Monday, 2 February 2009

Three Stars - Reminiscing

Anyone who’s making the effort to read this must know that today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of rock ‘n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. The fatal crash sent shockwaves around the world and within 48 hours Tommy Dee and Eddie Cochran had recorded the tribute song Three Stars. Listen to how cut-up Eddie is when he sings about his mate Buddy, chokes you up to hear it even now. Decades later Don Maclean had a worldwide hit with American Pie which remembers "the day the music died".

I know most people would disagree with me but I don’t really rate Ritchie Valens. I loved the film and thought the love-hate relationship between the two brothers was excellently portrayed. Laa Bamba is a vibrant slab of Hispanic rock 'n' roll but most of his catalogue leaves me cool. The Big Bopper might not be the greatest rocker that ever lived but he's someone I don’t mind. Not the over-the-top gimmicky stuff but the country rockers where the Texas crew shine in the grooves.

Buddy Holly on the other hand was an absolute legend. His rockers were up there with the best of the period and his ballads were almost years ahead of their time. I’ve never seen mention of this and it’s probably because I’m way off the mark, but to me, Roy Orbison carried on Buddy’s career for him. True Love Ways and It Doesn’t Matter Anymore were the forerunners for the Big O ballads that he was to make his name with. When you listen to the boisterous rockabilly of Rock Around With Ollie Vee and then Raining In My Heart you see what a journey the guy made in such a short space of time. He developed more in two years than most artists do in a lifetime and he had the potential to go beyond the rock ‘n’ roll charts for decades to come. He would have been a serious artist who could have gone down the route Bobby Darin later chose or gone through he genres ala Elvis. He was a skilled musician with a wonderful that might have seen him content to be a studio guy or at worst, a Tin Pan Alley writer making a comfortable living in a New York life with Marie Elena.

Who knows, what might of happened. All I know is that it seems appropriate that I’m sat here in mid Wales remembering the Three Stars with a snow blizzard taking place outside my window. The three of them will never be forgotten and that’s the way it should always be. Rave On.

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