Dubbed “The Thinking Man’s Guitar Hero” by The New Yorker and “a modern guitar miracle” by Rolling Stone, Gary Lucas, of Gods & Monsters and Captain Beefheart, is a Grammy nominated songwriter, master guitarist, and was a longtime collaborator with iconic singer-songwriter, Jeff Buckley. Together, the two wrote the seminal album, Grace, which Rolling Stone named one of the “500 Greatest Albums Of All Time“.
Lucas has also performed and/or collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, Captain Beefheart, Chris Cornell, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Bryan Ferry, Peter Hammill, John Cale, Nick Cave, Joan Osborne and David Johansen.
In honor of the 20th anniversary of Grace, Lucas wrote Touched By Grace, My Time With Jeff Buckley. In this excerpt, he describes the first time he ever heard Jeff sing during a visit to Gary’s apartment in the West Village.
From his innermost depths, Jeff let forth one primordial ululation after another. He was wailing, suspended in the void between purest suffering and total ecstasy, far beyond his father’s lyrics now, speaking in an unknown tongue.
As I continued to play the almost Zeppelin-like riff, Jeff folded back into himself on the couch—a skinny, awkward, beautiful boy again—and gazed across at me with staring soulful eyes while my guitar loop faded out slowly.
I shook my head, in disbelief and utter awe and amazement at his stellar vocal performance.
“Jeff,” I said, “you’re a total fucking star.”
“Really?” he replied, shy and tentative. “Do you think so?”
Suddenly, it became clear. Here sitting before me, was the male lead singer I had been secretly longing for to complete my vision of Gods and Monsters. And I knew in my heart that my musical future lay not with the partner I was currently shackled to.
Gary reads this excerpt at The Knitting Factory
& describes the “anything goes” NYC music scene in the 90‘s.
Listen to Dance of Destiny, the song Gary wrote with the Hookist community, and other Hookist collaborations at The Music of Hookist!
Then come write some great hooks with us at Hookist!