That'll be the day....
February 3, 2006 3:02 PM   Subscribe

The Day the Music Died. Everyone knows 47 years ago Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper were all killed in a plane crash after thier last concert in Clear Lake, Iowa. But it seems as if not everybody agrees about the date of rock-and-roll's demise.
posted by ozomatli (19 comments total)
I never got the whole "Day the music died" mythos. I suppose if you were a teenager at that time it might have had an impact on you. Otherwise...meh.
It strikes me as similar to the death cult that surrounds James Dean.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:30 PM on February 3, 2006

The last link is hands down my favorite for total comic value. It reminds me of a radio show I used to listen to late Sunday nights during my teens -- Rev. Hubert Lindsey (I'm pretty sure he was a reverend - isn't everyone?).

Hubert's show was called "The Churches on Trial" or something like that, and was basically a vitriolic fundie ranting about this evil or that evil, and taking phone calls to answer any question about anything from what he thought was the "biblical" perspective. Rock and roll was often the subject of his rants: "I knew Elvis Presley personally," he would say, "and he told me that the devil himself possessed him to play rock and roll," or some such blather. Hilarious, endlessly entertaining, and proof positive that rock and roll really is good for something.
posted by JekPorkins at 3:43 PM on February 3, 2006

I always assumed Buddy Holly's plane crashed in a little crappy place between two larger places. I just realized that they had just played that crappy little place. What the hell kind of tour takes you to Clear Lake, Iowa? And in February? But now I learn the answer: a crappy tour.
"The Winter Dance Party" was a tour that was set to cover 24 Midwest cities in three weeks. The problem was that the venues were not booked appropriately (i.e., according to the proximities of the venues to one another). For example, the tour would start at venue A, travel two hundred miles to venue B, and travel back one hundred seventy miles to venue C, which was only thirty miles from venue A. Adding to the disarray, the tour bus used to carry the musicians was ill-prepared for the weather; its heating system broke shortly after the tour began. One of the drummers may have developed frostbite while on the bus.
So now if you want to get to the spot where they died, the directions are:
From U.S. Highway 18, go north on North 8th Street in Clear Lake for 4.7 miles. When the paved road (which has turned into Grouse Avenue) turns to your left (west), take the gravel road (310th Street) to your right (east), then immediately left (north) on Gull Avenue. Follow Gull Avenue to the north for one-half mile, just past the grain bins to the first fence row on your left (west). Walk along the fence row towards the west for just under one-half mile. A small memorial is located at the place the plane came to rest. Four trees were also planted along the fence row in 1999, one for each performer and the pilot.
posted by pracowity at 3:46 PM on February 3, 2006

If I had a dime for every time Rock and Roll has been declared dead, I'd be having my indentured houseboy post this comment for me.
posted by slatternus at 3:49 PM on February 3, 2006

I also loathe the analogue>digital argument, particularly when the author tries to stretch this idiotic false dichotomy to the breaking point by arguing that cds didn't "sound as energetic" and this killed the music industry.

Fuck that bullshit. "I wan't mah jolson songs on wax cylinders or steel wire, or not at all!"

Rampant unfettered Capitalism, payola, and selling to the lowest common denominator are what are killing the music industry.

There's still awesome music being made out there, and recorded on everything from 2" analogue tape, to cassette 4 track, to minidisc, to home computers, and more.

The medium is not the problem, people. It's the fuckasses who sign the checks and wouldn't know good tunes if they crept up and bit them on the ass that are the problem.

Also, I'd like to add, that I have about 2,000 albums in my digital music collection, most of which are weird and awesome old out of print stuff.

I'm not particularly unique in this respect. I tell you what - digital music is a fucking GODSEND to anyone who loves music but doesn't have thousands of dollars to spend on old out of print vinyl, or thousands of square feet to store it in.

Also, I think that the rise of sharity blogs and the like, all these people ripping old out of print stuff to high bitrate mp3, flac, etc. These people are preserving this music that will ultimately be lost. And ensuring that the next generation of music geek gets to hear all this wonderful weird old shit, free. I think that's awesome.

posted by stenseng at 6:03 PM on February 3, 2006

Rock and Roll obviously did not die with those three men. Contrary to poular opinion it didn't even take a break.

But they are still missed.

posted by jonmc at 7:23 PM on February 3, 2006

> Rock and Roll obviously did not die with those three men.

Jon, I'm going to check its pulse again in a few minutes and if it has one I'm going to beat it (again) with this hamhock. When it does finally croak we're putting the obit up on Neil Diamond's MySpace site.
posted by jfuller at 7:47 PM on February 3, 2006

As my best friend in college put it, "Chantilly Lace" makes a lot more sense if you imagine that the Big Bopper is getting a blow job instead of talking on the telephone.

RIP the other two, though. They actually were important.
posted by interrobang at 8:19 PM on February 3, 2006

Actually, RIP all three, but I don't know why people think the Big Bopper was ever really all that important. Unless the blow job was an implied double entendre, in which case, good for him.
posted by interrobang at 8:25 PM on February 3, 2006

guys, it's always a good career move to die with the right people

Modern popular music-rock, blues, jazz-had its root in Africa, and strangely enough, Ireland.

we do sober up enough to play something once in awhile, idiot
posted by pyramid termite at 8:29 PM on February 3, 2006

I don't know why people think the Big Bopper was ever really all that important.

'Chantilly Lace' was a gem of inspired goofery.

Jon, I'm going to check its pulse again in a few minutes and if it has one I'm going to beat it (again) with this hamhock.

and it will survive, just to sustain me and spite you.
posted by jonmc at 9:11 PM on February 3, 2006

Don McLean really capitalized on their deaths, that bastard.
posted by pmbuko at 9:12 PM on February 3, 2006

So did Waylon Jennings, damn him.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:28 PM on February 3, 2006

"A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away, Naboo was under an attack..."
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:37 PM on February 3, 2006

posted by wheelieman at 6:13 AM on February 4, 2006

If you hurry, you can buy the wristwatch Buddy Holly was wearing at the time.
posted by staggernation at 6:15 AM on February 4, 2006

Several months ago I had a visitation from the Master Jesus in a dream. He warned me that if there was not a change in type of music people preferred, Earth's vibration would not be high enough for him to return.

He must be talking about what music the peoples of Asian listen to since 3/5ths of the worlds population live there.
posted by j-urb at 8:24 AM on February 4, 2006

Rock will live on as long as somewhere there's four kids on a low stage in a dump of a bar playing simple music that they wrote.
posted by Ber at 9:33 AM on February 4, 2006

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