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Tragic guitar hero Jeff Buckley was my roadie, reveals Hansard

HE is best known for his rendition of Hallelujah, but musician Jeff Buckley was once a guitar roadie for Glen Hansard.

Hansard has revealed how Buckley would tune his guitar each night while he was on a tour of the US with The Commitments in 1991. The son of Sixties musician Tim Buckley, the future star grew up in California proud of his Irish heritage.

And in an effort to meet Irish musicians, Jeff signed up as a guitar roadie for The Commitments when the group toured the US to promote their film.

"Me and him just got on well because he was a Bob Dylan freak and a Van Morrison freak, and so was I."

However Hansard had no idea of the musical heritage of his guitar tech.

"When we got to Chicago, I started playing Once I Was by Tim Buckley, because I'd just got into Tim, and Jeff was like: 'He was my dad, you know'. He said: 'Well, I didn't know him that well, to be honest, but he was my dad. Anyway, what was that song you were playing?'

"So we sort of left it that," added Hansard.

It wasn't until 1994 that Jeff Buckley was hailed as musical talent in his own right, with his debut album Grace, which included a cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

Making his name playing New York Irish club Sin-e, in August 1994 Buckley visited Ireland, to play at the Tivoli Theatre.

But struggling to record a follow-up to his debut, in 1997 Buckley was found drowned on the banks of the Mississippi aged 30, leaving behind a musical legacy still celebrated today.