November 16, 2009

Jeff Buckley in Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza, midday acoustic show (5/5/95)

sproul 3

May of 1995 was the end of my sophomore year of high school down in San Jose, and while I studied on a Thursday afternoon for Mr. Pimentel’s science final or Señora Navarro’s Spanish class, somewhere not too far up 880 Jeff Buckley was tuning up his acoustic guitar for a solo midday set on the college campus of UC Berkeley.

Jeff had been touring in support of Grace for nearly a year, currently with Juliana Hatfield, and was preparing to leave for Scotland in a few weeks. He would play San Francisco’s beautiful old Great American Music Hall that night in a sold-out show.

According to David Browne’s excellent Dream Brother book, Jeff had just been named one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People In The World” this month, and was “mortified.” Yet here Jeff is in fine, chatty form – his lightly joking, sometimes sardonic banter (imitating Scott Weiland, among other things) counterbalanced by the gorgeous weight of his songs, inducing chills even in the warm afternoon sun. Just listen to that intro to “Mojo Pin”; it’s near mystical.

I never did see Jeff live, but I delight in finding these recordings of shows that were happening all around me. I can listen to them now, and sorta, you know — pretend.

Jeff Buckley in Sproul Plaza, Berkeley (5/5/95)

1 – Last Goodbye
2 – Lover You Should Have Come Over
3 – So Real
4 – Mojo Pin
5 – Grace

November 17th was his birthday — he would have been 43 tomorrow.

[Photo by Jan Richards]


  • This is Awesome! I was living in SF @ the time, loving Grace, but clueless about this performance. Thanks for sharing!

    Heather — November 17, 2009 @ 12:30 am

  • you know what’s creepy? the math/chem building at Berkeley is called Pimentel. weeeeeeeeeeeeeird coincidence.

    Hanan — November 17, 2009 @ 1:10 am

  • [...] Puteţi trage cu urechea şi la cîteva bucăţi faine cîntate de Jeff in mai 1995 în campusul de la Berkley, pentru promovarea superbului album “Grace”, ce fusese lansat cu mai puţin de un an înainte, aici. [...]

    Remember this man as a ’strange delight’ « Bloggy Mary — November 17, 2009 @ 1:39 am

  • 38 minutes …
    of splendour.

    thank you.

    Mark E.

    Mark E. — November 17, 2009 @ 5:26 am

  • ohhhh beauty. Jeff Buckley tribute at b.Side this Wednesday with Mr.Isakov. I’m going. Not as much dancing as last week’s show…except for the tears waltzing down my cheeks.

    Kathleen — November 17, 2009 @ 8:18 am

  • oh! i didn’t know gregory was playing. shoot shoot darn, I wish i could go to that. i’d sit next to you and we could be the two weird girls crying.

    browneheather — November 17, 2009 @ 8:42 am

  • jeff was electric. the full charge. the biggest nine volt in the pack. thanks for posting.

    bob — November 17, 2009 @ 10:05 am

  • Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Megwell: Jeff Buckley in Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza, midday acoustic show (5/5 …: May of 1995 was the end of my sopho..

    uberVU - social comments — November 17, 2009 @ 10:09 am

  • I still find it troubling that Jeff is gone. it’s always a celebration and a sense of renewal to hear his songs especially live. I’m not sure there will ever be anyone like him in our lifetime.

    Mike Borgia — November 17, 2009 @ 10:53 am

  • I love when you post Jeff Buckley items. You feel about him exactly the same way I feel about him. Thanks.

    Jamey Fry — November 17, 2009 @ 1:29 pm

  • Thank you Heather. These important bits of Jeff is how I came to your blog and keep coming back. Thanks.

    Kelly — November 17, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

  • Thank you for this recording! Jeff will never die completely!

    JP — November 17, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

  • These tracks, lik emost things posted here, are magic. Is it possible to split them up into individual tracks? If so how would I go about it?

    Ralph — November 17, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

  • you can do it through itunes, i hear. set the beginning and end time for the first song under get info –> options, then after you’ve done that, right click again on the song and select “create an mp3 version.” repeat for each track and it should work.

    browneheather — November 17, 2009 @ 5:47 pm

  • As much as I love his cover of Hallelujah, I’m glad it wasn’t included in the setlist as it tends to take away focus from his own great songs.

    Side A Track 1 — November 18, 2009 @ 12:07 am

  • What kind of trees are those in the photo?

    Cassi — November 18, 2009 @ 6:46 pm

  • wikipedia suggests they are pollarded London Plane trees, which is exactly what, uh, i was gonna say.

    browneheather — November 18, 2009 @ 8:09 pm

  • The only thing wrong is the jackasses running their mouths continually during at least the beginning of the first song. Great post, Heather, and many thanks!

    Greg — November 19, 2009 @ 1:18 pm

  • wow! thank you for this.. man, ive never heard this before. so awesome.. truly thankful to hear this..
    i only wish i could go back there and punch the people talking.. but we never know when a rainbow will come or go, so we forgive i guess.

    keny — November 20, 2009 @ 11:22 am

  • Thank you for this, Heather. I can’t wait to listen. Oddly enough- on the 17th I had such an urge to listen to “Grace” after not hearing it in a while, and I played it all day in the car. It was meant to be. :]

    Matt — November 22, 2009 @ 12:20 am

  • whats the song he sings after So Real??? wana hear it in full!!! i know its a cover but whats its name? any help would be great?

    love this recording!!

    john wynne — December 1, 2009 @ 9:31 pm

  • he’s imitating and making fun of scott weiland from stone temple pilots, singing “plush.”

    browneheather — December 1, 2009 @ 10:00 pm

  • [...] Sproul Plaza, midday acoustic show (5/5/95) Posted in Uncategorized by mikj on 4 April 2010 Jeff Buckley in Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza, midday acoustic show (5/5/95) Tagged with: music, [...]

    Jeff Buckley in Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza, midday acoustic show (5/5/95) « m is for mamihlapinatapai — April 4, 2010 @ 11:33 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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