This past weekend, my family made an overnight trip to Lubbock, Texas for a tournament my daughter was in. I've wanted to visit Lubbock to see the Buddy Holly Center since it opened a few years back, but at 370 miles, it isn't a quick drive away. So here was a good opportunity.
I've been a fan of Buddy's music for a few decades now. His influence is undeniable. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Hollies...so many are indebted to the lanky Texan who, along with Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, was tragically was killed on February 3, 1959 in a small plane crash outside Clear Lake, Iowa. He was only 22 years old.
The Center's small but fascinating displays of Buddy's personal items — including his signature glasses found at the crash scene — give tremendous insight on a young musician who was bursting with creativity, technique and a true DIY ethic. I know Lubbock may not be on many travel destinations, but if you're visiting West Texas, it's definitely worth visiting.
This statue of Buddy, near the Center, was unveiled in 1980. Surrounding the statue is a West Texas Musicians Walk of Fame.
I find it very odd that El Pasoan Bobby Fuller (who made a hit of "I Fought the Law," written by Cricket Sonny Curtis). Holly's influence on Bobby Fuller was tremendous. Fuller died under mysterious circumstances at age 23 in 1966.
We traveled a few more miles so that I could pay my respects to Buddy at his gravesite, just a few dozen feet within the Lubbock Cemetery. He is buried to the left of his father.
Note: "Holley" is the correct spelling of Buddy's name. He adopted the shorter version after a botched spelling on a contract he signed.