Just some thoughts:
A FOURTH OF JULY MEMORY
This coming Thursday is the 4th of July.
I have a 4th of July memory from sixty-one years ago. Sixty-one years ago (1958) I saw Buddy Holly as he appeared at Buck Lake in Angola, Indiana.
My Cohort friend and I went. I was a few months shy of my seventeenth birthday. Frankie Avalon opened the show that day. We first saw Holly arrive, blue jeans and T-shirt. Rather unassuming at first glance I thought. All that changed later that afternoon as he came on stage dressed in slacks and jacket. But more impressive was just his stage presences and how he went about his music. Three of the most impressive artist I ever saw were Sam Cooke, of course Presley and Buddy Holly. They had an air of professional about them that I did not see in many others. Possibly add Paul Anka to that list.
I have tried to remember his opening song but can’t. Often he opened his shows with the Billy Grammar hit “Gotta Travel On.” Seven months later Holly would lose his life in the now famous plane crash after doing a show in Clear Lake, Iowa at the Surf Ballroom. On February 3, 1958 at 10:40 P.M, Dion would introduced Holly on stage. Years later I would stand near that stage at the Surf Ballroom, go back stage and see the famous wall pay phone that Holly made his last call to his wife in New York City.
Earlier that evening Holly was Dion’s replacement drummer for that show. Holly along with Tommy Allsup and Waylon Jennings would open his show with Grammar’s song. The final song of that evening was all the performers doing “LaBamba” and the Chuck Berry song, “Brown-Eyed Handsome Man.” Buddy Holly would play in 200 venues in his 18 month career and on stage over 500 times.
Chances are some time this week maybe Thursday late evening I will go to my garage, pull the cover off one of my old cars, back out and head out for a ride. In doing so I will slip in a Holly cd. I think a fitting song might be “Raining in My Heart.”
You know a lot of years can pass but there are some memories that never leave you. Some memories never die.
One of them among others is of July 4th, 1958.
July 2, 2019