Billy Joel, Sarah McLachlan, and Jeff Buckley made the music beat this week

‘GRACE’ LAND Fans of the late singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley, who drowned in Memphis on May 29, will soon be able to pay tribute to him at record stores — and at an unconventional memorial site. Plans are under way to dedicate a bench and plaque in his honor at the Memphis Zoo (a favorite Buckley hangout), with $10,000 raised by Buckley’s family and fans at a memorial service in July. ”In such a tragic time, maybe this will bring a little joy,” says Memphis Zoo marketing manager Ginger Porter. Meanwhile, Juliana Hatfield ponders Buckley’s death in ”Trying Not to Think About It,” a track on her new EP, Please Do Not Disturb. In related news, Buckley’s family will begin sorting through the homemade tapes he left behind with an eye toward a posthumous collection in spring ’98. (Buckley was to start recording his second album the night he died.) The album could include tracks from his aborted early ’97 sessions with producer (and former Television guitarist) Tom Verlaine.

SOMETIMES A FANTASY What does Billy Joel have in common with Iggy and the Stooges? Both were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, but neither made it past the final balloting process. In the piano man’s case, the slight was magnified by an Oct. 22 Daily Variety article by Adam Sandler that erroneously reported Joel would be among the inductees. Aside from causing potential embarrassment to Joel, Sandler’s goof (which, curiously, went without a formal retraction from the trade paper) forced the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation to announce the names of the actual inductees on Oct. 23, a week earlier than planned. ”I think that [Sandler] didn’t do his homework and just assumed that a nominee was equivalent to an inductee,” says a spokesperson for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. Sandler and Joel declined to comment. (Just for the record, the actual inductees are the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, the Mamas and the Papas, Lloyd Price, Gene Vincent, and Santana.) — Tom Sinclair

IT’S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER The boy tours of summer are gone, but the girls just keep on working. On Dec. 16, Sarah McLachlan will stage a ”one-off Lilith” in West Palm Beach, Fla., featuring herself, Sheryl Crow, and Missy Elliott (a long overdue corrective to Lilith’s troubling lack of rap and R&B acts), among others. Why a winter Lilith? ”We didn’t do Florida during the summer, and there was overwhelming demand,” explains Lilith partner and booking agent Marty Diamond. Don’t expect a flurry of winter shows, however. ”It’s a ridiculous amount of work to do one-offs,” says McLachlan. ”With a week’s worth of shows you make money back. If we break even with this one it will be a miracle.” Also in the works: a Nov. 28 pay-per-view event with summer concert footage and interviews; and a two-CD set of live Lilith recordings, scheduled for March. Will all this fanfare lead to Lilith overkill? ”I think the first couple of years are going to be great,” says McLachlan. ”We’ll probably only do it for three years and end on a high note.” —Rob Brunner