Issue 104 of Shindig! includes a feature by me on Tim Buckley’s BBC television and radio performances in 1968. This was a pivotal moment in his career, when he was moving away from his earlier folk-rock singer-songwriter style towards acoustic free jazz with experimental edges, and the freedom offered by late-night arts shows an entire ocean away from nervous record label executives provided him with a key opportunity to explore this. Some of these performances – notably his sessions for Radio 1’s Top Gear and the celebrated performance on BBC2 arts review show Late Night Line-Up – still exist; others are possibly gone forever, but I’ve gone to considerable lengths to try and work out what song might have caused a row with the studio team on Once More With Felix and whether he actually even turned up for How It Is or not.
It’s about much more than just the music, though, and there’s plenty of detail about the BBC’s commitment to arts broadcasting in the late sixties, where these programmes sat in the average viewer or listener’s day, and the general experience of making music in those tiny and cramped studios, one of which he liked so much there was some talk of recording Blue Afternoon in it (although I stopped short of expressing my theory on where Happy Time suddenly acquired a new and suspiciously familiar ending from); there’s also some speculation on what might still exist out there, and what else could be done with what actually does. Basically, if you’re interested in sixties music or sixties television – or both – then you should find a lot to enjoy in this. It’s something that I’ve been wanting to write for a very long time, so I’m very glad indeed that Shindig! gave me the opportunity to.
If Shindig! isn’t available in any shops near you at the moment, then you can order a copy from here.
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You can find much more about sixties television and pop music in my book Can’t Help Thinking About Me, a collection of columns and features with a personal twist. Can’t Help Thinking About Me available in paperback here or from the Kindle Store here.
My Fleeting House is a feature on what the BBC logo means to me, including its appearance at the end of Tim Buckley’s Late Night Line-Up performance; you can find it here.
© Tim Worthington.
Please don’t copy this only with more italics and exclamation marks.