Jeffrey Scott Buckley, or Jeff Buckley, was born on November 17, 1966, in California, United States. He was a renowned musician known for his extraordinary guitar skills and enthralling live performances. In 1994, he released his only studio album, “Grace,” with his band. He went on a world tour in 1995 to promote the album, going as far as Europe, Japan, and Australia. Throughout the years, his music reached the top charts and received favorable responses from fans and critics alike. Unfortunately, he drowned in the Mississippi River in 1997.
Jeffrey Scott Buckley
Jeff, Scott ‘Scottie’ Moorhead
November 17, 1966
May 29, 1997 (age 30)
Jeff Buckley was a well-known American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He was born Jeffrey Scott Buckley on November 17, 1966, in California, U.S., to Mary Guibert, a pianist and cellist, and Tim Buckley, a singer, and songwriter. He was raised Scott Moorhead; however, after his father’s demise in 1975, he decided to take his father’s first and last name. After high school, he attended the Musicians Institute for a one-year course.
His career started in 1985 when he began working as a guitarist for various bands in diverse genres: jazz, reggae, roots rock, and heavy metal. He also participated in studio sessions for funk and R&B, proving his wide range of musical prowess. In 1990, he recorded his first demo with the help of Herb Cohen, his father’s former manager. In 1991, he performed a tribute concert for his father, marking his first public singing debut. He started appearing in several cafes and clubs in 1992 and played an eclectic mix of songs from a wide range of artists, with a borrowed Fender guitar. Throughout the following months, he gained massive stardom. In 1994, his first album “Grace” was released. The album included seven original songs and three covers. One of the covers was a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah.’ It was named one of his best songs and was included in The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in “Rolling Stone’s” list. By 1996, he started recording sporadically for the new album, “My Sweetheart the Drunk”.
Buckley had dated several women, and his last relationship was in 1994 with musician Joan Wasser. He also dated Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins, and they wrote a duet called ‘All Flowers in Time Bend Towards the Sun.’ Buckley passed away in the evening of 1997 when he went swimming in Wolf River Harbor. His autopsy results did not show signs of drugs or alcohol, hence it was confirmed that his death resulted from accidental drowning.
Buckley plays guitar for various bands performing various genres and displays his musical prowess.
With the help of his father’s former manager, he creates his first demo titled, ‘Babylon Dungeon Sessions.’
He makes his singing debut at a concert dedicated to his late father.
Buckley starts his career by performing in numerous cafes and clubs, earning massive attention for his talent.
He releases his first album, "Grace," after signing a contract with Columbia Records.
Why We Love Jeff Buckley
His incredible guitar skills
Buckley spent his early years as a backup guitarist for several shows. This allowed him to have extensive skills in playing across various genres in his tracks. This exposure polished his overall musical skills as well.
His captivating stage presence
Many of his loyal fans mentioned his captivating stage presence when they saw him live. He attracted many people to his live shows in the early 1990s, going as far as record label executives.
His passion for music
Buckley never strayed away from his interest in music. Through this, he improved his techniques by performing for smaller audiences and developed a versatility to play music in various genres.
5 Surprising Facts
His love for Zeppelin
The first album he owned was “Physical Graffiti” by Led Zeppelin.
His debut venue was a church
His first performance, ‘Greetings from Tim Buckley,’ was performed at St.Anne’s Episcopal Church in Brooklyn.
He almost joined a band
During his time as a background guitarist, he almost became the backing act for the band, the Rolling Stones.
He chose Columbia Records
Buckley had several major labels trying to sign him up, but he chose Columbia Records because one of his heroes, Bob Dylan, also signed with them once.
His phone performance
One time, the radio host, Nicholas Hill, phoned Buckley to request a song, to which Buckley responded by singing and playing the harmonica over the telephone.
Jeff Buckley FAQs
How did Jeff Buckley learn the guitar?
He started playing guitar after discovering a guitar in his grandmother’s closet.
What genre was Jeff Buckley’s music?
Though praised for being versatile across various genres, his primary genre was rock music.
What kind of guitar did Jeff Buckley play?
He played various kinds of guitars, but his main guitar was the 1993 Top Loader Fender Telecaster.
Jeff Buckley’s birthday dates