23 November 2016


Oh boy! It’s Buddy!

Buddy Holly musical

The Buddy Holly Story at the Wyvern



First of all, to anyone out there, not of a certain age, just who WAS Buddy Holly anyway?

In brief: ‘Born on September 7, 1936, in Lubbock, Texas, Buddy Holly was an American singer/songwriter who produced some of the most distinctive and influential work in rock music. Already well versed in several music styles, he was a seasoned performer by age 16. With hits such as ‘Peggy Sue’ and ‘That’ll Be the Day.’

Buddy Holly was a rising star when a tragic plane crash struck him down in 1959 at age 22.’

His career trajectory had been a mere 18 months long.

Read more about Buddy, aka Charles Hardin Holley here.

It’s not that I want to be rich. I just want the world to remember the name Buddy Holly. (said by BH when he was a teenager)

And – oh boy – does the world remember him?!

Why is he so revered today? – this Wikipedia piece gives some insight into that:

‘After a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, Holly chartered an airplane to travel to his next show, in Moorhead, Minnesota. Soon after takeoff, the plane crashed, killing Holly, Ritchie Valensthe Big Bopper, and the pilot, in a tragedy later eulogized by Don McLean as “The Day the Music Died“.

During his short career, Holly wrote, recorded, and produced his own material. He is often regarded as the artist who defined the traditional rock-and-roll lineup of two guitars, bass, and drums.

Holly was a major influence on later popular music artists, including the Beatles, the Rolling StonesEric Clapton, and Elton John. He was among the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1986. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 13 in its list of “100 Greatest Artists”.’

And – as we all know – there’s nothing like an early, untimely death to guarantee immortality. Think of  James Dean and Eddie Cochrane. 

To be honest, BH is not the music of my youth. I was a teen in the 1970s – the decade that taste forgot. But through old records in the house when I was a child, and the jukebox in a local pub rammed with early rock ‘n’ roll of all kinds – from the 50s and 60s – the output of those eras has always been my first love.

I do actually know most of Chantilly Lace (The Big Bopper) off by heart. It’s a shame I can’t recall anything useful – my mobile number for example! Hey ho.

I first saw the Buddy Holly musical eons and eons ago in London – probably it was on its first outing at the time. And of course it was..well…rocking?!  Oh come on!! Had to be done. 🙂

So the chance to see it again in Swindon, at our delightful Wyvern theatre, was more than welcome.

The house was almost packed to the rafters with an enthusiastic audience enjoying the recreation of the Iowa Clear Lake Concert where Buddy performed for the last time along with the Big Bopper and Richie Valens – he was only 17 years old.

Holley’s music is so infectious and joyous and uplifting. Yet also bitter sweet. It’s impossible not to wonder just how much else he might have achieved had he not made that fateful decision to fly to the next gig instead of taking the bus.

February 3rd, 1959: The day the music died.

Buddy may be gone but Rock ‘n’ Roll is here to stay. Well at least until Saturday the 26th November. Follow the link here to get your tickets. It’s a great show and not to be missed.

And here is a snippet of the man himself with ‘That’ll be the day’: