New York home to rock's greatest, the best and the worst of all worlds lie under its roof.

Printed in Eye Magazine May 1968Article written by Lillian Roxon Illustration by Michael Foreman

Tim Buckley

From Lillian Roxon’s article in Eye:

Tim Buckley wrote the song “Good-bye and Hello” there and almost half the album of the same name.


Most musicians, initially, are attracted by the prices: $20 a week for a room without bath, $30 with, is what they start at. Tim Buckley found himself paying $70 a week by the time he was through – exactly what it cost him per month in California. “Expensive,” he said, “but the best place I ever lived.”


Tim Buckley says he watched the whirling of a snowflake down an airshaft and thought that the movement could be used in orchestration. Has he used it yet? No, but he will one of these days. Has he ever written a song about the Albert? No, but he has written a lot of songs with the Albert about him, surrounding him.

From Blue melody: Tim Buckley Remembered:

Tim and I piled our guitars into the rear of a Volkswagen panel truck Herb had rented for us, and drove coast-to-coast to New York with Johnny Sider. Johnny was a first-class drummer. He was also an intelligent, happy go-lucky guy with an extraordinary memory and marvelous sense of humour.

We stayed at the Albert Hotel, in Room 1268, as I recall, but Johnny insisted years later that it was Room 1216. I have a good memory, but because of Johnny’s exceptional memory, I’ll go with him - 1216. The Albert was a famous - or infamous - home away from home for some of the most popular and influential rock musicians of the era - Frank Zappa and his band, the Mamas & the Papas, the Lovin’ Spoonful, the Butterfield Blues Band, Spanky and Our Gang, the Byrds, the Doors, and dozens of others. The graffiti on the seventh floor corridor wall said, “Jim Morrison is sex, but Ray Manzarek is love.”

….Louise Dula, drummer and leader of an all-woman rock band called the Bittersweet, remembered meeting Tim.

“I didn’t know who Tim Buckley was when I got to the Albert,” she wrote to me, “although I had seen his picture on the wall and thought, ‘Cute guy.’ One day I was waiting for the elevator to come down. When I pushed the button my purse strap got tangled up in my beaded necklace. The necklace broke and the beads scattered all over the floor. I was down on my hands and knees like a fool, trying to catch them. The elevator door opened, and I looked up - to see this beautiful face looking down at me and smiling. From the angle I saw him at, being down on the floor looking up, the elevator light seemed to form a halo around his curly hair. I remember thinking to myself, ‘My God, it’s an angel!’ He bent down and started helping me gather up all my beads, saying funny things about how cute I looked crawling around on the floor.

“The next day at the front desk there was an envelope for me. Inside was a really pretty necklace with a note from Tim that said,

‘To replace what was broken,
I thought you’d like this small token’

I couldn’t believe he would do something that nice for a stranger. He won my heart for life....

One night in New York, Tim and I dropped Owsley acid, zipped back to the Albert Hotel (rushing on LSD as the elevator ascended), and spent the night writing “Bussin’ Fly,” one of Tim’s best-loved Happy Sad songs. He strummed and sang. I played guitar. The walls and curtains breathed. Glistening orange velvet lining in open guitar cases undulated like red-orange seawaves. (Elsewhere, Beckett has said this was an old song carried over from earlier days. Not so. A line or two may have been carried over, but the total song was born that night in the Albert.)