He was the gifted but terribly damaged son of singer/songwriter Tim Buckley, a
'60s folkie revivalist who found fame and some chart success. This is the offspring's tale, a sad recounting of a life filled with talent and charm and balanced, or over-weighted on the other side, with doom and a sense of failure.
From the beginning, as the author details here, Jeff was cursed. His father left prior to his birth but not before leaving behind his musical seed. The prodigal son would go on to record one album titled
Grace before drowning mysteriously in the Wolf River at age 31.
It is all here, a life brought up as "rootless trailer trash" in cities from Orange County to Hollywood, California, then east to New York City. The author draws upon personal letters and some terrific research to give shape to this musical cipher.
It's a tragic tale, but author Jeff Apter tries not to over-sentimentalize it. The narrative is delivered with humor and pathos and, in the end, an honest portrait is ultimately revealed.