A future country music legend, then just a bass player, gave up his seat to one of those who perished. Another band member would lose a coin toss for his seat. Both would be shaken by those events for the rest of their lives.
Today, travelers on the road to somewhere else, stop at the cornfield to pay homage to the first stars of a new genre of music, and to the memory of the youthful dreams of an entire generation. Nothing much has changed there except for a stainless steel memorial placed in tribute. It marks the spot, where Buddy Holly, J.P. Richardson and Richie Valens were killed, on the day the music died.
A 13-year old paperboy went to school the next morning “in shock,” and recalled, “nobody cared. Rock ‘n Roll in those days was sort of like hula hoops and Buddy hadn’t had a big hit on the charts since 57.”
A long long time ago
I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a whileBut February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more stepI can’t remember if I criedWhen I read about his widowed brideSomething touched me deep insideThe day the music died
Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame the Recording Industry of America chose Don McLean’s American Pie as the fifth greatest song of the 20th Century.
McLean called his song a complicated parable, open to different interpretations. “People ask me if I left the lyrics open to ambiguity. Of course I did. I wanted to make a whole series of complex statements. The lyrics had to do with the state of society at the time… a loss of innocence.”