Jeff Buckley drowned ten years ago today. Two friends and I met him in Memphis like two or three weeks before he died. He invited us back to his house and made us tea and played old Genesis on the record player. His rented house was crappy and his living room was a mess - guitars were everywhere, and pieces of paper with words all over them. He told us he was writing his next album, and his band was coming to town soon to record it. My friends fell asleep but he and I stayed up until sunrise talking about women's magazines and politics and who knows what else.
When I got the news about his death, I was in some college town in northern Iowa, training to go teach (er, spread pro-US propaganda) to kids in Taiwan. I went to a bar that night to drink beer and mourn. And nobody knew who he was. It was a sad night. Then the next day when I left whatever college town, I stopped in Iowa City to pick up a friend and drive her back to Chicago. When I got to her brother's place, the door was unlocked. I walked in. Both Aimee and Sean were asleep, and 'Eternal Life', the second-to-last song on Grace, was playing. They woke up and immediately started talking about the drowning and how sad they were. It was nice to share that shock and feeling of loss with somebody else.