I'm not sure what I'm expounding on, but it's surely something I believe in at the time. Not surprisingly, my glass never seems to see the bottom, a hue of red permanently etched into it. There are dozens of people around me, milling in the same passionate way that I am.
Another blurry night in a stream of miscalculated adventures.
And that's when it happens. A new friend, one that won't exist tomorrow, pulls me into the room.
"You've got to hear this guy man. I can't believe you've never listened to him!"
This cat has somehow managed to overwhelm me with his urgency; no easy task. But he's done it. All in the name of coercing me to listen to some singer I've only heard in passing conversations. I assume I'll indulge him for a few seconds, only to nod accordingly and make my way back to my rightfull place as center of attention. Or so my mind tells me that is...
And then it hits me.
Like a sledgehammer that there is no recovering from, this foreign intrusion into my life has queued up what can only be described as heaven. I keep it cool, trying not to drop to my knees. He smiles, knowing all too well what is transpiring.
I've heard Lennon. I've heard Dylan. I've heard the soul of Motown and the scratch of the South. I had thought I'd heard it all in a decade of seeking out popular rock music.
But I hadn't heard this. This voice. This voice that can only be described as a mixture of haunting and beautiful.
My friend leaves me, having no idea how much this introduction has affected me. Will affect me. And it's not just the mere seven minutes or so of Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" that will alter me; it will forever be a stain on my conscious.
I imagine there are thousands who feel the same way, lost in confusion over how you could somehow overlook this kaleidoscope of art. I was floored to say the least, and things would never be the same.
Earlier this week, the memories of discovering Jeff Buckley came flooding back to my mind with the announcement of not one, but three Jeff Buckley movies in the works. Whether or not they'll all see the light of day is irrelevant, what mattered was that his legacy was still growing with each passing year. Instead of being extinguished, lost in the record books of what could have been, it lives on.
With the buzz surround Buckley's films, many casual observers wondered just what the fuck Buckley did to deserve Hollywood's attention? Especially when larger than life rock gods still had yet to be captured on screen- guys like Hendrix, Kurt, and others.
The answer isn't so simple. All I can say that Jeff Buckley's story is one of imminent tragedy, surrounded by a measure of art unseen by those in today's music scene. Jeff wasn't just what could have been. He was so much more than that of a clichéd phrase. He was beauty incarnate.
My own dance with Buckley's music has been fraught with sadness, love, and submission. And quite frankly, whose hasn't? The music lingers. The words speak a poet's truth. And that voice. That voice.
Good god, if you're not moved by that voice, you're not alive inside. When a Radiohead fan comments on the uniqueness of Thom Yorke's voice, no disrespect, but I point them to Buckley. His warbling on-target emotion is the type of the sound that forces you to re-examine your life. Buckley's music doesn't cause you to daydream, it forces you to live in the moment.
If you're looking to get dangerous for the night, you turn on The Doors. If you're looking to fall into a state of unknown emotion, you put on Buckley's Grace, the only studio album we were ever lucky enough to get from him.
For when he waded into the waters of the Wolf River... clothes on... listening to Zepplin and prepping his next ascent into the ears of the world... he disappeared.
And with his passing into the night, the world lost a true artist. Someone we knew would never exist again. Someone we were just getting to know...
And that's why the movies are coming.
And I'm sure when they do, a whole slew of people will be like I was many years ago in that room with my new friend.
Feeling like you just heard music for the first time all over again.
Don't take my word for it though, listen to his peers below and more importantly, listen to him.