60th Anniversary of Buddy Holly’s Plane Crash
It was 60 years ago this Sunday that we lost several of rock n roll's most promising stars.
It was early in the morning on February 3, 1959 when a small plane crashed in a farm field near Clear Lake Iowa, following a concert starring Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens at the Surf Ballroom.
The three artists were at the top of their popularity in '59 with radio hits like "That'll Be The Day" "La Bamba" and "Chantilly Lace".
Years later the tragedy was immortalized as the "Day the Music Died" according to singer songwriter Don McLean in the lyrics of his 1971 hit song "American Pie"
The site of the crash has not changed much over the years. Just a simple hand made marker in the shape of Buddy Holly's black horn-rimmed glasses marks the point on the side of the road where fans can walk in to pay their respects.
If you visit the site you may find yourself moved by the fact that the location has been left in it's near original state, not commercialized with garish, over-the-top monuments.
I made a pilgrimage to the location shortly after coming to Cedar Rapids, and these photos I took reflect the mood of the simple shrine. It was truly a humbling experience to visit the place where "the music died". Long live rock n roll.