There were a couple of interesting articles in the PPH this morning noting that today marked the 50th anniversary of the passing of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper in a plane crash outside of Mason City Iowa. One of the articles mentioned a May 1958 show at the Lewiston Armory where Buddy Holly performed as part of the Alan Freed Big Beat Rock and Roll Show. Also featured were Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. My only memory of the event as an 8th grader at Webster Junior High in Auburn, were the promos on WLAM, and the fear by our parents that the twin cities were immediately going to hell in a hand basket. For some reason I was in downtown Auburn that night and suddenly a car full of black men pulled up beside me and asked where the rock and roll show was. At that moment that was probably the most black people I had ever seen. I regained my composure and gave them directions to the armory. The show went off without incident according to the Daily Sun
Fast forward to London in 1995 where I was able to talk my company into a weekend stay after working up in the north. I noticed a sign noting that Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story was playing at the Aldwich as part of an 8 year run. It sounded good to me so I bought a ticket in the nosebleed section for 15 pounds. When I took my seat I saw a sign saying no dancing allowed in the balcony. Yeah, I thought, wishful thinking on their part. Well the show went on, great music - a lot like the movie. At the end they did a recreation of the Clear Lake final concert with actors doing a great job playing the Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens and the like. The show ended with the stage going dark and a single light focusing on a guitar. All of a sudden the stage lights went on and Buddy Holly says "Are you people ready to kick some ass??" Immediately he launches into Oh Boy and then Rave On and the place goes totally nuts. For the next ten minutes people of all age groups were dancing in the asiles and going crazy. One of my more fun nights.
Over the next several years I had occasion to be in London with each of my three kids. One did a semester there, another did an internship and the other was my son and I. I took each of them to Buddy, with I think some reluctance on their part. On each occassion, the same audience reaction occurred and the same reaction out of each of the children Dad that was #%#@ unbeliveable!! Thanks for taking us.
I noticed on the internet that Buddy has reopened at the Dutchess since 2007 and they're planning a special show for tonight.
The music didn't die that day in Iowa.