5 Things You Might Not Know About Tim Buckley

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
5 Things You Might Not Know About Tim Buckley

Two things that just about everyone knows about Tim Buckley are that he was Jeff Buckley’s father and that both he and his son died at tragically-young ages, but if you’d looking to further your education about this legendary cult singer-songwriter, here are five more things to add to your memory banks.


  1. His debut single, “Wings,” featured harpsichord work by Van Dyke Parks.

While in high school, Buckley forged friendships with two fellow musically-inclined kids at his high school – Larry Beckett and Jim Fielder – and the three of them became the core musicians in the house band of a Hollywood club with the very ‘60s name of It’s Boss. One of the other occasional musicians in this band? Van Dyke Parks. And now that you have this information, it should be somewhat less surprising to you that Parks found his way onto the TIM BUCKLEY album.

  1. He guest-starred on the final episode of The Monkees.


This is actually common knowledge to most diehard Monkees fans, but we thought we’d throw it on here for those of you who aren’t a part of that percentage of the population. Yes, Buckley performed in the very last episode of The Monkees, performing the track that is arguably the one he’s best known for: “Song of the Siren.”



  1. A lyric from his song “Pleasant Street” provided the title to the 1971 film The Christian Licorice Store.


Directed by James Frawley, who – six degrees of separation alert! – directed a number of episodes of The Monkees, this film starred Beau Bridges as a tennis pro who, after getting hired to endorse a brand of hairspray for a not-insubstantial amount of money, finds himself sucked into the Hollywood party scene. The script was written by Floyd Mutrux, who also directed American Hot Wax and wrote and directed The Hollywood Knights. As for Buckley, he briefly pops up in the film, albeit uncredited, as a musician playing – big surprise – “Pleasant Street.”



  1. He co-starred in a movie with O.J. Simpson.


Why? was a 1973 improvisational film directed by Victor Stoloff and shot on videotape. It was, per The Tim Buckley Archives, commissioned by Technicolor as an experiment in transferring video to film. Based on the quality of the footage available on YouTube, however, one would be hard pressed to call the experiment a success. Still, to be able to see it at all is rather fascinating, so give it a look for as long as you can stand to do so.



  1. There was a very real possibility that he could’ve ended up playing Woody Guthrie in director Hal Ashby’s film Bound for Glory.

According to the aforementioned Tim Buckley Archives, Buckley read for the part of Guthrie but passed on the role, but a piece about the film on the Turner Classic Movies website phrases things differently, saying that Buckley “was rumored to have an inside track on the role but died of a drug overdose two months prior to production.” Either way, it’s definitely fair to say that Buckley was not the only person who’d been under consideration for the role: the list of individuals under discussion at various points included Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Robert DeNiro, Art Garfunkel, Arlo Guthrie (yes, Woody’s son), Dustin Hoffman, Kris Kristofferson, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, and James Taylor. In the end, the role went to David Carradine, but one wonders how things might’ve turned out – both for the film and for Buckley’s career – if he’d ended up playing the part.


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