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

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

' - a tragedy delicately handled.' Record Collector '[Jeff Apter] resists mawkishness or sentimentality in this decent account of Buckley's life and death.' Q --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.
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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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #832,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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I just started this book, and it has already grabbed my attention. I'm a big fan of Jeff Buckley and was born and raised in Memphis. My husband and sons are both professional musicians who have great respect for Buckley's musical genius. I just bought his latest album, and that work of art opened my eyes in many ways. I'm a writer of books and know how much on oneself a writer influences the piece or book written. Listening to the "You and I" album revealed Jeff in a light I have never seen before so I had to find this book and learn more...I cannot put it down.
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Read this bearing in mind that I'm not qualified to give a true review of a book. That said, I really enjoyed reading this book. I have been a long time fan of Jeff Buckley and knew bits and pieces of his story. After reading this, I am even more fascinated by him, while at the same time having a better understanding of just how tragic his passing is.

He was a truly special individual born with the gift of being able to see and feel things around him a bit more deeply and in a slightly different light than others. The blessing and the curse of being a true artist.

So many people yearn for fame, but so few understand the trappings that come along with it. Compound that by the record industry simply trying to extract every single piece of life they can from their artists and it's really no wonder why there are so many similar stories,
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