While up in Nashville a couple of weekends ago, I was seduced by the moody smoulder of a posthumous poster into remembering that all the Really Cool People with Impeccable Taste in Music worship at the shrine of Jeff Buckley and wasn't it past time for me to check out the tragic golden boy, the John Keats (i.e., romantic poet who died too young) of our generation?
Now I'm sitting here in my living room listening to Grace and wondering what the hell is wrong with my shallow ass that I don't get it.
Granted, the songs I fall in love with at first listen rarely stick with me over the ones I grow to love. There are a million songs I've heard on the radio and just loved and unless I went out and impulse-bought the CD the next day (a not inconsiderable number), how many do I remember? But I know I didn't like Bob Dylan the first time I heard him, and now I adore him. Acquired tastes and all that. And I know I didn't like "Baby Got Back" the first time I heard it!
But I'm sitting here, and... it's okay, but it's not anything I would have run out and bought if I'd heard it on the radio. I mean, as far as the classic Leonard Cohen balad "Hallelujah" (also known as "If Anyone Needs Me I'll Be in the Bathtub Crying"), I think I have to give the edge to the Rufus Wainright version. Cripes. The version from "Shrek." They're going to take away my indie cred. Wait. I don't have indie cred anymore. I took it off my interest list to put in "geek cred," which is a made-up interest if I ever heard one and makes me a dork and not a geek.
But I really want to like Jeff Buckley. One of my college friends just adored him and drove four hours on a school night to hear him play in Memphis. Jeff was terrifically nice to him and they played a game of pool. Jeff drowned a couple months later... I hadn't even heard his music, but I felt the loss anyway. Rest in peace.