let alone an actual deal).

Being the astute and erudite musician Jeff Buckley was (despite his GIT background and apparent ability to duplicate Rush guitar solos note-for-note), he was well aware of Lucas’s Beefheart credentials, which commanded instant respect in the young musician, and the two started hanging out and writing together in Lucas’s West Village apartment after performing together at the Tim Buckley tribute concert, with Lucas taking on a mentor-like role to the budding rock star. Lucas had his own band, Gods and Monsters, which had a revolving cast (including alt rocker Matthew Sweet) and Buckley eventually became the de facto lead singer. Lucas’s vision was for Jeff and he to become the modern equivalent of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, and he cites the almighty Zeppelin as a primary influence on his band, showing that his and Buckley’s musical tastes, as refined and protean as they were, were not above artists who had achieved massive commercial success.

This is basically the setup for the ensuing drama of Lucas’s and Buckley’s creative/professional relationship. We all know what eventually happened to Jeff Buckley but this book details what has to be considered a key and pivotal partnership in his brief career. Case in point: the very first two tracks on the one and only official Jeff Buckley album, Grace – “Mojo Pin” and “Grace” – were co-written with Lucas and were staples in Gods and Monsters’ set during Buckley’s tenure in the band. Lucas describes in striking, intimate detail the head and soul space he was in when he came up with the music for these two groundbreaking compositions, offering us a rare glimpse into the mysteries of the creative process. I remember several years ago when I interviewed Gary for the newsletter of the company I worked at (The Harry Fox Agency), he described these two compositions as “templates for a new kind of pop song.” Early on in “Touched By Grace,” he references “Strawberry Fields Forever” as emblematic of what his ultimate vision was for his band: taking pop music into new directions while still maintaining its accessibilty.

But, alas, it wasn’t meant to be, as Jeff Buckley wanted ultimately to be a solo artist and not to have to share the spotlight with anyone. Whether or not he intentionally used Lucas as a stepping stone to further his own career remains conjecture, though it seems highly plausible given how events unfolded in this story. He seems to have had an innate ability to manipulate people to do his bidding, especially a major record label, which ended up giving him a deal that most artists would kill for, allowing him all kinds of creative freedom and, especially, plenty of time to figure out his artistic vision. Clearly the surname “Buckley” came with perks, not to mention also being handsome, charming, and charismatic. Lucas relates one particular incident involving two other more established Gods and Monsters members that I found particularly shocking (and about which I will not write anything further so as not to spoil any more than I already have).

Jeff Buckley was also most likely influenced by the industry contacts he and Lucas shared as a result of their affiliation, some of whom in all likelihood convinced him to break away from Lucas and go solo. While this may be understandable on one level, at the same time it seems unfair and ungrateful and it is hard not to sympathize with Lucas over his disappointment and heartbreak when Jeff quits Gods and Monsters right at the time they seem poised on the verge of breaking.

It is clear after reading the book that Jeff Buckley was filled with a host of contradictions. For starters, he wanted to completely dissassociate himself from his father’s legacy, understandable given he hardly knew him, but then he chose music as a career. And even a perfunctory listen of Tim Buckley reveals that Jeff Buckley’s vocal stylings were clearly heavily influenced by his father. He also wanted to maintain a certain hipster/alternative cred yet ended up signing a recording contract with the biggest record company in the world: Sony. He wanted to be his own solo artist yet had to rely on the songwriting of others to have a full length album (of the ten tracks on Grace, only three are solely credited to Jeff Buckley, four are co-writes, and three are covers). As he was working on his follow up to Grace, we learn in the book that Buckley had a dearth of new material and asked Lucas for more songs. We also learn that towards the end of his life he had apparently been more than dabbling in that cliche of maladjusted rock star recreations: heroin.

All this is not in any way to undermine the extraordinary talent that was Jeff Buckley or lessen the fact that his tragic early demise was indeed a huge loss to the music world. Nor does Lucas begrudge Buckley his immense talent at any point in his book; he acknowledges him as one of, if not the, most important of all his collaborators (a huge statement considering how many he has had in his career). Lucas paints a portrait of a talented but terribly confused, malcontented young man who ends up in a situation in which he finds he has very little control. It is sad and heartbreaking to read about how unhappy Jeff Buckly was toward the end of his life. It’s a shame he couldn’t embody the lyrics of one of his better known covers: “Satisfied Mind,” by Joe “Red” Hayes and Jack Rhodes. It has even been suggested that his accidental drowning in the Missisippi River was in fact a suicide, but such speculation seems to ony serve the whole myth and legend making aspect of his tragically short life. Who knows though? (As a side note, in the leader of the band Soul Coughing Mike Doughty’s funny and poignant memoir “The Book of Drugs,” about his days wallowing in the throes of drug addiction and subsequent recovery, he comments on Jeff Buckley’s premature death with something along the lines of “Great! Now you’re a legend!”) It has often been said that dying prematurely can sometimes be an artist’s best career move. But there definitely was something unique about Jeff Buckley and there is no question we lost someone special when he waded into the banks of the Wolf River that fateful day never to return alive again.

Despite the disappointment and pain Lucas endured over the fallout of his and Jeff Buckley’s partnership, the music they made together endures, both as band mates in Gods and Monsters and on the album Grace, which to this day is considered one of the hallmark rock albums of the ‘90’s. And although he considered himself at the time of Jeff Buckley’s departure from Gods and Monsters as “condemned . . . to indie hell for the rest of my career,” Gary Lucas, through hard work and sheer determination, has risen above tremendous obstacles to carve out a brilliant career for himself. Indie artist or not, his work – whether as a solo guitarist, band leader and songwriter, composer of soundtracks to old silent movies, or collaborator with other major creative talents around the world – is always of consistently high quality and uncompromising. If anything, he is one of those artists who I feel safe categorizing as “too good for his own good” (other great artists like this who come to mind, and of whom I am a huge fan, are Richard Thompson and Mike Viola). At the end of the day, it is about the art and not the numbers. Gary Lucas and Jeff Buckley were unquestionably kindred spirits and they created magic together. For Jeff Buckley fans, “Touched By Grace” is an absolute must read. But more importantly, it is a must read for music fans.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, Entertaining, Heart Breaking 2 April 2014
By James Christopulos - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Touched By Grace is excellent on many levels. For fans of Jeff Buckley, it reveals the complex personality of a legend-in-the-making whose ascending star was tragically shot down too soon. Gary Lucas’ account of his time with Jeff strips away much of the myth; for those who think Jeff Buckley was perfect and could do no wrong, it’s revealed that Jeff could be very cold, ruthless and cunning. Yet, this isn’t a hatchet job; Buckley is merely exposed as human and, along with the ruthlessness that might accompany the actions of one determined to be a star, a waif-like, fun-loving personality is also revealed. The relationship between mentor (Lucas) and protégée (Buckley) is fascinating, starting out with a solid friendship (complete with red flagged warning signs) and degenerating into a rebellious separation (as it must if the Oedipal situation, as described by Lucas, plays out). The ups and downs of the Buckley / Lucas friendship strike one as alternately funny, inspiring, hopeful, and, at many points and ultimately, heart-breaking. For fans of the two Buckley classics “Mojo Pin” and “Grace,” both co-written with Lucas, the story of how these two anthems came to be are lovingly recalled in great detail. The book is also an enlightening read on just how dreadful and back-stabbing the music industry can be. With the hipster New York scene of the 90s as backdrop, tales of record execs screwing artists and not being fearful of contracts being broken because “you can’t afford to sue us” abound. The reader is also introduced to two-faced industry “players” looking for the next hot thing and so easily willing to destroy the dreams / hopes of others in order to find it. Acknowledged as one of the world’s most creative guitar players, Gary Lucas became guitarist (and de facto manager) for the legendary Captain Beefheart in the early 80s, and then gained a reputation as a respected member of the New York brigade that regularly played at CBGB’s and helped put the Knitting Factory on the map. With such an amazing pedigree, Lucas was entrusted with mentoring Jeff Buckley and integrating him into the NY scene. Very few people would be able to tell the Jeff Buckley NY story with more authority than Gary Lucas and for those who are keenly interested in this period of Jeff’s history, look no further than this excellent book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest, beautiful read 15 Jan 2014
By Gregg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What an amazing book.. I have read Dream Brother, A Pure Drop, and seen all the documentaries.. all books and films that explore Jeff Buckley, what the known facts were, what made him tick, and also some speculation. This book is unabashedly honest and open, told from the perspective of a very accomplished musician who had taken him under his wing after seeing the incredible potential at the St. Anne's tribute concert in 1991. As I got further and further into the book, I found myself being more mesmerized with how Gary's life became a series of ups and downs.. suddenly filled with hope and optimism, only to be met by despair and rejection later.. then.. optimism and hope again. Gary's words and descriptions have ways of conveying human emotions all across the board. Now, ultimately I know how this story ends.. however I was constantly "in the moment," hoping and pulling for both Jeff and Gary for this to work out the way it seemed it would. This book gave me a much more humanistic feel to the story of Jeff Buckley. Much, much more than fact checking, you are getting the untarnished story from a person who was there, with Jeff, making beautiful music which was greater than either individual in my opinion, a product of a magical collaboration.. one that I would have loved to see continue well past 1997. Also, as a very amateur guitarist, I took great pleasure in how Gary explained how the songs originated. Working the riffs, the buildup, the resolve.. Probably my two favorite songs in the world, that have pulled me through good times, sad times, and everything in between, Grace and Mojo Pin. It's refreshing to read a book that was so much more than I was expecting. Cheers to Gary Lucas for being so candid and honest.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category