RoadNotes #7 – Not Fade Away

RoadNotes #7 – Not Fade Away

RoadNotes #7 – Not Fade Away

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As I was headed from Minneapolis to Oklahoma City last week, just south of the Minnesota-Iowa border, I saw a sign for the town of Clear Lake, Iowa. Somehow this town was familiar to me and I got off at the Clear Lake exit to see why. I then remembered that Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens were killed in a plane crash just after taking off from Clear Lake on February 3rd, 1959. They had played a show the night of February 2nd at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. I found the Surf, which is still in operation and a kind of shrine to the three.

Buddy Holly means a lot to me. I was only 9 years old when he died but had been listening to his songs on the radio for a few years by that time. It was Buddy Holly who made me want to pick up a guitar, long before the Beatles and Bob Dylan. ‘Not Fade Away’ and ‘Peggy Sue’ were two of the first songs I learned on the first guitar I had, a beat up nylon string that my brother and I bought together for $25.

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