Four days after the one “the music died” on, Buddy Holly was buried at home in Lubbock Texas today in 1959. His tombstone has the correct spelling of his name (Holley) and an etching of the guitar he popularized, the then-new Fender Stratocaster. His funeral at the Lubbock Tabernacle Baptist Church was officiated by the Rev. Ben D. Johnson, who had married him to the cute Puerto Rican receptionist at his publishing company in New York just the previous August. 26 year old Maria Elena Santiago Holley had never had a boyfriend when they met in early ’58, was two weeks pregnant when he died in the plane crash, and miscarried when she heard about it on the news, which would lead civil authorities nationwide to institute a policy of notifying next of kin before the press. She could not attend the funeral, and has never visited the gravesite. Now 84 and living in Puerto Rico as the sole owner of the rights to everything he did, she once told an interviewer she blamed herself. “I wasn’t feeling well, two weeks pregnant and I wanted Buddy to stay with me, but he had scheduled that tour. It was the only time I wasn’t with him, and I blame myself because if only I had gone along, he never would have gotten into that airplane”. Bass player Waylon Jennings didn’t attend the memorial either, feeling horrible that his last words to Buddy’s quip “I hope your ‘ol bus freezes up” had been “Well I hope your ‘ol plane crashes”, but Holly’s pallbearers were all of the recently-fired Crickets, the rest of his new band, and Phil of the Everly Brothers who died back in January at 77. Holly invented rock and roll’s two guitars, bass, and drums conventional lineup, and was in the first class of inductees into the rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
The first single from a band who hadn’t been able to afford to go to London to see Holly, but were glued to the Telly in Liverpool to watch him on Sunday Night at the London Palladium and named their own The Beatles in honor of The Crickets, released their first single Please Please Me in America on the Vee Jay label today in 1963.
Exactly one year later 5000+ screaming fans greeted them as they came out of the door of a Pan Am Boeing 707 at New York’s JFK airport today in 1964 as they arrived in America for the first time.
The Who recorded Pinball Wizard in London today in 1969, part of Pete Townsend’s first full-album “rock opera” Tommy. They have played it at almost every live show they’ve ever done including Super Bowl XLIV since it’s live debut on May 2nd of ’69.
While Pete and the band were working in London, The Doors frontman Jim Morrison was in Hollywood being arrested for driving under the influence and not having a license today in 1969.
Steven Stills became the first major-label rock and roll performer to record on all-digital equipment made by 3M at The Record Plant studios in Los Angeles today in 1979.
Savoy Brown and Foghat guitarist “Lonesome” Dave Peveritt died of cancer today in 2000 at age 56.
Two days out of jail for going apes*** on a British Airways flight from L.A., the widow Cobain Courtney Love joined Elton John on stage at the Old Vic theater dressed as Donald Duck tonight in 2003 for a spirited and appropriate rendition of The Bitch Is Back.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Status Quo bass player Alan Lancaster is 68.
Deborah Bonham, rock and blues singer and the younger sister of Led Zeppelin’s John, is 55.