Film Rights Secured For Buckley Biography
A script currently making the rounds in Hollywood could further ignite interest in a pair of musicians, father and son, whose posthumous reputations have remained durable.A script currently making the rounds in Hollywood could further ignite interest in a pair of musicians, father and son, whose posthumous reputations have remained durable.
Writer-producer Train Houston has secured the rights to "Dream Brother: The Lives & Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley," Entertainment Weekly music critic David Browne's 2001 book about the singer/songwriters, and has penned a screenplay on their eerily entwined lives.
Tim Buckley, whose style ranged from accessible folk-pop to ethereal jazz-rock and lubricious funk, recorded nine studio albums from 1966-74 and penned such oft-covered tunes as "Morning Glory," "Buzzin' Fly" and "Song to the Siren." A heroin overdose in 1975 in Venice Beach, Calif., took his life at age 28.
His son Jeff attained a far brighter celebrity: His mercurial voice, masterful guitar playing and sensitive compositions stirred talk of great things ahead after the release of his sole studio album, 1994's "Grace." In 1997, at 30, he accidentally drowned in Memphis.
Says Houston: "I read [Browne's] book and fell in love with it. I had some similar touchstones in my life." He developed a script with Mark Ross at Tobey Maguire's Maguire Entertainment, but the production company backed out; he has established BulletProof Train with wife and producing partner Holly Houston as a home for the Buckley script and other projects.
Jeff Buckley is the focal point of Houston's script, with Tim appearing in flashbacks. Houston says of the younger Buckley's material, "You don't have that kind of emotional resonance in today's music." Jeff's work has certainly resonated with TV music supervisors: Time magazine noted in November that his breathtaking cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," a track from "Grace," has been used by seven network shows.
Sony BMG's catalog line Legacy has kept the Buckley flame burning with a 2004 two-disc version of "Grace" (which has sold 790,000 copies to date) and a greatly expanded 2003 edition of Jeff's introductory EP "Live at Sin-E." It also has released two posthumous sets and a live DVD.
But 30 years after Tim Buckley's death, his music, though revered in critical quarters, hasn't seen as spectacular an afterlife as Jeff's. Rhino Records released a two-CD career retrospective in 2001, and most of his individual albums remain in print through Warner and Manifesto. However, "Blue Afternoon" (1969) and "Starsailor" (1970), perhaps his finest work, are unavailable.