When musician Jeff Buckley died in 1997, Lou Reed's "I'll Be Your Mirror" was played at his memorial service in New York. And a mirror he certainly was - the kind of seminal artist who not only enchants with his own work but forces others to find and give of their best. He told American photographer Merri Cyr he's be her muse -- and this lovely book shows she lived up to his faith.
This gorgeously produced hardback contains hundreds of colour photos of Buckley, from posed promo shots to fascinating slices of backstage verité. Taken with real affection for their subject, they are never exploitative although in many ways far more revealing than the bare facts of his life as told in the David Browne biography, "Dream Brother". Complementing the wealth of detail in the photos are dozens of anecdotes and reminiscences from those who knew him best during his brief time as a pro musician - his close friends and colleagues.
Perhaps one reminiscence from Merri Cyr herself sums up how Jeff Buckley made people feel - and how he pulled the best out of everyone who came in contact with him. "Jeff had a fantastic beauty, rare and originating on an energetic level. It's got nothing to do with the meat of a body and it's beyond talent. Maybe his high burn rate made him shine all the more brightly, seducing people to match an ephemeral brilliance, or by the same token a vast darkness. Whatever you call it, it became an actual and visible expression in the photographs."
One thing's for sure - Jeff Buckley lives on, not just in his own art, but in the work he has inspired and the memories he has left behind.