Buckley Llewellyn - Memories of Tim
109 Interview - Part
did you marry? Who was Tims best man and
who was your maid of honor?
Courtesy Judy Buckley Llewellyn
Mr and Mrs Buckley at the Liitle Red Chapel, Santa Monica,
got married on April 9th 1970 at The Little Red Chapel on
Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. A little red chapel
with a white picket fence. Danny Gordon and Elaine(Tims
mother) were the witnesses.
you and Tim tied the knot, what phase of Tims career
was in progress?
think that he had just finished Lorca and was
about to start Starsailor
drove me down to Laguna and handed me a set of keys for
a beautiful house for a wedding present. He was going to
work on an album called Starsailor. He asked
me if it bothered me if he would work on something strange
and non-commercial. I remember laughing and saying, Who
am I? This is your career and your life. Do want you want
was he like when the two of you were home together? Did
he watch much TV and if so, what types of programs were
his favorites? Did he watch sports at all?
loved nature films. He liked sports. He played tennis and
golf. It surprised people that he was athletic, we had a
basketball hoop. Timmy played shortstop on a softball team
that he and Frank Zappa had going and they were very good.
Flo and Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan) of the Turtles
were on the team as well.
were rowdy, batter, batter, batter and all that.
You can imagine what Zappa and all those guys looked like.
It was an effort to get them in some sort of uniforms and
they played in Levis with the bottoms rolled up and matching
dark blue T-shirts. Black tennis shoes. They looked like
the Bowery Boys or the Dead End Kids. It was the very beginning
of the record company teams. I remember when they played
the United Artists team and they all had matching uniforms
with the socks and were lined up tossing the ball warming
up and Zappas team won
and they won a lot.
never missed a Lakers game during the two years that
they were in the playoffs. We would fly back to New York
watch them play the Knicks. It was fun to go to the road
games. Tim would get really rowdy, which he liked to do.
He really did love rooting for the Lakers in another city,
where it would really be apparent.
got to see every Mohammed Ali fight; Tim really followed
him. He always had tickets for the closed circuit showings
at a theatre.
were Tims writing habits like and did he have any
eccentric personality traits that you would care to divulge?
would write on hotel pads and things, cocktail napkins,
can't love you like Sunlite
the radio is playing
& and the bed is unmade
the cards are on the table
by a glass of lemonade
can't love you like Sunlite
in the heat of July
I can't burn on so brightly
now that we've said goodbye
would write on hotel pads and things, cocktail napkins,
tissues. He would grab something out of my purse if he had
an idea, a line or a couple of lines. When he got home and
clicked into that mode, he would gather up all these little
bits and pieces. He would play his guitar, I would hear
him vamping repeatedly on a piece, really focused and trying
liked to play in the spare bathroom in the Laguna house,
because it was completely tiled and sounded good.
he wrote with Beckett, it was on the telephone. He had this
Laz-E-Boy chair and he would be in his thermal underwear
and a black robe with his guitar and be on the phone for
hours! He would need a shave and it would crack me up. He
would have the TV tuned to a baseball game or a football
game, but no sound. If people only knew!
was the Newport shopping center that had these huge chimes
that a Japanese artist had done. We must have sat there
for an hour and a half just listening. Those huge church
organs fascinated him.
he bought an upright piano home and had all the guts taken
out. All he wanted was the harp and he hung it from the
house that we bought in Laguna was next door to Ozzie and
Harriet (Nelson) but they never really came there. I just
know that it destroyed him that he could never go and talk
over the fence to them
he superstitious or did he believe in any of the occult
arts (e.g. astrology etc.)
not at all. That was one of the classic questions in the
What sign are you? He used to
say that he was born under the sign of the Badger.
Tim capable of putting music and his career on the back
burner in an effort to relax?
One time we took Taylor and spent a week and a half driving
to San Francisco from LA, stopping at different places.
We did the same going from Laguna to San Diego. He would
take Taylor to Capistrano to watch the swallows. But I knew
that he was always thinking about stuff. He didnt
take his guitar with him, but Im sure that he was.
was overwhelmed the first time I saw him play. I cant
exactly remember where it was, perhaps Santa Monica Civic
Auditorium. I was blown away. I didnt expect it.
didnt see him play until after you were married?
It was a quite a while after we were married. He was so
incredible. I could see that it was an extension of him.
He loved it. He loved performing. He connected personally
with everyone. It was amazing. It was wonderful.
Starsailor period was so short lived. They let
him produce it and then went crazy when they heard
it. They took away every little bit of power they
had given him after that..."
your opinion, did Tim have any musical mentors to
is influenced by the music that you grow up with. We had
dinner with Frank Zappa and Frank said that from the beginning
of time everyone is a thief and that is how music grows.
I think that if you have a gift and the light goes on, you
express that which you know and move it on a bit.
you name some singers that he liked?
Neil, Peggy Lee, and Ella Fitzgerald. Tim took Elaine and
I to see her when she played with the Count Basie big band.
He liked classical music and opera. We would go and he would
wear his moccasins!
music was he listening to at home?
didnt listen to music at home. We went out to see
people a lot. He didnt play the stereo or the radio
very much, but he liked different things. He liked any one
with a good voice. Hank Williams, The Beach Boys songs with
all the different harmonies on Pet Sounds. He loved funky
music like Marvin Gaye. We would go to hear all kinds of
music. The Japanese conductor (Seiji Ozawa), who is so famous
now when he was first starting out, shows at USC or UCLA.
Al Green in New Orleans.
of the stuff I didnt care for, one jazz guy who was
hammering on a piano (Cecil Taylor). It was very frightening.
It was mostly blues and jazz clubs; he never really went
to see his contemporaries. Never.
people have said that Tim was always looking for approval
from musical peers and close friends. Did you find this
to be true?
Perhaps before me, I didnt see it. They certainly
were not at my house. That Starsailor period was
so short lived. They let him produce it and then went crazy
when they heard it. They took away every little bit of power
they had given him after that.
batter batter hey..."
Tim comfortable with his career decisions or did he have
any regrets later?
were all different, he liked doing them, each thing was
different. I saw him enjoy doing Greetings From LA
no matter what I read or heard said. When he was into each
thing he was having a good time.
album he didnt care for too much was Look at the
Fool because there were songs on it that he wanted to
fix. That album was really to be called Tijuana Moon,
which you can see from the cover.
audiences really dont like the artist to change too
much, and I would see that they would want to have the choirboy
come out from the first albums. He was only 27 when he died
and it was incredible how he would listen to music. He was
a sponge. He could listen to music and really understand
it. He was really open to different things. He was ready
to do something different, always.
times the audience wanted to hear some very old stuff and
he wouldnt want to do that. I have to say that at
the end of the show he would pull them round and they would
be listening. It was the record labels too. It confused
them, because they werent around him all the time.
He could change so quickly. They didnt see the process.
His voice had changed.
was comfortable with older people, He loved going into places
where they didnt know him at all. I remember going
into Hollywood to Molly Malone's on St Patricks Day.
I know that its popular now with younger people, but
it wasnt then. They were older working class Irish.
It was just amazing. He had a couple of Jack Daniels and
got up and sang When Irish Eyes Are Smiling and had
these old women crying.
loved doing stuff like that, just sitting in and being a
part of it. He liked to see what other people were like.
Hed get them to tell him stories, and because I had
learned that Tim was a thief of mouth, I could
tell that one of these stories would eventually turn up
in a song in the future. That was his way of doing it. He
didnt need that fame around him, which I liked. He
made me feel safe and I made him a home. He liked that.