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A Pure Drop: The Life of Jeff Buckley Hardcover – February 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780879309541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879309541
  • ASIN: 0879309547
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The former Music Editor of Australian Rolling Stone, Jeff Apter is the author of the critically and commercially successful books, Fornication: The Red Hot Chili Peppers Story, Never Enough: THe Story of The Cure, A New Tomorrow, The Silverchair Story, amongst others. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children and a heft music collection.

More About the Author

In a career spanning more than 20 years I've written 15 commercially and critically well-received books, including biographies of 'Shirley' Strachan from Skyhooks and Dragon's Marc Hunter.

I also co-wrote the recent Kasey Chambers memoir, called A Little Bird Told Me, and worked with Mark Evans of AC/DC on his bestseller, Dirty Deeds. Kasey's book was part of the '50 Books You Can't Put Down' / Get Reading program in 2011, while Mark's book made NPR's best music books of 2011 list.

In 2005, I worked with test cricketer turned commentator Michael Slater on his book, Slats.
My other books include studies of Jeff Buckley (which has been adapted for a feature film), the Finn brothers and Keith Urban. My books have been translated into numerous languages. I was ghostwriter on a project called In Harm's Way, the story of a former Australian soldier and his attempts to emancipate two children in Lebanon.

My latest book, a biography of Johnny O'Keefe, is out now through Hachette Australia and has been really well received. It was the Sydney Morning Herald's Pick of the Week in their August 10 issue; likewise The Age and the Canberra Times. It was also selected as one of Dymocks key books for Father's Day 2013. I'll have another music-related book on the shelves before the end of 2013, entitled Up From Down Under: How Australian Music Changed the World.

I'm a senior writer for Oz Rolling Stone (where I was on staff for several years) and also write for South Coast Style and the Sydney Morning Herald. I was the music reviewer for The Bulletin for many years and was a senior writer for Vogue. I also contribute to on-line mag the Hoopla.
I'm on Facebook and can also be reached through this site. I'm represented by literary agency Curtis Brown.
See www.jeffapter.com.au and
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chasing-the-Dragon-The-Life-and-Death-of-Marc-Hunter/345514765467426

Customer Reviews

Well done Buckley biography.
Shelley L. Bilbrey
The book does not try to make something of Jeff that he's not--he was media antagonistic.
Michele
Bravo, Jeff Apter, for a work well done!
Eric C. Calderone

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Eric C. Calderone on November 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Allow me to lay my biases on the table: I am a dyed in the wool Jeff Buckley fan. If I could reshape the world, there would only be one biography about Jeff, and there would be no such thing as rumor mongering and gossiping, for no one would be prone to commit, or listen to, that sort of thing. But this is the real world: I have lost count of biographies written about my hero; and they keep on coming. They have spread so much innuendo, smut, over the Jeff's legacy. With this in mind, I salute Apter's biography: it is factual, generally avoids exploiting gossip or sensationalism. It more often than not demonstrates a dispassionate examination of the subject. When it draws inferences, or throws its weight in one direction, in my opinion it comes fairly close to the truth as a reasonable person with the facts would perceive them.

Apter obviously is familiar with the music scene, hailing from Australia's Rolling Stone magazine. The reader benefits from the author's relevant background. Discussions about Jeff Buckley's interactions with fellow musicians and acquaintenances during his short career, from L.A. to New York; the burden of having to deal with his dead father's musical legacy; his being thrust into the paws of the media monster, AKA Columbia/Sony, and how he endeavored to foster his career yet remain true to his professional principles, all make for extremely interesting reading.

On the enticing, but very problematic and subjective topic of Jeff Buckley's frame of mind, his psychology, Apter succeeds in refraining from unsubstantiated melodrama. Unlike Browne in Dream Brothers, he avoids drawing inferences based on hearsay, he refuses to exploit the sensational for the sake of selling more books.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Lee Underwood on September 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I knew Jeff Buckley. I know Jeff Apter as a writer. I played lead guitar with Tim Buckley and wrote about Tim and Jeff Buckley in my book, Blue Melody: Tim Buckley Remembered. Having explored Tim and Jeff Buckley's lives in depth, I can vouch 100% for Apter's Pure Drop.
His research is solid and comprehensive. His insights are right-on. His appreciation for Jeff Buckley's struggles and accomplishments is above reproach. His understanding of Jeff's domineering mother, Mary, is unmatched for accuracy, insight, and mature judgment. Five stars for Jeff Buckley, five stars for Jeff Apter, and five stars for A Pure Drop!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michele on May 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jeff Apter really has written a good book. If you're a Jeff Buckley fan, I suggest you get this book more than any other, as Apter is fairly accurate. He talked to many Buckley insiders, those who knew him best--his lifelong friends, band mates, and (few) friends of his at Columbia. The book does not try to make something of Jeff that he's not--he was media antagonistic. He was terrified of being "marketed," of being lumped in the MTV generation, and Apter does a great job of letting us see Jeff's turmoil about this, and his attempts to avoid this. Jeff was aware early on what the record label's intentions were, and we see in this book the pull between him being increasingly famous and wanting to just walk into a cafe and perform there, crafting his songs by first working them out live. Apter gives us examples (Jeff's insistence that 'Forget Her' was to be left off "Grace", knowing full well it would have been a radio hit, showing up to the 'Grace' cover album photo shoot wearing the gold glittery jacket to the dissatisfaction of Columbia- Columbia wanted to market him as the "grunge boy with a angel voice".) I think with this book, you'll get the most accurate and FAIR portrait of who Jeff Buckley really was, because Apter is not depending on speculation or People magazine-like interviews of Jeff. His info came from those who knew Jeff best, plain and simple. His death isn't treated as some romantic, mysterious death. It's fairly handled--it was a horrific accident that is treated delicately but fairly.

My only slight misgiving is the way he describes Mary Guibert (Jeff's mother).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jamesblue on January 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read Dream Brother and found it a little bit slanted as painting his mother as a victim of life mainly because she was in the writers ear the whole time spinning the facts. A Pure Drop was more of a brutaly honest account and I enjoyed it alot more.
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Format: Hardcover
A PURE DROP is Jeff Apter's biography of the musician Jeff Buckley, who released the 1994 album "Grace" that garnered near-universal acclaim, struggled with a follow-up, and drowned in the Mississippi River at the age of only 30. Buckley has been the subject of biography before, namely in David Browne's Dream Brother that alternates between Jeff's life and that of his folk troubadour father Tim, who also died young. However, Apter's biography is focused entirely on Jeff Buckley, with only a couple of pages discussing his father, and it is more independent of the Buckley estate. Apter chose to contact some of Buckley's acquaintances, though not all agreed to speak about their late friend.

For me, one of the most intriguing things about Jeff Buckley is that he appeared at the age of 26 as some kind of outsider to the music industry, singing and strumming his guitar at New York coffeehouse Sin-E before being signed by Columbia. But in fact, since he was a teenager Buckley had been playing in a whole host of bands and had hundreds or thousands of concerts under his belt. Apter gives a good amount of detail on Buckley's early career.

The discussion of the singer's last two or three years is interesting, but somewhat frustrating. At this point, Buckley was usually touring internationally, and it's likely that most of his friends did not see or talk to him enough to really know how he felt. Multiple informants note that he was in a deteriorating state, but their comments are generally speculative. No one knows for sure what was really eating him.
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