June 3 [Updated 9:15 EDT] -- On Monday, police in Memphis continued their search for singer Jeff Buckley, who waded into a downtown harbor last week, and has not been seen since.
While the performer is still officially considered missing, Buckley's record label, Columbia Records, said that his family and loved ones believe that he has drowned.
Buckley's mother, Mary Guibert, released a press statement on Monday afternoon, saying, "It has become apparent to me that my son will not be walking out of the river. It is now time to make plans to celebrate a life that was golden." No such memorial details have yet been announced.
Buckley was hanging out with his friend Keith Foti on the banks of the Memphis harbor at about 9 p.m. on Thursday night after the two had grabbed a bite to eat at a local Memphis eatery. Buckley then decided to go for a swim, and waded into the water fully clothed. The singer then swam around for approximately 15 minutes while Foti watched
from the shore. Foti then turned from Buckley to move a portable stereo further up the shoreline, and when he turned back around, Buckley was gone. Foti called out for his friend for 10 minutes before calling authorities.
Buckley had been the subject of a major promotional push by Columbia Records for his 1994 debut album, "Grace," ["Last Goodbye" 1.4MB QuickTime] but the record, while critically well received, did not sell that well.
The 30-year-old Buckley had been in Memphis since February working on a long-delayed second album, initially with one-time Television guitarist Tom Verlaine producing (though Verlaine was recently replaced on the project).
The area of Memphis harbor in which Buckley vanished is deceptively shallow at the shore, but quickly plunges into a 35-foot drop. Police say a few people drown in that area every year, and noted that their bodies are sometimes carried by the powerful Mississippi River down
past New Orleans and out into the Gulf of Mexico. Sometimes, police say, those bodies are never recovered.
However, Buckley was no stranger to the harbor, as his record label reports that he had gone swimming in the area before.
On Monday, MTV News spoke with onetime Captain Beefheart guitarist Gary Lucas, who used Buckley as a singer on some of his own solo albums, and also played on Buckley's first record. Here's how Lucas recalled his young colleague.
"I think he had his up days and down days, like everybody, and my best memories of him was as a very happy-go-lucky person," Lucas said of Buckley. "He was full of life, but on the other hand, he did have a little bit of, I won't say obsession. He was definitely a serious person regarding mortality. It came out a little bit in the lyrics to the songs, and some of the things that he would say onstage when we worked. That I think, perhaps was attributable, certainly
to the fact that his father, Tim Buckley, had died so tragically [1.5MB QuickTime], when he was very young."
In an interview with MTV Europe a few years back, Buckley said, "I have a great, great admiration for Tim and what he did. And some things that he did completely embarassed me to hell. But the things that were great, I'll hold up against anything," [900k QuickTime] Buckley said.