parodies by nacrowe
so years ago i found myself in IOWA at an international teaching fair in the dead of winter with no real prospects of finding a job. it was 2009 and essentially the GREAT RECESSION effectuated a dearth of possible positions stateside since older teachers were holding off their retirements, thus i looked abroad. as it so happened, so was everyone else.
so im sitting in my hotel room thinking about what to do in IOWA when i realized that BUDDY HOLLY played his last show at a local club a few hours away in CLEAR LAKE. a few other fast friends i made from FLORIDA (who were in the same boat), had a rental car and decided that making the trip sounded like as good a use of our time as any so we b-lined there. what was crazy is that the SURF BALLROOM was closed as, of all people, YOKO ONO was inside being interviewed for an upcoming documentary. turns out we arrived, by pure coincidence, on the 50th anniversary of the famous plane crash that took the lives of not only HOLLY but also RICHIE VALENS and THE BIG BOPPER back in 1959. still hard to believe that the one time i visited the venue and the crash site, by dumb luck, was on such an auspicious day. not sure if id go back. its more than a little morbid.
whats cool about HOLLY is that he established so much of the vocabulary associated with ROCK AND ROLL. this covers everything from our expectations regarding a singer-songwriter fronting a band with music composed and lyrics written by said musician. before this you had TIN PAN ALLEY and standards written by songwriters and sung by gifted, professional singers a la FRANK SINATRA, ELLA FITZGERALD and the like. HOLLY in my mind was a revolution in that he personalized that art of making music and opened the door for BRITISH INVASION acts like THE BEATLES, THE KINKS, THE WHO and THE ROLLING STONES, who all adored him, to channel their own personality and perspectives into songs composed and played by themselves. even peers like the supremely gifted EVERLY BROTHERS sang songs for the most part written by BOUDLEAUX and FELICE BRYANT who did so at the behest of their record label. HOLLY to me represents the first time a musician and their instrument armed with catchy songs took over the planet.
he paved the way for literally everyone, which is why his music has been covered by countless acts from LOU REED, BLONDIE, WANDA JACKSON, THE BEATLES, FIONA APPPLE, RUSH, PATTI SMITH and THE ROLLING STONES to ERASURE, CHRIS ISAAK, GRATEFUL DEAD, BO DIDDLEY, X, JEFF LYNNE, THE RAVEONETTES, ALBERT LEE, MODEST MOUSE and LEMMY KILMISTER.
definitely check out the DEER GOD RADIO episode celebrating BUDDY HOLLY from back in september 2021.