February 10, 2013

"A more obviously historic site in Duluth is the Armory" where "Dylan caught Buddy Holly's tour two days before Holly's fatal plane crash."

"Dylan was at the front of the crowd and spoke later of making eye contact with Holly, a moment fans in Duluth think of as a kind of mystical passing of the baton from one rock 'n' roll generation to the next."

From an article about traveling through Bob Dylan's Minnesota.

This post gets my "religion substitutes" tag. That's a pretty creepy example. Why is that worth saying? Poor Buddy Holly died at the age of 22. He was only 5 years older than Dylan. There was no one generation to the next! Buddy Holly only exemplifies the 1950s for us because he didn't make it out alive. But he would have fit in just fine with the 1960s. The Rolling Stones had a hit with "Not Fade Away" in 1964. The Beatles covered "Words of Love":
The Beatles' version was recorded on October 18, 1964. John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who were fans of Holly, harmonized on their version, holding to the vocal and instrumental sound of Holly's original as well as they could. When they had played this song in their early days at the Cavern Club in 1961 and 1962, Lennon and George Harrison were the vocalists. Ringo Starr played a packing case on this song as well as drums, to achieve a similar sound to Holly's "Everyday."
When that recording was made, Holly would have just turned 28. The Beatles — at the height of their popularity — were doing their best to sound like the man who had died 5 years earlier. Even if you are a soft touch for spiritualistic claptrap, the "baton" was Buddy's to keep, and it's nothing but sad that we didn't get to hear what he would have done in the 1960s.

47 comments:

Pogo said...

Math is hard.

Oscar Bielaski said...

Agreed. Of all the many premature deaths among popular musicians of the rock era, none cost us more than Buddy Holly's. He had more great music left in him than any of them.

Oscar Bielaski said...

Agreed. Of all the many premature deaths among popular musicians of the rock era, none cost us more than Buddy Holly's. He had more great music left in him than any of them.

chickelit said...

Don McLean bears some responsibility for the Holly/Dylan myth making; he tried to roll the whole into one big kahuna.

The Farmer said...

Buddy Holly was the real King of Rock and Roll. He wrote more great music in a shorter amount of time than anybody. Even Mozart lived to the ripe old age of 35.

Shouting Thomas said...

Well, you never know. Holly might have disappeared into the stratosphere, too. Popular musicians are as likely to vanish as they are to thrive. It's a biz of dramatic ascents and descents.

One thing I didn't know until recently is that Waylon Jennings once played in Holly's band.

Jennings turned out to be the real giant in that outfit.

MnMark said...

Big Buddy fan here, but it might have been the case that no one would remember Buddy if he hadn't died in a plane crash. At the time of his death he was struggling financially and his time at the top of the charts seemed to have passed. Which was why he had to drive around the midwest in a bus without a working heater in February, trying to make some money touring hick towns.

Shouting Thomas said...

And, death is good for biz, and good for legend making in the music biz.

I've played a few gigs in the aftermath of a related musician's untimely passing. Always draws a crowd. If you could repeatedly kill a band member and bring him back to life, you'd be assured of always playing to a full house.

chickelit said...

Bobby Fuller carried Holly's sound and legacy into the 1960s: link We all know what happened to him, right?

Shouting Thomas said...

I hope you'll understand how this is related...

One of my favorite music biz sayings:

Be nice to the people you meet on the way up
Because they're the same people
You'll meet on the way down

Shouting Thomas said...

To say that the Beatles were just trying to sound like Buddy Holly is pretty seriously inaccurate, too.

The Beatles, particularly Lennon, were heavily influenced by all the great rockabilly legends, as well as the Chicago blues giants.

Holly was just one influence among many.

Mr. D said...

Holly was headed in a different direction when he died. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened. Ditto Ritchie Valens.

Chef Mojo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mitchell the Bat said...

It's a shame Holly and Dylan couldn't enjoy a last supper together.

EDH said...

Was Buddy Holly's plane crash in a snow storm caused by global warming?

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shouting Thomas said...

I watched a documentary about the Beatles some time ago. One of the most interesting parts of it was how crappy the transportation arrangements were for their tours.

Agents and managers have traditionally regarded musicians as so much interchangeable garbage. Thus, accommodations and transportation have always been as cheap and shoddy as possible.

Even when the Beatles were making a fortune, they had difficulty overcoming this mentality in their managers. This almost led to their involvement in an plane crash on their last U.S. tour.

The Rolling Stones were the first rock band to take over their own biz and demand and pay for first class accommodations and travel.

The multitude of travel deaths among musicians isn't just an accident. It's a byproduct of a biz traditionally run by greedy, uncaring managers.

Christopher said...

It is beyond sad that we didn't get to hear what Holly would have done had he not died, but he did, and the kind of music he was producing was nothing like where music was going, least of all where Bob Dylan was going to take it.

You're being too literal. As far as music generations are concerned, the baton was passed.

madAsHell said...

I one time heard a story that Waylon Jennings lost the coin toss for the last seat in the airplane.

Bender said...

Buddy Holly only exemplifies the 1950s for us because he didn't make it out alive. But he would have fit in just fine with the 1960s.

I was flipping around the stations last night and came across the movie "Twist Around the Clock." Made in 1961 (and followed up in 1962 with a sequel), featuring Chubby Checker.

Believe me, this was not 1960s music, rather, it was the 50s sound extending into the 60s.

It got me to wondering exactly when the 60s became the 60s, music wise? Certainly by the British invasion in 1964, but what was released and a hit in 1962 and 1963?

"I Saw Her Standing There" (Beatles (in contrast to Holly's Crickets)) was released in March 1963 and that definitely is not a 50s sound.

madAsHell said...

What did the PR man say when he heard of Elvis's death?

Great career move!

jr565 said...

Words of love by the Beatles is a great cover version. One of their better cover versions actually.
I actually like the Beatles version better than the Holly version as they smooth out the harmonies a bit.
And the guitar is very tasty.

Chef Mojo said...

Sure you can hear what Buddy Holly sounded like in the 60's, thanks to Big Daddy!

ironrailsironweights said...

I one time heard a story that Waylon Jennings lost the coin toss for the last seat in the airplane.

Holly said to Jennings, in a joking manner, "I hope you freeze on the bus," or words to that effect.
Jennings replied, also jokingly, "And I hope your plane crashes." He regretted that remark for the rest of his life.

Buddy Holly trivia: he was in an interracial marriage.

Peter

EDH said...

Shouting Thomas said...
The multitude of travel deaths among musicians isn't just an accident. It's a byproduct of a biz traditionally run by greedy, uncaring managers...

The Rolling Stones were the first rock band to take over their own biz and demand and pay for first class accommodations and travel.


Jagger fury as Bavarian Prince who worked as band's financial adviser for 40 years reveals truth about Rolling Stones' millions

- Prince Rupert Loewenstein was the Stones' financial adviser from 1968-2007

- German aristocrat saw the penniless rockers laugh all the way to the bank

- Prince's memoirs unveils how band used to get 'bags stuffed with cash'

- Book has Mick Jagger fuming saying the Prince lacks 'good manners'

[Jagger] and the band were handcuffed on the one side by their contract with Allen Klein – a highly intelligent, if unconventional New York accountant, who specialised in giving advice to rock musicians – and on the other to Decca Records. My job was going to be to allow them to escape, Houdini-like, from both.

I also realised that if a way could be found to get past the dodgy business practices that surrounded touring, there was a lot of money to be made...

After reviewing a few of the basic documents, I realised why the Stones would not have received the money. It would have gone to Klein and therefore they would have depended on what he gave them, as opposed to what the record company or the publishing company did. They were completely in his hands.
What had also become apparent to me was that the band would have to abandon their UK residence.
If they did not do this, they could be paying between 83 and 98 per cent of their profits in British income tax and surtax. I selected the South of France as a suitable location for them.

By 1972, I had managed to reach a satisfactory contract with Allen Klein, which meant The Rolling Stones were now free to record for a company of their choice. (Although litigation with Klein continued for the next 18 years.)

jr565 said...

Shouting Thomas wrote:
The multitude of travel deaths among musicians isn't just an accident. It's a byproduct of a biz traditionally run by greedy, uncaring managers.


To bring this to illegal file sharing causing the music industry to basically die out (there are some other factors as well), what is the status of traveling for musicians now?
Most artists admit that you don't make money through purchasing songs anymore. So bands have to earn money other ways. Primarily this through touring. And since many of these bands are self sustaining and not a retainer of the label have to pay for their own touring.
At least the evil managers can afford to charter a plane. Most bands aren't going to be that lucky, and if covering their own tour will probably be driving in their van.
Maybe bands can start getting their transportation funding through a kick starter program.

In short, lets all give it up for evil management, but lets also give it up for the current state of the music industry which is brough about as a counter to the evil management. Something tells me a lot of bands would be better off under old management.

AllenS said...

I met Bob Dylan's father at his applicance store in Hibbing around 1966, after driving up there to give a friend a ride home to St. Paul. I asked if he was Bob's dad, and he said: "Why yes. Do you know Bob?" And I said: "Well, kinda."

Teenagers. They can be so annoying.

alan markus said...

Interesting - besides taking off in crappy weather in a chartered plane, the pilot was only 21 years old.

Civil Aeronautics Board investigators concluded that the crash was due to a combination of poor weather conditions and pilot error, resulting in spatial disorientation. Peterson, working on his instrument rating at the time, was still taking flight instrumentation tests and was not yet certified for flight into weather that required flying solely by instruments rather than by his own vision. The final Civil Aeronautics Board report noted that Peterson had taken his instrument training on airplanes equipped with an artificial horizon attitude indicator and not the far-less-common Sperry Attitude Gyro the Bonanza was equipped with. Peterson had also failed his instrument checkride shortly before the incident. Critically, the two instruments display aircraft pitch attitude but depict such information in a visual manner opposite of one another; therefore, the board considered that this could have caused Peterson to think he was ascending when he was, in fact, descending. They also concluded that Peterson did not receive adequate warnings about weather conditions that, given his known limitations, might have caused him to postpone the flight out of prudence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_the_Music_Died

T.K. Tortch said...

Well, technically it wasn't a generation gap between Dylan & Holly, but when you're 17 and your hero is 22, it feels like a generation gap. When I was 17, those 22 year-olds were pretty intimidating, all confident and growed-up.

Somebody upthread said that a song like "I Saw Her Standing There" doesn't sound like a '50s song. Sure it does. It's put together of elements you can find a a bazillion Rockabilly and R & B or Jump Blues tunes from the '50s. I think what pushes it over into something new is the vocal deliver, which again you can break into Everly Brothers / Rocker components, but the delivery on that tune is fresh.

Another thing to consider is that '50s recordings of early Rock & Roll probably fall far short of what live performances could sound like. A lot of '50s Rockabilly and Rock & Roll was miserably recorded. For the most part it didn't have the respect or capital support to buy time in quality studios. Further, especially in cheaper studios, a full recording of the early Rockers' sound may have been limited by purely technical considerations. Put simply, you couldn't rock out as hard as you'd like to. If you liked to turn up your amps really wail, you would exceed the tolerances of the studio gear and the recording would distort.

Holly was exceptional in that by and large he was pretty well recorded, but I bet in live performance he had a bit more edge on him than you hear in the recordings.

jr565 said...

Even though I'm not aware of any covers, the Beatles strike me more as doing every brothers than buddy Holly. Especially with some of the harmonies.

betamax3000 said...

Naked Bob Dylan Robot made eye contact with Holly, downloaded all relevant information into Archive Storage Unit.

Naked Bob Dylan Robot created a Naked Buddy Holly Robot but Gary Busey stole it.

In response Naked Bob Dylan Robot then created a Naked Gary Busey Robot and programmed it for Perpetual Crazy.

Do not anger the Naked Bob Dylan Robot.

betamax3000 said...

"At the Duluth Armory were a great number of single girls dancing individualistically or relieving the orchestra for a moment of the burden of the banjo or the spiritualistic claptraps."

Funny enough, the opening band was "The Swastika Holding Company". After impolite response they were to later change their name three years later to "Big Brother and the Holding Company."

People hate Nazis, but seem to be Okay with 'Big Brother': go figure.

Before anyone asks: no, Naked Bob Dylan Robot did not create the Naked Janis Joplin Robot.

tiger said...

FTPC: 'Even if you are a soft touch for spiritualistic claptrap, the "baton" was Buddy's to keep, and it's nothing but sad that we didn't get to hear what he would have done in the 1960s.'

Along with Hendrix and Duane Allman.

Joplin wouldn't have made it much longer as an artist though; She had a lousy voice and shouted instead of sang. I post this as an owner of 4-5 of her albums.

Bob R said...

The bigger question about Holly's durability is how long he could have kept his edge as a songwriter. There are lots of cases people who have a couple of inspired years and then fizzle out.

William said...

Remember that motorcyle accident that Dylan had in the sixies. If he had perished in that accident, he would have become a much bigger star.....Motorcycle accident, drug overdose, being shot by a jealous husband: these are all career enhancing deaths. Plane crashes are just bad luck. It's a mark of Buddy Holly's talent that he was able to overcome his lacklustre death and become as big a post mortem star as Jim Morrison.

betamax3000 said...

re: "who have a couple of inspired years and then fizzle out."

Naked Neil Young Robot says "its better to burn out than to fizzle away".

Naked Neil Young Robot knows that Rust Never Sleeps.

karlpoppersghost said...

ironrailsironweights said...

Buddy Holly trivia: he was in an interracial marriage.

Peter


Not really. His wife was a White "hispanic". Much more so than George Zimmerman.

Chubby Checker was in an interracial marriage. He married a White Miss Universe? from Europe.

There's an interview with lunatic mass murderer and sit down comic Charles Manson where he speaks about being misrepresented as a Beatles fan. He makes it clear that he was of an older generation and that he was a Bing Crosby fan.

From a 1985 interview:

High Society: Explain Helter Skelter.
Charles Manson: Helter Skelter is a night club in the desert, and the D.A. took it and made it into a motive for a crime— and he sold it.
High Society: Helter Skelter is a song on the Beatles’ White Album.
Charles Manson: Let me tell you something, I am not a Beatles fan. I have never been a Beatles fan. I am a Bing Crosby fan. I am 50 years old, I am not a little kid. You see me in 1969, and you act like I was born in 1969. You think I am a generation of the sixties, but I am not. I am the generation of the forties and fifties.
High Society: Bugliosi connected the Hinman/Tate/LaBianca murders to the White Album.
Charles Manson: All right. You’re at a party and someone is playing the White Album all the time. They say, “Boy, he sure does like the White Album,” but you never played it. Everybody else liked it and played it. And everybody else had a thought about it and would asked me what I thought about it. Then I’d give my interpretation.
High Society: So the connection made in the courtroom to the Beatles is wrong, not true?
Charles Manson: Oh, it’s real. The D.A. won that reality. It wasn’t mine. We got a little nightclub going, the song was playing, so we called the club Helter Skelter.


Supposedly Manson and Altamont ended "the 60s". But I think it was TV's decision to kill all their "country shows".

betamax3000 said...

A long, long time ago

I can still remember how that music used to tip out a little of her warm human magic upon the air

And, I knew if I had my chance, that I could make those people dance,

on the canvas in the garden, old men pushing young girls backward in eternal graceless circles,

Maybe they'd be happy for a while

But, February made me shiver, pale as death, with my hands plunged like weights in my coat pockets, standing in a puddle of water

glaring tragically with every five crates of oranges and lemons from a fruiterer in New York that I'd deliver

Pulpless halves on the doorstep - I couldn't take one more step

I can't remember if I cried
when I read about his no longer nourished peremptory heart,
but my eyes leaked isolated and unpunctual tears inside

The day that Gatsby died.

jacksonjay said...


If you ever have reason to be in Lubbock, Texas (God fobid) do not miss the Buddy Holly Museum! Very well done!

Lubbock also has The Silent Wings Museum. WWII Gliders! Also excellent!

Tyrone Slothrop said...

This is my favorite Buddy Holly cover

But for the plane crash, Holly wouldn't have faded away. He would have been a driving influence on music as long as he lived, and since he didn't seem to have the tendency to burn out that a lot of musicians have, I think he would have lived a long time.

ironrailsironweights said...

It's a mark of Buddy Holly's talent that he was able to overcome his lacklustre death and become as big a post mortem star as Jim Morrison.

Assuming Jim Morrison actually IS dead.

Peter

southcentralpa said...

One year for rock 'n roll is like six years for us, so five rock 'n roll years is like a generation for us ...

ironrailsironweights said...

Buddy Holly trivia: he was in an interracial marriage.

Not really. His wife was a White "hispanic". Much more so than George Zimmerman.

Racial consciousness may have been less in the 1950's, but when I was growing up in Connecticut a couple of decades later the Puerto Ricans (Maria Elena Holly is one) were never considered white even if they had no obvious black or Taino ancestry.

Peter

dustbunny said...

Great comments, I think the Holly- Dylan axis brings out some interesting stuff. But, William, you can't be serious that if Dylan had died in the motorcycle crash, that he would have been a bigger star. he would have been legendary but the stuff he did after the crash sealed the deal. Anyway I don't believe the crash was serious, it was a way for him to retreat from the insanity that surrounded his fame.

Larry Davis said...

I was in basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in November, 1957. We'd go out in the morning and police the area (pickup cigarette butts, etc.) One of us would sneak over to the place right next to our barracks that sold candy, cigarettes, etc., and put quarters in the jukebox that was in front of the building. We'd listen to "Peggy Sue," "Jailhouse Rock," and "Wake up Little Susie," among other songs. They all came out in September of that year. And, yes, we knew at the time how good they were!

ironrailsironweights said...

Big Buddy fan here, but it might have been the case that no one would remember Buddy if he hadn't died in a plane crash. At the time of his death he was struggling financially and his time at the top of the charts seemed to have passed. Which was why he had to drive around the midwest in a bus without a working heater in February, trying to make some money touring hick towns.

Holly and his bandmates had replaced the unheated bus several days before the crash. He decided to fly from Clear Lake to the next city so he would have time to find a laundromat and wash his clothes before the next performance. Which is itself, of course, a pretty clear sign that stardom meant a lot less in 1959 than it does today.

Peter

Astro said...

Bender said... Believe me, this was not 1960s music, rather, it was the 50s sound extending into the 60s.
It got me to wondering exactly when the 60s became the 60s, music wise? Certainly by the British invasion in 1964, but what was released and a hit in 1962 and 1963?


Yeah, the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly was like an exclamation point on the end of 50's music. Chuck Berry was in prison, Elvis was in the army, Jerry Lee Lewis was disgraced due to marrying his 13 year old cousin, etc. So the shake-up that early Rock & Roll started had mostly fizzled out. Or died.
What followed was a few years of beach and car music; a rehash of 50s sounds for the tame, suburban white kid audience.
Which is why the Beatles were such a shock, and why they deserved the fame they achieved. They were playing Rock and Roll with a new sound, new types of harmonies, new syncopations, new words - something other than how fast someone's damn car is.