I love the singer Jeff Buckley, and, as an homage to him, I started wearing simple white v-neck tee-shirts years ago. Perhaps this is the same tee I began wearing years ago, as it is long past "white," to be frank, veering into yellowish-grey territory.
Once I saw Jeff Buckley during one of my blistering daily runs around NYC. He was standing outside of the Bottom Line, actually, and he watched me approach, giving me "the eye." I didn't think too much of this - I knew he was straight, but that he was an awful flirt. I ran past him without a backward glance, though inside I was all a-flutter. That will show you! I thought.
The next time I saw Jeff Buckley, he was on what I later learned was his first date with real-life disaster Courtney Love. They walked out of some theater, and the paparazzi yelled, "Courtney!" I yelled, "Jeff!" and he flinched, startled. I think he thought I was a photographer trying to get him to look into my camera. My friend Justin told me later that he was so freaked out by his date with Courtney Love, he immediately got on a plane to Europe. (Ah, to be able to get on a plane to Europe when freaked out ... )
The next time I saw Jeff Buckley, I was at a Dark Carnival show at Coney Island High. The singer, Niagara, had just pushed a girl (her opening act, in fact!) off the stage, saying "go, b**ch! You tell 'em b**ch! You've got the prettiest hair in town, but you got f**ked!" (The opening act had just hijacked Niagara's microphone, and revealed to the audience that she hadn't gotten paid for playing the opening set). I started laughing soooo uncontrollably. But the pushed girl later got even with me - she threw me and my friend Alia out of the Beauty Bar because my friend didn't have her ID. Was she making the sign of Satan while she did it? She should have been. And then she married one of the guys from H2O and moved out to New Jersey.
Anyway, Jeff Buckley was in the audience at the Dark Carnival show, and as I watched him watching what was among the most guitar-heavy shows I have ever witnessed, I could see the rock come down over him, and I predicted that his next record would be rockin'. Sure enough, it rocked. But he was gone by then.
When I read that Jeff Buckley had died while swimming in Memphis, I called up Alia in Los Angeles. She said that he was now singing in the "big riverboat in the sky." Do you see what she did there? She alluded to Memphis' rich musical riverboat history in her evil response. Even in her meanness, there was a sparkling sense of play and joy.
I still listen to "Vancouver" and "Morning Theft" at least once a week, and even now, the rock still comes down over me. Rock may break your heart, but it will never die.