Posted by themusicsover on November 7, 2016
September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016
Photo by Takahiro Kyono
Leonard Cohen was a revered Canadian poet, author, and most famously, singer-songwriter. Over a career that spanned almost 50 years, Cohen provided the dimly-lit smoky-bar soundtrack for people who needed hope, lost faith, felt despair, or longed for love. Initially planning a career as an author and poet, Cohen wanted to reach more people, so he switched gears and found himself singing and performing in New York City at the relatively late age of 33. He quickly became an unlikely pop star – rugged baritone voice, simple chord structures, and a private, guarded life within a profession that celebrated extroversion. His career might have seemed over when upon the release of his most famous song, 1984’s “Hallelujah,” his label head reportedely told him, “Look, Leonard; we know you’re great, but we don’t know if you’re any good,” before dropping him. But his songs eventually caught on, and younger generations of singer-songwriters borrowed them to include in their own canons. “Hallelujah” alone was recorded by over 200 artists, including Bob Dylan, Justin Timberlake, k.d. lang, John Cale, and most famously, Jeff Buckley. In all, Cohen’s tunes have been covered by more than 2000. That list includes such greats as Johnny Cash, Nick Cave, Willie Nelson, R.E.M., and Tori Amos. In 2008, at the age of 74, and facing financial ruin, Cohen embarked on an ambitious (and triumphant!) world tour that would last about three years before his health started to get the better of him. After getting well, he hit the road again doing a seemingly endless series of impassioned shows that ran north of three hours a piece. That lasted through December of 2013, when he fell ill again. But Cohen refused to be bound by his health and set out to record what would be the final two albums of his lifetime, 2014’s Popular Problems, and this year’s You Want it Darker, recorded in his home with him in a wheelchair and singing many of the sessions in physical pain. That album was released just two weeks before his death, and served as a profound self-eulogy in much the same way as David Bowie‘s Lazarus. It has been reported, thankfully, that exluding his last album, his late-life career revival earned him around $10 million. Leonard Cohen was 82 when he passed away on November 7, 2016.
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Posted in Folk, Musician, Pop, Rock, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Jeff Buckley, John Cale, Johnny Cash, Justin Timberlake, k.d. lang, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, R.E.M., Tori Amos, Willie Nelson | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on June 29, 2010
February 14, 1947 – June 29, 1975
Tim Buckley was a much respected singer-songwriter who, through his career that spanned the late ’60s to mid ’70s dazzled fans with his keen ability to seamlessly cohabit multiple genres like jazz, folk, soul psychedelia and avant-garde. Growing up in Southern California, Buckley taught himself to play the banjo at the age of 11. Bu the time Buckley was a senior in high school, he had formed his own band and was a married father-to-be. His son was future indie-folk legend Jeff Buckley, who like his father, died tragically too soon. Buckley was soon signed to the legendary Elektra Records who released Buckley’s now cult classic albums. By the early ’70s however, Buckley’s demons took to form of drugs and alcohol and seriously derailed his career. In 1975, Buckley attempted to clean up and mount a “comeback” but his addiction to heroin was too strong, causing him to die of an overdose at the age of 28.
What You Should Own
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Posted in Folk, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Jeff Buckley, Tim Buckley | 1 Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on May 29, 2010
November 17, 1966 – May 29, 1997
Jeff Buckley was the son of Tim Buckley, an American avant-garde rock musician who also died at a young age in 1975. Jeff Buckley followed in his father’s professional footsteps by becoming an accomplished singer-songwriter in his own right. Buckley’s career started to develop in the mid-’90s when as he started making a name for himself gigging around New York’s East Village. Record companies began to take notice with Columbia Records ultimately signing him and releasing Grace, his 1994 debut. The album contained his cover of Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah,” which landed at number 259 on Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.” The album would eventually go gold in the US, no doubt with the help of some very famous fans. Jimmy Page called it his favorite album of the ’90s, and David Bowie claimed it as one of his ten “Desert Island Discs.” But sadly, Buckley’s career would be cut much too short. After spending the next couple of years touring and promoting Grace as well as participating in a few other recordings, Buckley settled into a life in Memphis where he began working up new material for his second album. On the evening of May 29, 1997, Buckley drowned while swimming in the Wolf River Harbor, just off the Mississippi River. According to band roadie, Keith Foti, Buckley went into the water fully clothed, including his boots. At one point while on shore, Foti got up to move their gear out of the way of an oncoming wake, and when he looked back out to the water, Buckley was nowhere to be found. Despite attempts to find him, Buckley remained missing until his body was discovered and brought ashore almost a week later. An autopsy revealed he had no illegal drugs in his body and his death was ruled an accidental drowning.
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Posted in Musician, Rock, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: David Bowie, Jeff Buckley, Jimmy Page, Keith Foti, Tim Buckley | 2 Comments »
Posted by themusicsover on January 17, 2010
January 30, 1927 – January 17, 2010
Gerald McCabe was the founder of Santa Monica, California’s McCabe’s Guitar Shop, a popular instrument store as well as beloved concert venue. Opened in 1958, the club became the focal point of the folk scene of the ’60s and continues to host the most respected singer-songwriters to this day. Over the years, the store’s intimate backroom stage has presented the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Beck, Hoyt Axton, Steve Earle, Jeff Buckley, Peter Case, Jim Carroll, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, The Dillards, John Hammond, and PJ Harvey, to name just a few. Hanging on the walls throughout is a remarkable collection of vintage acoustic instruments for sale. And on the upstairs walls hang live photos of those who have graced the stage. It’s as close to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame we have in Los Angeles. A furniture builder by trade, it was McCabe’s love of folk music and the fact that his wife’s musician friends came to him for instrument repairs that lead to him opening the shop / club. Following the folk boom of the ’60s, and with his desire to focus more on furniture design, McCabe sold the shop in 1986. His furniture work has been featured in respected design magazines and related art exhibits over the years. On Sunday, January 17, 2010, Gerald McCabe died two days after suffering a stroke. He was 82. If you’re in Los Angeles, be sure to visit McCabe’s at 3101 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica.
Posted in Club Owner | Tagged: Beck, Gerald McCabe, Guy Clark, Hoyt Axton, Jeff Buckley, Jim Carroll, John Hammond, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Case, PJ Harvey, Steve Earle, The Dillards, Townes Van Zandt | Leave a Comment »