Jeff Buckley Would Have Been 46 Today

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I was fortunate enough to have met Jeff Buckley before he tragically passed away in 1997.

I was the Music Director at WHFS in Washington DC/Baltimore. It was was 1995 and we were one of a handful of stations at the time playing “Last Goodbye.”   We arranged to do an unplugged session with Jeff through his label Sony.  It was part of an on-going series we called “Just Passin Thru'” and was recorded at a studio we worked with in Rockville, Md (Omega).

I was hosting that edition. Jeff was pretty quiet and not much for talking that day or answering questions in the interview part of the show, but his performance was truly amazing. A rare and gifted voice,  I feel lucky to have been in the presence of  his talent for that session.  His unplugged version of “Last Goodbye”, from that recording, was released on Just Passin Thru, Volume one. It was a limited cd run, I think about 10,000 copies, long since gone.

The station never posted those tracks to the internet (pre You-Tube) but I’d heard that those songs had mysteriously made their way to the web somehow in later years.  I had never checked but I did this morning and voila. There were there, including a posting from NME with “So Real.” It was gratifying and strange to me that a British music magazine thousands of miles away had picked up on a session recorded 17 years ago and had posted them for all.

Take a listen to how great his voice was and imagine what it was like to be in a small studio with him singing that song. It’s sad to think about what could have been and what a loss on many levels.

I know I was lucky to have been there that day and I’m truly thankful for that moment.

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Pat Ferrise grew up loving ”the punk rock” and “new wave.” His years at one of the nation’s top college radio stations ultimately led him to a 15-year run as music director of alternative music icon WHFS Washington/Baltimore. Rolling Stone magazine named him of the most influential programmers of the 90s. He’s recorded two albums under the moniker Trampoline for the now defunct SpinArt label. He lives in Baltimore and takes no credit for writing this bio.