Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Fighting Back, Speeders, -and- Jersey Girls

Fighting Back - TV anchorwoman fends off burglars
Speeders - drivers full of excuses
Jersey Girls - trio of young women exact revenge

On this day in history: February 3, 1959 - The Day the Music Died: A small plane carrying The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson), Buddy Holly, and Richie Valens crashes near Mason City, Iowa, while en route to a show in Fargo, North Dakota.

Born on this day in history: February 3, 1956 - Nathan Lane (1956-) Born Joseph Lane in Jersey City, NJ, actor Nathan Lane made a splash on Broadway in 1992, opposite George C. Scott in "Present Laughter" and went on to win awards in several plays written by Terrence McNally. In 1996, Lane made it big in films with a scene-stealing performance in "The Birdcage" (1978). In 2001, Lane lit up Broadway again in the Mel Brooks mega-hit "The Producers."

Scripture of the Day: This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. - 1 John 4:9

Video of the Day: "Oh Boy" - Buddy Holly Live

In one of music's most tragic accidents, a light plane carrying three people who changed the face of rock forever crashed in an Iowa field shortly after leaving a concert on February 3, 1959. Buddy Holly had chartered the plane to take his band to their next gig in North Dakota while other artists and staff took the usual means of tour bus.

Ritchie Valens had just released "La Bamba" a month before the accident claimed his life. He was 17 years old. He is the first Latino rock 'n' roll artist to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Jimmy Page once said, "Valens was my first guitar hero and I played that bridge to 'La Bamba' a thousand times." Led Zeppelin later ripped off Valens' song "Ooh! My Head," renaming it "Boogie With Stu," and took credit for it. They were sued and settled out of court. The Ramones did a cover of the Valens song "Come On Let's Go" and Los Lobos' note-for-note redo of La Bamba went to #1 on the charts. He has not, to date, been inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame.

Jiles Perry Richardson, age 28, AKA The Big Bopper had his start as a hilarious and energetic radio DJ and was famous for "Chantilly Lace" - the third-most-played radio song of 1958. He wasn't even supposed to be on the plane. He was sick with the flu and worn out, so he asked Buddy Holly's bassist, Waylon Jennings, if he would allow him to have his seat on the plane so he could rest and have time to see a doctor once they landed.

Buddy Holly, age 22, is considered one of the founding fathers of rock 'n' roll and was rock's first major songwriter, making a historic impact after only 18 months in the business. Here's a lesson for those who hear "no" and get discouraged; Decca Records told Holly he wasn't quite good enough when they first signed him and to go back home to Texas and practice. He did and made "That'll Be The Day." Buddy Holly and the Crickets brought such classics as "Peggy Sue" and "Rock Around the Clock" to the world. Click to enlarge.

While all tragedy saddens me, certainly, there is no tragic event in music history that saddens me as much as does the death of these three young performers. On the anniversary of this tragedy each year, I still feel great sadness. The years have not diminished this.

I was 14 years old when this tragedy occurred. I was a budding rock star, and a good deal of my early guitar technique came as a result of playing along with Buddy Holly records.