Yesterday was the 54th anniversary of the day the music died, when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper-J.P. Richardson, along with the pilot, Roger Peterson died in that horrible plane crash in a cornfield in Clear Lake Iowa. I was in 7th grade, and I can remember it just like yesterday, sitting in Mr. Fish's homeroom in the old Brooks Academy building, and we were all stunned and couldn't believe it. Most of us were into rock and roll and loved the music of all three of the musicians.
They had just performed a concert that night in the Surf Ballroom, in Clear Lake, and for various reasons, they wanted to fly to the next concert site instead of taking the tour bus, which had broken down and didn't have much heat. And who took the flight and who didn't take it, has taken its place in rock and roll mythology! The Big Bopper took Waylon Jennings place and Ritchie Valens won a coin toss to get a seat. And Dion of Dion and the Belmonts could have gone but didn't want to pay the $36 fee. Supposedly Waylon Jennings thought about this every day for the rest of his life.
The Surf Ballroom is still there and every Febuary 3 they have a memorial concert. Its on my bucket list of places to see before I check out! And the cornfield is visited by thousands of fans from around the world each year. And I think back to the mid 50's. I was there for the beginning of rock and roll. I talk about this in my memoir of growing up on Cape Cod and in the United States back in the 50's and 60's, called Cape Cod Forever. It will be an ebook out this summer. Bill Haley and the Comets, Elvis, Chuck Berry-my all time favorite, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Bo Diddley and Buddy, Ritchie and the Big Bopper. They were all there in the formative years of rock and roll, and many of them were huge inspirations for the Beatles, Rolling Stones and many of the other English groups in the 60's.
And you know, you can see them all today on YouTube!! Clips of them in concert are all there. And there are Buddy Holly tribute shows all around the country. There are some singers who sing like him, look like him, sound like him and who play the same guitars and music as Buddy did. Buddy Holly lives, 54 years later!! So if you get a chance, go onto YouTube, type in Buddy, Ritchie and the Big Bopper and go down Memory Lane for a few minutes and think about them as we remember them on their anniversary.
Thanking you for your time, this time, until next time, FRAN