Jim Shelley & Book Of Kills

Buddy Holly's Passing

Syd Vicious died on this day in 1979. Heroin, I think. Doesn't matter whether it was drugs or puppies. Regardless, he's dead.

On this day, in 1959, Buddy Holly played his last-ever live show. Of course, he would die in a plane crash the next day.

Now I can't say that I spend much time listening to his music, but I like it and I do understand what a monumental talent he was. Without Buddy Holly would there have been The Beatles? I'm not so sure. Again...the thing that vexes me most about his early death is the loss of his future achievements. This is a man who by the time he'd hit twenty-one had already written "That'll Be The Day", "Peggy Sue", "It's So Easy", "Not Fade Away", "Maybe Baby", "Words of Love", "Love's Made A Fool Of You", "It Doesn't Matter Anymore", "Oh Boy!", "Rave On", and a number of other classics.

As I've written before, I cannot fail to wonder around this time every year what Holly might have accomplished had he not died at the age of 23. Remember, he would have only been 31 at the end of 1967. I think he was enough of a restless innovator that we can assume he would have continued to explore new musical paths throughout the '60s. I don't think he would've followed the same course as his contemporaries such as Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and others, and simply recycled his '50s sound endlessly. Granted, the great majority of musicians have created their best music by 30, but I wonder if that would've been true of Holly.