Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What Did You Do at 22?

50 years ago today,this man was killed in tragic plane crash with The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens.
The thing that is interesting to me about Buddy Holly is how focused he was at 22. The got married and moved to New York to concentrate on his songwriting. Plus, he played the Apollo Theater when white people didn't play the Apollo Theater. How influential was Buddy Holly? This is from his wikipedia page:

"Contrary to popular belief, teenagers John Lennon and Paul McCartney did not attend a Holly concert, although they watched his TV appearance on "Sunday Night at the London Palladium"; Tony Bramwell, a school friend of McCartney and George Harrison, did. Keith Richards attended one of the gigs, where he heard "Not Fade Away" for the first time. Bramwell met Holly, and freely shared his records with all three. Lennon and McCartney later cited Holly as a primary influence. (Their band's name, The Beatles, was chosen partly in homage to Holly's Crickets.) The Beatles did a cover version of "Words of Love" that was a close reproduction of Holly's version. McCartney owns the publishing rights to Holly's song catalogue.

A young Bob Dylan attended the 31 January 1959 show, two nights before Holly's death. Dylan referred to this in his 1998 Grammy acceptance speech for his 1997 Time out of Mind winning Album of the Year:

And I just want to say that when I was sixteen or seventeen years old, I went to see Buddy Holly play at Duluth National Guard Armory and I was three feet away from him...and he LOOKED at me. And I just have some sort of feeling that he was — I don't know how or why — but I know he was with us all the time we were making this record in some kind of way."