Not Fade Away: The Life and Music of Buddy Holly by John R. Gribbin
Yes, another one. I know. It’s getting a little obsessive. (At least this was the word tossed out at book club when I launched into my four fun facts about the song “Peggy Sue.”)
After reading four prior books about Buddy Holly, this one was bound to feel like a bit of a repeat. So I’ll focus here on the things that set it apart.
First, it’s by a British author, so as in the Philip Norman book, we get that perspective. Since Buddy was always bigger in the U.K. than he was here in the States, I am glad to get this view. My favorite new anecdote from this book is this one, from Buddy Holly and the Crickets’ British tour:
“As an example of Buddy’s stage banter, on this tour he used to introduce ‘Rip It Up’ like this:
Here’s a sad little song with tender lyrics that really tell a story. This tune is likely to reduce you all to tears, not because of the sadness of the words, but on account of the pathetic way we sing it.” (p. 121)
Second, the author includes a couple of recommended iPod playlists, which both surprised and delighted me.
And third, he pretty much slammed the Ellis Amburn book I really liked. OK then.
This book is less than 200 pages in length, so there’s not a lot of detail. But I’d say it’s a good book for someone who wants the condensed version of Buddy Holly’s life story.