Jeff Buckley played Bob Dylan songs and wrote him a letter

jeff buckley text
Here is a 1993 clip of Jeff Buckley at a poetry event, reading an apology letter he wrote to his idol Bob Dylan. The reading is included on a CD accompanying the  book The Spoken Word Revolution Redux.

“Dear Bob,
And I don’t know what purpose this will serve at all.

I don’t know how to start. Last Saturday, my man, Steve Burkowitz, broke it to me that you were told of something I said from the stage and that you’d felt insulted. I need for you to listen to me. I have no way of knowing how my words are translated to you, if they’re whole meaning and context are intact, but the truth is that I was off on a tangent, on a stage, my mind going where it goes, trying to be funny, it wasn’t funny at all and I fucked up, I really fucked up.

And the worst of it isn’t that your boys were at the gig to hear it. It doesn’t really bother me. It just kills me to know that whatever they told you was what you think I think of you-

not that I love you, not that I’ve always listened to you and carried the music with me wherever I go, not that I believe in you and also that your show was great. It was only the separate club crowd that I was cynical about and that’s what I was trying to get at when I said what I said.And I’m sorry that I’ll never get to make another first impression. You were really gracious to me, to even allow me backstage to meet you. I’ll never forget you, what you told me for as long as I live. He said “Make a good record man” and I’m very honored to have met you at all. He said some other shit too,

I’m only sad that I didn’t get a chance to tell you before all this intrigue, the intrigue is not the truth. Lots of eyes will read this letter before it gets to you, Bob, which I accept. Someday you will know exactly what I mean, man to man.

Always be well,
Jeff Buckley

And you know who’s going to read this? The President of Sony Records, my A&R man, my manager, his two managers, his friend Ratzo, and this is my personal plea of love to Bob Dylan, and this is what happens when you’re not nobody anymore.”

Here are the songs that Jeff Buckley sang and Bob Dylan wrote.

Just Like A Woman – Jeff Buckley, Live at Palais Theatre, Melbourne on February 27 1996:

If You See Her, Say Hello – Jeff Buckley:

I Shall Be Released – Jeff Buckley:

Mama, You’ve Been On My Mind – Jeff Buckley:

Farewell Angelina – Jeff Buckley and Gary Lucas:

Dink’s Song – Jeff Buckley (Yeah I know it’s not a Dylan song, but he also did it so I thought I would include it):

– Hallgeir

7 thoughts on “Jeff Buckley played Bob Dylan songs and wrote him a letter”

  1. Very strange apology but I give him credit for really putting himself out there on that. Am I wrong or didn’t he do a cover of Hallelujah as well?

  2. Do you know the back story on what Jeff said on stage that upset Bob Dylan, and did they work it out before Jeff died? Thanks for your great site.

    1. In an interview with Dave Simpson in The Guardian, Jeff Buckley said:

      ‘I was at A Hole In The Wall in New York, and I’d seen Dylan the night before,’ he revealed. ‘So I did an impression of him singing I Want You. I did an impression of him singing Grace. I talked about how he sailed through some songs and was brilliant on others. People were shouting ‘But he’s still got it, right?’ And I’m going: ‘No. This is not Blonde On Blonde. This is him now. You guys are living in the past.’

      In the audience were Bob Dylan’s manager, his assistant manager and his best friend.

      ‘Man the next day I was in Tompkins Square Park, staring at the ground with the snow falling, wishing I was never born. My A&R man was saying, ‘Well, Bob feels dissed.’

      But I really didn’t… I just… loved him so much I sent him up.’

      Buckley wrote the personal apology – and then when Grace came out, critics hailed the ‘new Bob Dylan’. ‘

      I’m not sure if Dylan ever got the appology…

      Anyone who have some information on that?

      – Hallgeir

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