September 8th, 2011
06:07 PM ET
On what would have been Buddy Holly's 75th birthday, the rock and roll pioneer (finally!) got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Wednesday.
The ceremony took place just outside the Capitol Records building on Vine Street in Hollywood. Gary Busey was in attendance (naturally?), as was Holly's widow Maria Elena, Phil Everly of The Everly Brothers, fans and relatives of Holly. (Busey, of course, played Holly in 1978's "The Buddy Holly Story.")
A flash mob showed up wearing Buddy Holly glasses - they performed "Not Fade Away" and then shouted in unison: "Happy Birthday, Buddy Holly!"
The City of Los Angeles also declared September 7 Buddy Holly Day and played host to a star-studded tribute concert last night.
Born Charles Hardin Holley (if not for a record contract typo, the "e" would have remained) in Lubbock, Texas on September 7, 1936, Holly's hits included "That'll Be the Day," "Peggy Sue" (originally titled "Cindy Lou" but changed to honor Holly's Crickets bandmate's then-girlfriend - and later wife - Peggy Sue Gerron), "Rave On," "Oh Boy," "Everyday," "It's So Easy," "Heartbeat" and "It Doesn't Matter Anymore," among others.
Holly was killed on February 3, 1959 at the age of 22 in the plane crash that also claimed the lives of Ritchie Valens (whose hits included "La Bamba," "Oh Donna" and others) and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson (whose big hit was "Chantilly Lace"). Don McLean's 1971 song, "American Pie" aptly calls it "the day the music died." McLean was working as a paper boy when Holly died, and some of the lyrics are semi-autobiographical, e.g., "But February made me shiver with every paper I'd deliver... " / "I can't remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride... "
Even though Buddy Holly was far before my time, he's always been one of my favorite musicians. I didn't just jump on the rockabilly bandwagon, either - I "liked" him on Facebook years ago and "That'll Be the Day" is my most-played song on Spotify. However, the fact that he'd now be 75 doesn't blow me away the way it might my parents' or even my grandparents' generation.
What does floor me is the fact that Weezer's song "Buddy Holly" came out 17 years ago yesterday. Holy "Where do the years go?" Batman! That gives me flashbacks to high school, my weekend job at Gap Kids, and watching the awesome Spike Jonze-directed "Buddy Holly" video. Ah, the days when MTV aired videos...
The eponymous tune was released on what would have been Holly's 58th birthday - September 7, 1994. It was the second single released from Weezer's self-titled debut album (also known as The Blue Album).
In the video, Weezer is seen playing at Arnold's Drive-In diner from "Happy Days." Footage of the band is seamlessly spliced with clips from the '70s sitcom, such as The Fonz dancing to Weezer! Cast member Al Molinaro reprised his "Happy Days" role as "Al," (and barely aged a day, might I add).
What about you? Do your memories fall under the Buddy Holly camp or the "Buddy Holly" camp? And, regardless of your age, what's your favorite Buddy Holly song?
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