Touched By Grace is an up-close-and-personal account by the legendary guitarist and songwriter Gary Lucas of the time he spent with his friend and collaborator, Jeff Buckley, during Jeff's early days in New York City. It describes their magical performance together at the Greetings from Tim Buckley concert at the Church of St Ann in 1991 the event that first introduced Jeff to the world at large; the creation of their songs "Mojo Pin" and "Grace," which started life as guitar instrumentals by Gary and would later become integral to Jeff's debut album, "Grace"; and their plan to take on the world together in Gary's band, Gods & Monsters. Just as the band was set to soar, however, Jeff pulled the plug, opting instead to sign a solo deal with Columbia Records, the very label that had recently cut short its recording contract with the original incarnation of Gods & Monsters. In this fascinating, revelatory new book, Gary Lucas writes with vivid, heartfelt honesty about the highs and lows of this all-too-brief musical union, from his first meeting with Jeff through to the devastating phone call from an MTV journalist with news of Jeff's disappearance in the Mississippi River. Touched By Grace is an eye-opening tale of music, passion, betrayal, and more.
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Gary Lucas (garylucas.com) is a world-class guitarist and Grammy-nominated songwriter. Dubbed "the greatest living electric guitarist" by Daniel Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain In Music, Lucas has recorded more than 20 acclaimed solo albums spanning everything from psychedelic rock to Chinese pop. He was a key member of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band during the '80s, and is currently working on a variety of new projects, including an a collaboration with Van der Graaf Generator front man, Peter Hammill. He was a consultant on the feature film, GREETINGS FROM TIM BUCKLEY, which stars Penn Bagley as Jeff Buckley and covers the same time period as the book.Review:
"This is an absorbing book--an inside look at the music business, as well as Gary Lucas' own head. Imagine a place where art and commerce intersect, now imagine it touched by grace."
--Mitch Myers, author, The Boy Who Cried Freebird: Rock & Roll Fables and Sonic Storytelling
"Doyen of New York's late '80s downtown experimental scene, Gary Lucas was asked to back a then-unknown Jeff Buckley at the 1991 concert tribute to his father, Tim.... Lucas later contributed to Buckley's debut album, but laments his 'disappearing from the official historical narrative [of "Grace"], possibly with the approval of Jeff himself.' Lucas's portrayal of creative highs and lows, paranoid egos, record company mercenaries, and Buckley's under-reported heroin dabbling, is a dramatic, insightful and ultimately sad read.... 4 STARS." --Martin Aston, MOJO Magazine (October 2013)
excerpt from J. Howell's review on popshifter.com
".... considering the lasting impact "Grace" has made on so many lives, Touched By Grace is an inside look at, frankly, kind of a big deal..... The complexities of creative working relationships ... compounded by the politics of big-business music, make for an interesting story. The tension inherent in dealing with a personality and talent as larger-than-life ... as Jeff Buckley's, pitted against the glorious release that comes with creating truly moving, beautiful art together ... is what makes Touched By Grace a compelling read."
excerpt from Jeff Hemming's review for LATEST 7 (UK magazine)
".... a well-written, thorough, and both a loving and brutal book, that succeeds in engaging us about both Buckley and Lucas. While the mythology surrounding Buckley is very deep rooted and somewhat romantic, Lucas has provided a vital account that systematically dismantles many of these myths. Buckley was ultimately a fragile, yet ambitious creature that perhaps ... folded under the pressure of instant stardom and the shackles of having such a legendary father to live up to, imaginary or otherwise.
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