In honor of the 15th anniversary of Jeff Buckley’s passing, we’ve posted the full version of a solo acoustic session he performed on KCRW on DJ Liza Richardson’s show in the early 90’s.
Below, KCRW Production Manager JC Swiatek tells us how she was able to rescue it:
I first discovered Jeff Buckley at a Best Buy in Omaha, Nebraska. I came across the CD “Grace” and bought it without knowing who he was, but simply by seeing the cover photo of Jeff. What a discovery that was!
I moved to Los Angeles in 1996 to work at KCRW and became an instant fan of the show “Man In The Moon“, hosted by Liza Richardson. A spoken word/music show that layered quotes from famous people, movies and poems over current music.
I found out that Jeff had been a guest on the Liza’s show and I asked for a copy of it. The next day a DAT copy of Jeff’s appearance sat in my mailbox.
Last year, Liza had wanted to get this interview and performance archived for our website, so she gave me her DAT master. DAT machines are not used at KCRW now a days but we do have a couple of machines around. After making several attempts to play the DAT on different machines, I had to give up due to the DAT being damaged and playing back mostly digital glitches.
Since my start here at KCRW, I’ve always made back up copies of my work. I have reel to reel’s, carts, DAT’s, cassettes of mixes I’ve done. (I know some of there words might seem foreign – they are all recording devices)
A couple of month’s ago, I wanted to find a particular performance I mixed from the 90’s and went into my garage to look through my many bins. To my surprise, I came across the DAT copy Liza had made for me so many years ago. The next day at work, the DAT copy played back, start to finish, without any problem.
This performance was not recorded in our big performance studio. There is no reverb, compressors, or expensive microphones on his vocals or guitar.
This is Jeff Buckley, sitting across from Liza in KCRW’s Master Control studio, with one microphone on him. And it’s as raw as it gets.
His voice is pure, genuine and believable. Listening to the last track “Strange Fruit” to this day makes me stop everything, and concentrate on his voice, like a meditation.
I hope you enjoy this rare find. It makes me think to myself, what other treasures do I have in those bins in my garage?
Editor’s Note: Last year, JC was able to grab JUST the version of “Strange Fruit” off the first DAT she found and Liza gave us a behind the scenes description of that session here. Check out this CD he signed for her: