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Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley
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Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,070 ratings  ·  68 reviews

Jeff Buckley drowned in a branch of the Mississippi River on May 29,1997 — the same day his band was to join him in Memphis to begin recording his eagerly anticipated second album. With his death, a rock legend died stillborn, leaving behind scattered musical works in progress, a reputation for electrifying performances, and memories of a voice that flowed effortlessly up

Published 2000 by Fourth Estate
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I went to high school with Jeff Buckley and graduated a year behind him. We didn't share any classes and our paths rarely crossed, so I had no idea of his talent. I remember one day, though, as we passed each other as he was leaving a classroom while I was entering. We made eye contact, and he smiled and said "hi." I know I smiled, and I think I said "hi" back. Because I was a shy kid with low self-esteem, any time anyone I didn't know greeted me kindly it stuck with me. Anyway, I remember think ...more
Jesus, I'm a nerd. I go headlong into revisiting a dormant crush on the doomed son of a doomed son by checking in with my local library. This is Dave Thompson's Depeche Mode: Some Great Reward all over again!

Fortunately, David Browne wrote a pretty substantial biography on the Buckleys that twines, parallels, and misses the two young men who shared heritage but not each other's lives. I think the Jeff portion was what they were going to make the stalled biopic out of, which would be good source
Kelly Murray
soooo good! This book deepened my love and appreciation for Jeff Buckley(as if that were even possible). I loved getting the really intimate perspective on both Jeff's and his father's lives. They never really knew each other, but were similar in many ways. This is the only book that has ever made me cry at the end. It really made me appreciate the kind of person that Jeff was, even if he was a bit before my time. He seemed to have had such a pure soul and wanted nothing more than to spread love ...more
People my age (born in the 50s) are most likely to remember the folk singer/songwriter Tim Buckley, whose beautiful voice soared over jazz guitar, vibraphone, and conga percussion, and with riffs swiped from jazz greats like Miles Davis into a fusion of folk and jazz.

People 20 years younger are more likely to have known of Tim's son, Jeff Buckley, who also was a singer/songwriter, had jazz influences, and had an absolutely beautiful voice.

Jeff hardly knew his father; he did not grow up with him.
Jenny Brown
I was a huge Tim Buckley fan and had the pleasure of seeing him perform live, twice, in 1967 and '68. No recording I've heard has ever captured the richness of his voice which was unlike any I have ever heard elsewhere. I also got to meet Tim backstage and learned how short he was, and how nasty he could be to a complete stranger simply because she expressed the fact that she had been deeply affected by his music.

Later I heard many stories about Buckley's untidy personal life from hippie friend
Norman Revill
David Browne is a solid and engaging music writer - check out Fire and Rain (Da Capo Press) - and this was his first book. His research is so thorough and painstaking, by the time you get to the end, you'll know just about everything about the tragic Buckleys; even that Tim's funeral featured an open coffin. And their story is a tragedy; sublime music from two deeply troubled individuals, who met briefly but never really knew each other. One long-gone father and his abandoned son; two voices tha ...more
cynical duck farmer
if you were me, you would have devoured this book in the summer of 2002 while a little bit obsessed with tim and jeff (tim a little more than jeff, but not by much), and you would have paused to wrestle with a knot that formed itself in your hair, in the place where you'd tied the bandana you were fond of wearing at the time. you would have won the wrestling match, barely, and gone on devouring what was left of the book.

later, some conflicted feelings would have swollen inside of you, like gum
David Browne's DREAM BROTHER is a dual biography of the musicians Tim Buckley and Jeff Buckley, Tim's son. The tale is told in alternating chapters to show the eerie resemblances and notable differences in their tragically short lives. Tim Buckley died of a drug overdose at the age of 28, Jeff Buckley drowned in the Mississippi River when he was 31. Before that, they had both left between works of great beauty and originality, but had yet to reach the mainstream towards which they both hoped.

I bought this book in hardcover when it initially came out in 2001. It has languished on my shelf ever since. I tried to read it a few times before, but always abandoned it. Normally after something has sat unread on my bookshelf for that long, I'd get rid of it, but I always felt like one day I would read it.

I was a latecomer to Jeff Buckley's music, in the sense that I didn't really start listening to him until after his death. Prior to that, I knew who he was, but that was about it. I finally
Samantha Glasser
This book is so amazing. I read it on a whim because it was the summertime and I had a deep interest in Jeff Buckley but did not know much about him. I read the book and not only did I feel I thoroughly knew Jeff, but I understood his family, especially his father, as well.

Some people say that it was wrong to posthumously lump Tim and Jeff Buckley together after Jeff fought for years to separate himself from his famous father. I believe that note should be taken of this, but in order to understa
I had been collecting bootleg recordings and searching the cd bins for a new studio release from Jeff Buckley for years when I got the news of his "disappearance" en route to work one morning. It hit me hard. So hard I felt compelled to meet with a locally well-known "psychic" (For real or not? Who knows?). He told me that what freaked me out most about Buckley's death was that it upset me so much but that I didn't understand why (true). He then told me that he was seeing two guys, heavy drinker ...more
Jessica Stank
A detailed side-by-side view of the strikingly similar timelines of talented musicians who were strangers to each other and also father and son, Tim and Jeff Buckley. The book had all of the information I was looking for and then some. It was written by a journalist and it totally reads like it was written by a journalist. I appreciate the amount of work that went in to gathering all of the necessary info to complete this ambitious project. I found myself getting bored with some of the portions ...more
Big fan of Jeff Buckley, but after reading this account, took the shine off him. Usually the more I know, the more I can appreciate the artist and the music (e.g. Johnny Cash), but in this instance - he came across a tad sulky and ridiculous. Tim Buckey's story really hooked me and a have a deeper appreciation for his music. Either way - a good and informative read on two fine artists, David Browne did a marvy job.
Emily Jones
Partially because I'm obsessed with Jeff Buckley, and partially just because his life was interesting, this is a great read. Browne intertwines the events of Tim and Jeff's lives in an interesting way, albeit they spent very little time together. They were eerily connected regardless. I'm honestly sad this book is over.
Michelle Luksh
My fascination with Jeff Buckley began when I heard about his tragic death, fell in love with his album "Grace", and then got sucked into the pulsing romance that surrounds his career and legacy. His enigmatic story encompasses the thrill of talent, the loss of love, the allure of the unknown, and the realization that some people just aren't meant for this world. I feel like Jeff knew that somewhat and realized it more when he sang, but I could just be blowing smoke in the tall-tale fantasy that ...more
Rob Charpentier
Another biography about an immensely talented musician who died tragically young before realizing their full potential...only twofold, as this is about a father and son.

I am not so much a fan of the father, Tim Buckley as I am the son, Jeff, but they are eerily connected to one another despite never really having known each other. Besides, they are nearly identical twins in looks that one could hardly tell them apart, which only adds a certain fascination to the tale overall.
Regardless, there i
Richard Kearney
David Browne's Dream Brother offers a fascinating subject: two highly talented yet deeply troubled musicians who, some twenty years apart, both suffered the misfortune of tragic death at an early age ... and who were also bioloigcally linked as father and son. As Browne notes in his introduction, his initial interest was in the son, Jeff Buckley, who he interviewed for the New York Times in 1993 and who went on to have some commercial success as a recording artist and touring musician until his ...more
Browne does a thorough job of detailing the talented, too short lives of iconic musicians Tim and Jeff Buckley. The chapters alternate between the two, and reveal eery similarities between a father and son who barely knew one another. Extensively researched, the book contains information gleaned from interviews with many people who knew both men. People who knew Tim were stunned when first seeing and hearing Jeff, as his appearance and voice evoked vivid memories of his father.

Jeff spent much of
Paul Gleason
Browne's book is a solid and exhaustive biography of two of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century: Tim and Jeff Buckley. I especially appreciate Browne's technique of telling Tim's and Jeff's stories concurrently, and not devoting the first half of his book to Tim and the second half to Jeff.

I learned that both father and son suffered from depression and erratic behavior. Tim and Jeff were also true musical geniuses - and it's the way in which both combine introspection, earnestness, a
Linda Billings
What I found amazing about Dream Brother is that I was introduced to Jeff Buckley's life and music. The book itself is a good biography of Jeff and his father. Their stories are not intertwined; there is one chapter about Tim, then one chapter about Jeff and so on. I, of course, bought Grace and Live at Sine right away and now I am OBSESSED with Grace. (sigh...) I am a little embarrassed because I was only familiar with the cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, but better late than never..... I ...more
I read this book because I love Jeff Buckley's music, but even though I don't know much about Tim Buckley I felt that the Tim chapters were just as interesting. Though Jeff may not have liked these endless comparisons to a father he felt he didn't know, it is impossible to ignore some striking parallels between father and son. The alternating chapters in this book help highlight some of these similarities; for example, seeing both men develop a rebellious attitude in regards to their music caree ...more
Jack Hastings
This is a well-written, intimately detailed, double-barrelled American tragedy in two acts. I'm surprised at how little I really knew about the father or the son and the resonances with my childhood experiences in SoCal, OC and Riverside and my later musical adventures. It would be easy to view this work as another sad story of commerce destroying art and artist but author David Browne has taken the time and effort to delineate the complexities of these two remarkable individuals and their respe ...more
Jun 15, 2008 Eugene rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has a soul.
I love music doc books, this is definitely one of the best. Even if you're not a huge Jeff/Tim Buckley fan, the call and response chapter between Jeff and Tim's life offer a superb interplay that points to a life course with parallels (I'm sure intentionally set up as so) between father and son, musician and musician. Plus it's kinda nice that the only time they really spent together was at Huntington Beach, after Jeff caught Tim's Golden Bear (HB residents may remember that landmark) show. He w ...more
Well, that was intense. I just finished reading Dream Brother: The Lives & Music of Jeff & Tim Buckley this afternoon and I feel a bit more in love with the music, somewhat eviscerated by the sad details of untimely deaths, and pensive over all the history that I didn't know. I highly recommend the book to fans of Jeff or Tim Buckley, or even to just your average music lover. It's a story of a father and a son who, in spite of hardly knowing his dad, follows in his footsteps with an eeri ...more
Not something I would normally read, I found myself drawn to Dream Brother after hearing an interview with the author on NPR. I might have been more interested in the journey the author took in researching this book if I wasn't vaguely familiar with Jeff Buckley. What can I say... that I named a pet after the legend might clue you in to how much I admired him during my youth. But I don't think this book is a good one for fans... at least those of us who haven't quite come to terms with Jeff's de ...more
This book is a biography of both Jeff and Tim Buckley. Most the reviews on here seem to be from Jeff fans. When I started it I was a devote Tim fan (mainly "Starsailor"). But as I read through it I decided to check out Jeff and became a fan of his music too. It gives a lot of information on both people and shows the parallels in their lives and definitely isn't the happiest read as neither person had an easy or "great" life, but, I really enjoyed it for the most part and I think it helps you und ...more
Heidi Navarro
Sep 15, 2007 Heidi Navarro rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any fan of Jeff or Tim Buckley's music
This book even if you have never heard of Jeff or Tim Buckley is still worth reading and it will make you want to discover their music. Both father and son died strange deaths at young ages and both were extremely talented and had to deal with the demons of difficult family lives or lack there of. The author did a good job of relating their stories and it leaves you hoping that they were able to meet up in the afterlife to mend their torn relationship.
Apr 18, 2012 Shir rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who lives music/sad stories
Just got the book today, ordered it about a week ago but ive been waiting to order it for so long!
Big fan of Jeff,no one compares to him really, and it's such a sad story both his and Tim's for dying at such early age.
I read about 20 pages by now, and am already sad.. There was a moment when Browne talks about how they ended up in the river, that I thought for a second that maybe in the book it'll end differently. I guess not..
Amber Uphoff
If you loved/love Jeff Buckley, you have to read this book!!! I'm a huge fan of Jeff Buckley, and this captures his life and music so beautifully. Reading the chapters about his father helped me understand a little bit more about some of the songs Jeff sang. I don't think anyone would be very interested in this book if they don't/didn't know who either Jeff or Tim Buckley were- but for the fans...this is a must read!
I devoured this while on a trip in know, the long waits at the station, in the hotel lounge...and even by night, I was dead tired by walking all day but grabbed the book and
LOVED this it took me into father and son's tormented helped me understand more of their works and made me love Jeff even more, if possible.
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