- 18th July
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This is such a beautiful and sad story….
A small boy is watching his father. All children watch their parents. But this eight-year-old boy hasn’t seen his father since he was a baby, and has only a blurred, dreamlike memory of him. And now his father is on a stage in front of him, singing. The boy, known as Scott, is with his mother, Mary. It is 1975, and the venue is The Golden Bear, a small folk club in Huntington Beach, LA. The boy’s father is musician Tim Buckley, whose work journeys far beyond the boundaries of folk and who has recently released an album of which he is not as proud as he might be: Look At The Fool.
"I think the band came on and started cookin’ first," remembers Mary, "yeah, and here’s little Scotty, he’s got blond hair down to here, he’s bouncing in his seat, he’s chair-dancing to his dad’s music, and Tim’s wailing, and I saw - or I imagine I saw, I don’t know which - his eyes were closed, and he’d open them a little bit to see Scotty in the second row, and Scotty was grooving. I was watching the two of them and I thought, ‘This is really going to be amazing.’
Tim at Knebworth, 1974“At the end of the first set I said, ‘Do you wanna go backstage and see [Tim]’, and Scott’s like, ’Yeah!’ So with him clutching my skirt we made our way back to the dressing room. There were a lot of people milling around and I didn’t see Tim right away. [Then] this voice called, ‘Jeff!’ It was the first time anyone had ever called him Jeff. And he leapt at the sound of his father’s voice, across the room into his arms, and he was sitting on his lap and chattering a mile a minute. He said things like, ‘My dog’s name is King, he’s white,’ and he was telling [Tim] everything he could think about himself to tell his father. He was sitting on his dad’s lap facing [Tim] and I could see Tim’s face over Jeff’s shoulder and tears were just running down his face. So I thought, I’ll just let this be, so I went back to the audience.
“After a few minutes [Tim’s wife] Judy came holding little Jeff ‘s hand and his feet were not touching the floor, sparks were coming out of his eyes, and I could see her steel herself a little bit and she said, ‘Do you think we could take him with us?’ Now, God was in my head, I’m telling you; Mary Guibert would not have said yes. I looked at Scotty, and his eyes looked at me like, ‘Please don’t say no, Mommy.’ It was the Friday night before Easter vacation so there was no school,’ no reason to say no. He stayed ‘til Thursday. They sent him home on the bus with a little matchbook with his daddy’s telephone number written in it.” Two months later Tim Buckley, who has been trying to quit heroin, dies of an overdose.
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