Book Review: Rock & Roll Books

Merri Cyr

Rock & Roll Books

A Wished-for Song: A Portrait of Jeff Buckley

by Merri Cyr
Backbeat Books, 176 pp., $22.95 (paper)

A decade has passed since Jeff Buckley's ill-fated swim in the Mississippi River, and that tragic Memphis night has since spawned a feeding frenzy of posthumous releases eager to cash in on the late musical heartthrob's lingering legacy. This paperback reissue of official Buckley photographer Merri Cyr's A Wished-For Song features previously unseen photos and provides fans with a broader spectrum of the personality behind the man: brooding sepia like an Abercrombie model, mugging with a cappuccino spoon dangling from his nose. These images humanize Buckley in a way that the umpteenth reissue of Grace can't, but the flimsy interviews and commentary from publicists and other personae from Buckley's life fall short of fleshing out his life and the book. In fact, the vignettes and reminiscences act as filler, distraction from museum-piece pictures showcasing Buckley in his youthful glory, frozen moments of fiery intensity. Those images speak for themselves.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Jeff Buckley
Phases & Stages
Jeff Buckley
Grace Around the World (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, June 19, 2009

More Music Reviews
You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover
Wasn't That a Time: the Weavers, the Blacklist, and the Battle for the Soul of America
Once, folk singers faced jail time and worse for their political affiliations

Kevin Curtin, Dec. 21, 2018

You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover
Tori Amos's Boys for Pele
The cult of Tori Amos and how to navigate a life of writing

Rachel Rascoe, Dec. 21, 2018

More by Melanie Haupt
Canned Cocktails Swoop in to Save the Must-Have-a-Mixed-Drink Day
Canned Cocktails Swoop in to Save the Must-Have-a-Mixed-Drink Day
No bartender? No problem.

July 12, 2019

Perfectly Barked Barbecue and Unlimited Hush Puppies at the Switch
Perfectly Barked Barbecue and Unlimited Hush Puppies at the Switch
The restaurant just off Highway 290 also serves up phenomenal peach cobbler

June 21, 2019


Jeff Buckley

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle