…that rock’n’roll dies. Down goes Daschle! Tax and bike path liberals. Plus more.
INDICTMENTS OF AMERICAN CULTURE
Re: Daniel J. Flynn’s The Day the Music Died :
While Don McLean’s song may indeed be a “surrealistic ode to the tragedy,” it involves far more than the Iowa plane crash. It’s an indictment of much of American culture, from that 1959 event through Sergeant Pepper. And, of course, for more than three decades, it’s kept people guessing.
Was the “widowed bride” Holly’s or was she Jacqueline Kennedy? Could Jack Flash be Mick Jagger? Is it Lenin or Lennon? The Manson murders, The Byrds, the threat of nuclear war, even the NFL’s decision to stage its games during America’s weekend of grief are referenced.
It’s a dazzling piece of allegory and metaphor, among the
greatest bits of writing in all of pop music, far more than a
lament about the passing of rock’s first era.
— Dennis Bergendorf
As a grizzed ‘ol graybeard from the days “before the music died”… I’ll always keep a warm spot for that era, its new music and the brief blast of youthful energy; often supported by nothin’ more than… “three chords and a cloud of dust.” It was a point in time that began a pop music trip that has lead us through generations of new sounds, changing styles and occasionally The Archies and bands called…Abba.
Hey, even The Mick struck-out on occasions.
I guess trying to link-up today’s rap music to Buddy and company is a long stretch for this old ear, Fact is, I’m reluctant to admit that I might being infected with the dreaded Fud Disease. Truth be told? While Buddy and Diddy may in fact be remotely linked, at my age, I just don’t have enough hair to go with the “corn rows” thing. Sadly, I’m probably a better candidate for the Kojak look.
Meanwhile, just wrapping up a 35-year career as an old school radio disk jockey — I’m reminded on this Iowa anniversery date as to just how brief a career in pop music can be after the hits dry up and “The Love Is Gone.”
A few years ago I read a quote from one of the legendary Everly Brothers as to what it takes to stay on top in pop: “Keep crankin’out the hits or they’ll forget ‘ya.” And that’s true of thousands who’ve cruised through the business since “The Day.” Frankly, it really didn’t long at all before the Donnas, Peggy Sues and Miss Mollys were going ga-ga over the next swingin’ pelvis in pink peggers.
As far as Buddy, Ritchie and The Bopper go — one of the most sobering comments I ever read was from an unknown source who said something like “Yeah, they were good; they just didn’t live long enough to…fail.”
I guess it’s kind of icky, but as far pop legacies go, maybe
that’s the best way to leave the building.
The event itself is beyond my memory experience…but the music of Buddy Holly became very important to me. Three-chord songs that any stumblebum with a guitar like me could play without trouble…lyrics that spoke to me and the life I was going through…even his appearance. To this day, I wear thick-rimmed glasses…I can say to the clerk that I want glasses “like Buddy Holly,” and get what I’m looking for.
It wasn’t the movie, it wasn’t any of the books…it was the music. I heard that, and then it was the movie, the books, and all the records I could find.