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Posts Tagged ‘Buddy Holly’

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David Hepworth – music journalist and writer, who has won numerous awards for his work, here presents a book which – as the subtitle suggests – catalogues the rise and fall of the rock star. Hepworth believes that there are no more bona fide rock stars; there are pop stars and other music stars, but rock stars were something else entirely (with the ‘rock’ part of the term not necessarily referring to that genre of music). And that something is a mystique, an allure that celebrities can no longer have in this age of social media, where nothing is secret and the smallest details of a star’s life becomes public knowledge almost immediately.

He charts this journey from 1955 to 1994, in an unusual and extremely readable way. Every year he takes a significant day from one rock star’s life, that had an effect not only on the person in question but on the world as a whole.

There are far too many to list, but all the major stars you would expect appear here: Dylan, The Beatles, The Stones, Bowie, Springsteen, Prince, Michael Jackson. And there are others – Bob Geldof (his day being Live Aid), Freddie Mercury (the day he died), Duran Duran (the making of the controversial Girls On Film video), Buddy Holly (also the day he died). Each chapter is short – less than 10 pages – and ends with a list of significant singles and albums from that particular year.

I found the book absolutely fascinating, and even when a chapter featured someone I am not particularly interested in, such is the writing that it made me interested. This book can either be read in huge chunks, or you can dip in and out of it, but whichever way you choose to read it, I highly recommend it to anybody interested in music and stardom.

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As the subtitle suggests, this musical tells the story of Buddy Holly – or at least the story of his rise to fame, for the show starts while Buddy is looking for a record deal. Naturally it contains all his most famous songs, and given just how well known and loved those songs are, it must be a daunting task to take on the role.

Full disclosure here – I probably would not have gone to see this show if I hadn’t been taking my mother, who really likes Buddy Holly’s music, given that she spent much of her youth listening to it. But along I went, looking forward to an enjoyable afternoon, and I have to say this show delivered enjoyment by the bucketload. Alex Fobbester played Buddy (he alternates performances with Glen Joseph), and he was absolutely fantastic. Like the rest of the cast, Fobbester played his instruments live during the performance  and they did full and complete justice to the songs.

The story charts his career, taking in his marriage to Maria Elena, and his fallout with backing band The Crickets.

The second half of the show is given over to a performance of touring show that Holly was doing with The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens when all three were killed in a plane crash in 1959. This gives Thomas Mitchells and Jordan Cunningham playing Big Bopper and Valens respectively the chance to shine, as they perform those singers’ most famous songs – Chantilly Lace (Big Bopper) and La Bamba (Valens) – and they both thrilled the crowd.

The entire audience were up on their feet clapping along by the end of the show, with many of us dancing in the aisles. The standing ovation that the cast received at the end was very well deserved. And me? I am most definitely a Buddy Holly convert, and am in fact sitting typing this with Buddy Holly’s music playing in the background. For a career that last less than two years, this man gave the world of music a precious gift and a lasting influence. Whether you are a Buddy fan or not, I strongly recommend this show.

For anyone who is interested, here is a list of songs that feature in this production:

Rose of Texas

Rip It Up

Changing all those Changes

That’s Be the Day

You’ve Got Love

Brown Eyed Handsome Man

Everyday

Shout

Not Fade Away

Peggy Sue

Words of Love

Oh Boy

Listen to Me

Think it Over

Well Alright

True Love Ways

It’s So Easy

Why Do Fools Fall In Love?

Chantilly Lace

Maybe Baby

Peggy Sue Got Married

Heartbeat

La Bamba

Raining In My Heart

It Doesn’t Matter Anymore

Rave On

Johnny B. Goode

 

 

 

 

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