Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Day the Music Died

But February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn’t take one more step.

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died.

Buddy Holly is the most famous person to come from my hometown of Lubbock, TX. I've been a fan and admirer of Buddy's since I was in jr. high school. As a teen, I couldn't believe that there wasn't a street in our town named after our most famous son. I wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper trying to make the case for changing a street name. It finally happened, but not until I had moved away. There is a larger than life statue downtown near where Buddy was born and it is surrounded by the West Texas Walk of Fame that honors local entertainers who have made it big. Several years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with one of the guys who knew and played with Buddy, and became a pretty good songwriter in his own right, Sonny Curtis. I've also had the pleasure of meeting the original Crickets, Jerry Allison and Joe B. Mauldin after a concert in Lubbock. One weekend back when I was in grad school, my cousin and a friend made the drive over to Clovis, New Mexico to see Norman Petty Studios where Buddy recorded his first hit records. It was quite amazing standing in the studio where those great rock and roll songs were recorded and seeing the equipment that was used by Buddy. Mrs. Petty was our tour guide and while we were in the studio, she played for us an unreleased tape of Buddy doing Heartbeat. Now, unless you've been on the tour, you haven't heard this tape. It was a bit intimidating standing there in that studio and hearing Buddy's voice on the tape as they talk a little before they break into the song. What a thrill that was.

I love Buddy Holly because he made some great rock and roll records - and with a little practice, you can actually play them on the guitar. But there's more to it than that. As a kid, I knew that Buddy was known all over the world. If you mentioned Lubbock, Texas to a stranger from anywhere else in the world, they were most likely to reply, "Buddy Holly!" For me, Buddy was the epitome of the local boy makes good. And I just knew that if he could do something that people would remember, then I could, too. I don't play rock and roll, but perhaps someday I'll create a drug that will save people's lives.

Whenever I lived back home, I used to make the trip to the local cemetery and leave a guitar pick on the grave of our hometown hero every February 3rd. He was one of us - a West Texas boy - who changed the world. The music died on February 3, 1959, but the dreams of lots of Lubbock boys live on because of Buddy Holly.

Rave on...

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