August 21, 2007

Obama's rock and roll gaffe.

Obama's not showing much respect for Iowa history:
Barack Obama has spoken in many venues -- high school gymnasiums, college basketball courts, union halls -- but none has been as unusual as the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, where he talked to a group of Iowa Democrats last week.

The Surf Ballroom is the scene of the last concert played by rock 'n' roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson just hours before they were killed in a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959.

And it is a place frozen in time with wooden booths, a linoleum floor and murals of palm trees and beaches.

Obama didn't mention the '50s rockers in his speech, but earlier this summer former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee came here and made a video commemorating Holly, Valens and The Big Bopper. It can be seen on YouTube....

The walls are filled with photos of Holly and include many of his gold albums.

The piano once used by Ellington has been preserved. The Pepsi machine used by Waylon Jennings (who played in Holly's band and gave up his seat on the plane to the Big Bopper) remains in the kitchen. The phone Holly used to call his wife, Maria Elena, in New York is still there, and so are the sinks in the green room Holly used before making his appearance on stage.

"That'll be the day" anything changes in this cultural mecca still cherished by Iowans and others who revere Buddy Holly.
And what do they think of a candidate who gives a speech here and doesn't mention him?

By contrast:

24 comments:

Smilin' Jack said...

The walls are filled with photos of Holly and include many of his gold albums....

And what do they think of a candidate who gives a speech here and doesn't mention him?


The same thing I think: "How much more obtuse could this guy be?"

Trooper York said...

Can the "Music" and a campaign die in the same spot?.....although he can salvage it if he can get the Obama girl to do something with a pie.

SteveR said...

Not quite as bad as giving a speech in front of the School Book Depository without mentioning JFK, but close. Is there a more famous place in Iowa?

Roger said...

any candidate who was born after the golden age of rock and roll (ca 1965) should be forbidden by the constitution for running for the Presidency--it just isnt right, I tell you.

El Presidente said...

Huckabee has commited his own crimes against Rock and Roll:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkeflmkFCj0

Teune said...

"And what do they think of a candidate who gives a speech here and doesn't mention him?"

You old white people crack me up. Buddy who?

Trooper York said...
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Trooper York said...

He was Elvis Costello's father.

Original Mike said...

Is there a more famous place in Iowa?

Maybe that baseball diamond in the middle of a corn field.

Joe said...

Concerning Huckabee's version of FreeBird; I've heard worse. (The problem is more the tinny vocals than the band.)

As for Obama, watching him repeatedly make mistakes is entertaining. Same with Edwards. I keep hoping for Romney to give a Howard Dean ahhhhh! (Though I expect McCain to actually do something comparable.) I'm a bit disappointed that Bill Clinton hasn't done anything stupendously dumb.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Do you believe in rock ’n roll,
Can music save your mortal soul,
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?


Too young for the day the music died, but not too young for Don McLean's [or Madonna's!] "American Pie."

Chip Ahoy said...

I didn't know any of this.

John said...

Chris Rock used to say black people are all about the future, and white people are all about the past.

Michael said...
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Michael said...

I like Buddy Holly more than most 20-somethings, but this story is laughably trivial.

While the race to the White House is all about pandering to constituents, knowing where to draw the line is important.

Maybe I am just naive, but boomer's need to stop insisting that everyone pay homage to the icons of their past.

Obama is running as the a-typical candidate. Re-memorializing a sad event is unremarkable. Not stating the obvious does not mean that the man is a cold hearted bastard.

Besides, why should a man accused of not being "black" enough pay homage to a white guy who ripped off race-music?

Trooper York said...

I don't know...maybe it's time for Barrack to embrace his inner Urkel

jane said...
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jane said...
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amba said...

The video was such a letdown! I thought at least he'd break out his guitar.

B said...

regarding Obama:

It is time to resurrect "Where's the Beef?"

AJ Lynch said...

Should we assume EVERY prez candidate EXCEPT OBAMA employs an advance team which checks out upcoming venues and campaign events to get local anecdotes and colorful history which can be injected into the candidate's speech?

Lisa said...

Is that really the basis on which you will make, or recommend that others make, a decision regarding the vote for President? I don't mind a candidate's failure to mention Buddy Holly--I'm looking for a candidate who will leave my civil rights intact.

Seven Machos said...

Chris: Interesting. A European guy I know says that Americans are all about the future and that Europeans are all about the past.

Cedarford said...

Michael - Besides, why should a man accused of not being "black" enough pay homage to a white guy who ripped off race-music?

Pretty ignorant. Richie Valens used a rock-Latin synthesis. Most of the bandplayers came from pure white country music roots. Holly used black and traditional white influences. The Big Bopper started in country.

For every self-loathing white boy that says white musicians are shit and robbers of "black music" there is someone smart enough to know what blacks borrowed from whites, what elements of early black rock&roll would have not happened if they were still living in a 100% black music culture.

Lisa - I don't mind a candidate's failure to mention Buddy Holly--I'm looking for a candidate who will leave my civil rights intact.

People who kill you, Lisa, by medical error, criminal murder, or details of radical Islamist combat elements sent to ensure they succeed in their mission of roasting you alive in the WTC take away your civil rights. Leaving none intact. To safeguard your civil rights, society tries to keep accidents low, murderers locked up or executed, and foreign enemies in check.
To say that you care so much about your civil rights that you fight for the same rights for unlawful enemy combatants intent on taking away all your Civil Rights?

Well, that makes you a rather silly ninny.

Though I would say that locals who have lived with a history of a long-ago tragedy tend to be ambivalent or tired of political outsiders trying to dredge up some good old martyrdom and victimhood from a long ago tragedy so they can be scripted by their handlers into a suitable "I empathize! I pander!" moment.