Tim Buckley — “Once Upon a Time”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 16, 2022


610) Tim Buckley — “Once Upon a Time”

A coulda been ’67 hit single by the troubadour if only the boneheaded record label had deigned to release it. For Buckley, it “is uncharacteristically rocking”. (Joseph Neff, https://www.thevinyldistrict.com/storefront/2016/11/graded-on-a-curve-tim-buckley-lady-give-me-your-key-and-wings-the-complete-singles-1966-1974/)

Andrew Sandoval tells us that:

In 1964 [17 year old] Buckley began collaborating with lyricist Larry Beckett, and the two formed a pop/fok aggregation known as the Bohemians. . . . Buckley linked with manager Herb Cohen, who brought Buckley to the Elektra label as a solo artist. Buckley’s self-titled debut LP was a disappointment to those familiar with his more experimental moments. He harbored a deep desire “to make it” commercially and resultantly teamed with Beckett to compose the ill-fated “Once Upon A Time,” which the duo felt might have potential as a single. Ultimately Elektra rejected the master and encouraged the songbird to find a new direction of his own.

liner notes to Where the Action Is!: Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968

While Tim Buckley needs no introduction, let me quote Mark Deming:

One of the great rock vocalists of the 1960s, Tim Buckley drew from folk, psychedelic rock, and progressive jazz to create a considerable body of adventurous work in his brief lifetime. His multi-octave range was capable of not just astonishing power but great emotional expressiveness, swooping from sorrowful tenderness to anguished wailing. His restless quest for new territory was creatively satisfying but worked against him commercially; by the time his fans had hooked into his latest album, he was onto something else entirely, both live and in the studio. . . . While in high school, he made friends with poet and musician Larry Beckett, who would become one of his songwriting partners . . . . In 1965, Buckley enrolled at Fullerton College, but he dropped out after two weeks to devote himself to writing songs and playing folk clubs in Los Angeles. He gigged often enough to earn a following and some positive press, and in early 1966 he played a show where he was spotted by Jimmy Carl Black of the Mothers of Invention. Impressed, Black told Herb Cohen, the Mothers’ manager, about Buckley, and Cohen took Buckley on as a client, getting him his first dates in New York City. Buckley recorded a six-song demo that made its way to . . . Elektra Records, wh[ich] wasted no time signing him to a record deal.


I have added a Facebook page for Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock! If you like what you read and hear and feel so inclined, please visit and “like” my Facebook page by clicking here.

Here is an acoustic version:

Pay to Play! The Off the Charts Spotify Playlist! + Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock Merchandise

Please consider helping to support my website/blog by contributing $6 a month for access to the Off the Charts Spotify Playlist. Using a term familiar to denizens of Capitol Hill, you pay to play! (“relating to or denoting an unethical or illicit arrangement in which payment is made by those who want certain privileges or advantages in such arenas as business, politics, sports, and entertainment” — dictionary.com).

The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

All new subscribers will receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock magnet. New subscribers who sign up for a year will also receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock t-shirt or baseball cap. See pictures on the Pay to Play page.

When subscribing, please send me an e-mail (GMFtma1@gmail.com) or a comment on this site letting me know an e-mail address/phone number/Facebook address, etc. to which I can send instructions on accessing the playlist and a physical address to which I can sent a magnet/t-shirt/baseball cap. If choosing a t-shirt, please let me know the gender and size you prefer.

Just click on the first blue block for a month to month subscription or the second blue block for a yearly subscription.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: