It is hard to write snappy prose when your fingers do not wish to snap. It is harder still to whistle a happy tune when you have two dispirited lips. So, for the time being, let us just say that Fred Buckley, His Lordship's first born son, a sweet, gentle and adventurous chap has taken his leave of this satellite and made his way to that great jazz joint tucked away at the back of the third alley to the left as you enter the Pearly Gates. He will, no doubt, have a ring side seat for the main show. And you just know that all those wild cats and kitties have been waiting for him to make the scene. Now they can all show to blow together solid style. Are you there?
Fred Buckley was the stellar love child of Lord Buckley and a lovely, young and adventurous Chicagoan named Paula Banks. For his whole childhood Fred did not know that Lord Buckley was his bio-pater. His Lordship would come for a visit once a year and bring presents for the young Fred but it was not until Fred was a teenager that he was hipped to his real relationship with The Lord. From that point on there was a strong bond between father and son that lasted until His Lordship's own satellite swing in November of 1960. In fact Fred was an honored onstage guest at the Ivar Theatre during those legendary February 1959 shows. Some even think they can identify Fred's voice on the recordings.
Fred's own life course took him through many changes and metamorphises. He was Marine, an actor studying under Stanford Meisner, car detailer, a poet and producer (along with Richmond Shepard) of a theatrical presentation about Lord Buckley called "Lord Buckley's Finest Hour". And throughout his entire run he remained steadfast in his own vision of the Nobility of the Gentility.
Buckley interpretor John Hostetter wrote an email to LBC with an appreciation of Fred. Here 'tis:
in my evening's peregrinations
I splashed down on lb.c
and sank into the news of fred's passing.
he was the lord's boy for sure.
big and buckley headed.
I remember getting his number from his mom
when del and I visited her in san diego
and then linking up with him for the first time
at the old café bla-bla in studio city.
I was playing in a band and performing
some of the lord's works in between.
the last time I saw him was at genghis cohen
when the echoes were singing one night
and he was there for an earlier riff.
we chatted and laughed
he told me I was looking
like wavy gravy that evening
and he was not wrong…
in fact I may have been acting kind of wavy
from having had a bit too much gravy.
he was a lovely man.
took del and I to visit lady buckley
one summer night where we chatted
and giggled and all did the swing for life
at a very ancient hour of the evening.
it was a pleasure to have strolled in his garden.