Memories of Buddy Holly compiled by Jim Dawson and Spencer Leigh
I’ve wrapped up the standard biographies of Buddy Holly, and now I’ve dipped into the other sources–
This book is a satisfying compilation for a reader of Buddy Holly books, though it doesn’t take the place of a plain old biography. Instead, this book consists of brief (paragraph or so) statements from Buddy Holly’s family, friends, the Crickets, colleagues, and other musicians. This makes the book easy to pick up for just a moment, because there are natural breaks on each page.
While I recognize many of the quotes and anecdotes from other books, this format is enjoyable because it presents the story differently. You can almost pretend all the participants got together at a big party to honor Buddy and told their favorite stories about him. The compilers were clever in the way they strung the quotes together, because the book really gives the feeling that many of the quotes are a response to what was just stated.
There are also some new items here that I haven’t read elsewhere, such as record reviews, concert reviews (some not so positive—which haven’t shown up in the other books), behind-the-scene stories from those on the inside (Waylon Jennings, telling about Buddy trying to communicate with him on stage, and finally coming back to yell in his ear, in somewhat creative language, to turn the bass down), and comments from fans (Doug McLeod: “When Buddy Holly came on, he was of course the last performer. He had his Stratocaster guitar on a guitar rack on the stage, and it sat there all night long. The others had to play around it.” [pp. 83-84])
As a whole, quite a satisfying book.
In other Buddy Holly reading news: Recently I also attempted to read Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue? by Peggy Sue Gerron and Glenda Cameron. Check out the verb construction in that sentence, which says it all.
So, methinks this wraps up the Buddy Holly Reading Spree… but I reserve the right to go “changing all those changes that I made when I left you.”
(And, actually, soon I’ll be talking about one terrific-wonderful autobiography that relates to Buddy… so I’m nothing but a big huge liar. Stay tuned.)
And, yes, I’m missing Buddy already, so let’s listen to his speaking voice in this 1957 interview: