IT’S 60 years this month since Buddy Holly and his band came to England and played a handful of shows in theatres around the country, shows which were to end up being his only ones in the UK before his untimely death a year later in February 1959 in the tragic plane crash which also took the lives of fellow rockers Richie Valens and The Big Bopper.
To commemorate the series of shows Buddy played here, legendary tribute Buddy Holly and The Cricketers have teamed up with the English Rock Orchestra, and are in the middle of a huge nationwide tour which visits some of the theatres Buddy Holly played on the exact dates 60 years ago.
The tour finishes this Sunday night in Manchester at the Opera House. Buddy Holly never visited our city, and when I asked the show’s producer why this current tour was finishing here, I was told ‘because it’s about time we put that right’. The show is a celebration of the music created in the short life of Buddy Holly, without whom we wouldn’t know music as it is now. He was a major influence on the likes of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, he was the first rock n roll star to use an orchestra on his hits, and as John Lennon said, he was the man who made it cool to wear glasses.
Before his death Buddy told a reporter he would like to live in England, as once rock n roll dies the next musical period will be brought to life in the UK. How right he was. Buddy Holly and The Cricketers with the English Rock Orchestra play at Manchester Opera House, this Sunday. Tickets available from the venue box office.