Showing posts with label Buddy Holly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buddy Holly. Show all posts

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Remembering Buddy Holly - John Lennon's words of love

Today is the 60th anniversary of the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, along with singers Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.

Unless you seek it out, it's getting harder and harder to hear the music of Beatles influences, such as Holly, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Elvis, as their music recedes further into history. Not much of it gets played on "oldies" radio, or gets featured on TV or in films. But it would be a shame to lose touch of how crucial this music was in influencing The Beatles and all the pop music that followed.

Holly, in particular, was a key influence on the band. He wrote much of his own music, and his songwriting craft, structures and melodies were instructive to John and Paul as they started writing their own tunes. One of the first things The Beatles, as the Quarry Men, put down ever recorded, was a rendition of Holly's "That'll Be the Day."
The Beatles went on to record a lovely version of  Holly's "Words of Love" for the Beatles For Sale album, and played "Crying, Wishing, Hoping" on their Decca audition and on the BBC. They covered other Holly-written or -associated tunes on their BBC recordings and during the "Get Back" sessions.

Also, lest we forget, The Beatles essentially named themselves in tribute of Holly's band, The Crickets.

In the letter below, responding to a questionnaire mailed to him in 1974 by an aspiring music journalist named Jim Dawson, John shares his love of Holly. Dawson, according to Hunter Davies' "The John Lennon Letters," was hoping to write an article on Holly for Rolling Stone and also sent the questionnaire to Paul and to Bob Dylan. Only John wrote back, using his then-new typewriter, of which he was an enthusiastic, if error-prone, user.


And here's the spectacular video of "Words of Love" put together to promotes The Beatles' second compilation of of Beeb recordings back in 2013.


There's apparently no surviving footage of Holly and The Crickets on "Live at the London Palladium," but here they are on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1957.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Video: Paul McCartney plays "It's So Easy" in Buddy Holly's hometown

Paul McCartney played in Lubbock, Texas, the other night and performed "It's So Easy" in honor of the town's native son, Buddy Holly.

Here's a video (warning: sometimes shaky camera work):

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Did the Beatles visit Buddy Holly's grave? Lubbock fan claims they did

There's an interesting story in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal today in which a local woman and Beatles fan relates a story her father told her growing up: That he'd greeted the Beatles at Lubbock Airport, where he worked, and helped arrange for them to visit Buddy Holly's grave in the local cemetery.

Reporter William Kerns does a good job trying to fact-check the story, looking at the Beatles' tour dates for 1964 and 1965, when the visit supposedly occurred. The probability of the Beatles being able to make such a visit seems unlikely, yet Lana Dickson Townsend insists her father's story is true.

I don't recall any previous statements about this from the Beatles or anyone else. Certainly, the band loved Buddy Holly and were indebted to his inspiration as a performer and songwriter. But I find it hard to believe they'd make a special trip to do this. They weren't exactly sentimental types.

Anyway, here's a snippet of Kerns' article:
“It was either 1964 or 1965,” she said, when her late father, Jack Dickson, told her that four “hippie guys” arrived in disguise at his office. At that time, he was assistant manager of terminal operations for Continental Airlines.

...According to her father, the band had arrived in disguise, “wearing wigs, cutting up, joking with each other and talking very quickly.”

“He could not understand everything they said,” noted Townsend, “but he said they never stopped asking questions about Buddy Holly. They asked him if he knew Buddy Holly, which of course he didn’t. They asked him if he knew where Buddy Holly had lived, which of course he didn’t. And they’d flown in on a private plane, about an hour’s flight from Dallas, because they wanted to visit Buddy’s grave.

“I don’t know if it was my daddy or someone else who drove them out there (to City of Lubbock Cemetery). I just know daddy said that he was told to look after these men and to not let them leave his office.”