Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Buddy Holly

The unfailingly good-humoured Tom Dunne Show on Newstalk is this morning playing music by Buddy Holly - as I write this I'm listening to Heartbeat. Today's the 51st anniversary of his death so why not. This was the music of my early adolescence and so never to be forgotten. In those days we got all our decent music on Radio Luxembourg in the early evening. It brought us the likes of Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eddie Cochran and of course Elvis. But Buddy was always my favourite. His plangent bitter-sweet ballads were especially attuned to the adolescent sensibility - check out What to Do and Crying Waiting Hoping. And he played exciting rock and roll with songs like Rave On and Not Fade Away. He had a homespun authenticity that made him a more empathetic figure than most of his peers. And then of course the tragic early death - he was only 22. What he would have become - a tired Las Vegas act, the greatest singer song-writer in the history of the universe, a drink and drug burnout - remains locked forever in the realms of conjecture.