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Buddy Liverpool Tribute50 years later

Buddy Liverpool Tribute50 Jahre danach . .



JO_FOX                   My good buddy JO

                                        Copyright 2006 Jo Fox, author.

                           All rights reserved by Hans W. Finking, editor.

                                         MY   MEMORABLE   NIGHT

                                                      by  Jo  Fox


Ich habe Jo Fox im Discussion Board von buddyholly.com (geschlossen am

4.1.2008 auf Betreiben des Eigentümers) kennengelernt und war sofort

fasziniert von ihrer wunderbaren Schilderung des Auftrittes von Buddy Holly

und den Crickets während der U.K. - Tour 1958. Sie hat ihn live in Liverpool

erlebt und schildert dieses Ereignis mit viel Herzblut. Dazu kommt, dass sie

eine geniale Sammlung von Zeitungsauschnitten hat, das ist superselten

und absolut erste Sahne.

Bei Jo kann ich mich nur bedanken und es als einen glücklichen Zufall

empfinden, dass wir beide im Internet zusammenkamen, um diesen Report

ganz exklusiv auf meiner Webseite zu veröffentlichen.

Die Menge Text macht es mir unmöglich, das alles zu übersetzen.

Normalerweise können Fans von Buddy Englisch.

Danke für das Verständnis und viel Vergnügen beim Lesen und Schauen.


        Buddy during

     U.K. Tour in 1958.

I was fifteen when I first heard of Buddy on Radio Luxemburg. It was the
only source of this new pop music. On British radio all you could hear was
big bands like Mantovani, Henry Hall and smaller bands like Ronnie Keene.
For singers we had the likes of The Tanner Sisters, Mario Lanza and David
Whitfield.  All so very tame.


The station

of the stars:



But Radio Luxemburg was the salvation of young teenagers like us. We could hear all the up and coming artists like Little Richard and Gene Vincent and Elvis - heard him when he was still unknown in the UK! It was something that really lit up our eyes.

I was attending art school at the time and we would play "Hound Dog" and other contemporary records in our break times as there was a 'club' in the college complete with its own bar and a worn-out record player!

                                           July 1958

But I left the art college and went to another college to study for a career
in nursing. It was around that time that I heard this strange new sound on
RL. Even the intro made me sit up and take notice, even before the singer
started to sing!


I was instantly hooked big time and was down at the record
shop the very next day to get the record.

But they didn't have it in yet and
I had to wait what seemed like ages before I had one in my hands!

                                                         December 1958

It was the same with every other Crickets single that came out. I was always first to the store and not infrequently disappointed! I used to take New Musical Express every week. I can still remember the day I read those magic words "Crickets To Tour UK"!! I didn't stop yelling and jumping up and down for ages! Luckily I was alone in the house at the time!

My father and mother ran a small grocery shop where we lived in Chester and would display a poster for the local theatre.

As a remuneration, he would get two free tickets for the Monday night performance so my best friend and I always went.

Buddy_Tickets.jpgWe saw some 'names' with our free seats - Terry Dene, Gene
Vincent and lots of others I've long since forgotten.

But Buddy was appearing in Liverpool. Happily, my friend and I had been to Liverpool before to see Paul Anka though I went to see The John Barry Seven who was on the tour with him.

John Barry is now famous as the composer of the iconic "Dr No" theme that always accompanies James Bond movies. He was also responsible for "Midnight Cowboy", "Out of Africa" and my special favourite, "Dances with Wolves". But I loved his music with the John Barry Seven early in 1957!

So my dad and my friend's dad were agreeable to let us go to Liverpool to
see Buddy. We went to the ticket agent in Chester to buy two seats in the
front row stalls. He said they were all sold out but he had two seats in the
front row of the balcony. We happily agreed as with our experience in going
to the local theatre, we supposed that the balcony would be really close to
the stage and we'd have an ace good view.

Liverpool_poster.jpgNothing could have been further from the truth. The venue was the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall which meant it was built for acoustics rather than visualization. In other words, the stage was so far away from us, anyone on it resembled tin soldiers at the far end of a billiard table. I was crushingly disappointed. Still, we were in the front row. (The archivist at the LP tells me that the tickets I have were for the third row back but he's either wrong or we switched seats as my friend lost an item out of her coat pocket -a comb or something- and we leaned over the balcony and watched it falling down onto the seats below. Couldn't have done that from the third row!)

Except that it turned out that the stalls below were ¾ empty, just the front
ten or fifteen rows occupied. Imagine how peeving that was to strain to see
them with all those empty seats in front of us, not to mention the effect it
must have had on Buddy at all ! The circle was jam packed but now knowing how poor his eyesight was, he probably wasn't aware of that! Still, we could
hear him just as well!





First impressions of the theatre was that the stage was bare - but I mean
BARE! It was also, as I recall, somewhat gloomy. Being a concert hall, there
were no curtains, of course and the stage was more like a big catwalk. Even
Ronnie Keene's band didn't make much of an impression on the space. All the artists had to walk out from the wings which seemed like a long, lonely walk.


A rare

CD insert.

As I recall, we had the first intro from Ronnie Keene. Waiting for all his
band to troop out and take their places was really boring! Then (a very
young) Des O'Connor did a piece and even then was excruciatingly funny -
I've always liked Des!

Buddy_Holly_London_Palladium.jpgThe Tanner Sisters was a typical trio of female singers (yawn) and more Des then the first half closed with Gary Miller (another yawn)! He sang really yukky romantic ballads like "Unchained Melody"! We were a very impatient audience and even then were stomping and slow clapping - we wanted BUDDY!!

The second half opened with the band - who, I think, stayed to provided
extra backing for the group but to be honest, I really can't remember; as
far as I was concerned, the stage was full of Buddy, Joe and Jerry! -
and Des again who, at last, at last, introduced the boys. Well, 16 year olds
do tend to have tunnel vision mentality!

Disc_Buddy_Holly.jpgSo at last they all trooped out, Jerry first to take his place at the drums,
then Joe B carrying his double bass which was almost as big as he was!

And finally came Buddy to an explosion of cheers and screams - Beatles eat your
heart out!! Considering that the theatre was half empty, we did him proud in
decibels, I think!

Then came the awfully embarrassing interlude with the plug.

What it was that Buddy plugged his lead into the amp and started to play but nothing happened!! He unplugged it and plugged it in again, picked at his guitar but still nothing. He looked around and around and then finally
picked up the electric cable from the back of the amp and followed it along,
hand over hand but the end was hanging loose over the edge of the stage
leaving him just standing there with the plug in his hand!! It wasn't even
plugged in! Thing was, in those days also, we had a variety of different
plug sizes including 5amp and 15amp. So finding your plug didn't fit was not
an uncommon occurrence!

So the boys left the stage, there was a bit of a flurry of people and all
the other artists came back out to do their best to entertain us for over
half an hour!! It appeared they had to send out for an electrician to change
the plug! After an absolute age, he arrived and sat on the front of the
stage removing one plug and fitting another but he got interested in the
performance and just sat there watching, hands still until Des somewhat
desperately begged him to get on with it, telling him "We're dying up here,
get a move on!"

Very quickly too, we were slow clapping and stomping our feet as well! BAD
fans!! (Hate to think what today's fans would have done!!)

Eventually the electrician did finish and to a second rapturous reception,
Buddy  and the lads came back out and got on with their set.

{Recently I obtained a CD of a Radio 2 programme where various people gave their reminiscences about the UK tour. It was fronted by Joe Brown and I hadn't heard it before. On it, Des O'Connor and Jimmy Tarbuck - who was apparently waiting for the second performance - had different takes on this event which, apparently, re-occurred during the second show. They said it was something to do with a fault on his amplifier. Perhaps they are right,after all, they were closer to him than I could ever be but I can only tell what I saw happen with my own eyes.

And I know changing a plug looks like for, even at that age, I was pretty adept at doing it for myself!

I reckon the boys were on stage for well over an hour. Some songs rang
straight from one to the next though  Buddy introduced a few with some
attempts at funnies in between though I wouldn't go so far as to describe
them as jokes! He did a bit of chat between songs, saying how much he was
enjoying seeing England and meeting his English fans. That went down well!
As far as I can recall, neither of the others spoke, though. Buddy did all

According the notes I made in my program they sang

1. Every Day
2. That'll Be The Day
3. Peggy Sue
4. Maybe Baby
5. Oh Boy
6. Great Balls Of Fire
7. Bebopalula
8. Rip It Up
9. Ready Teddy

During one of the songs - think it might have been "Oh Boy" - Joe B did some spectacular stunts with his bass, getting down first on his knees and thenlaying on his back, and finally lifting the instrument up on his feet, still playing up a storm!Jerry did a drum solo I think but Buddy was just straight, stand up playing and singing! He was, however, quite active and jitterbugged around all the time. It got a few of the folk in the stalls on their feet to jive in the gangways but our seats were very restrictive so we couldn't join in.

I wouldn't have anyway - all I wanted to do was watch the boys !!

Now an orchestral hall has a semicircle of seats around the back of the
stage for the choral in classical performances and these were all occupied
by a large group of Americans from a local air base. (No - don't ask me why
- who'd want to only see the backs of the stars?!)

Apparently they had to catch a train and since Buddy was now running almost

40 minutes late, they all got up and left while he was in the middle of his act!!

It was whilst he was introducing "Great Balls Of Fire" that they suddenly got up

and left, making such a racket with the flip-up seats going up and them

picking up all their bags and the shopping they had done earlier and talking aloud

in the doing of,  that Buddy had to stop and wait until they were gone! 

He looked around and watched them departing with some little bewilderment

and with a shrug of his shoulders just said "When you gotta go, you gotta go!!"

What a way to treat a star!!

There was an encore which I think was probably "Ready Teddy" but by then I was just in seventh heaven and only aware that I was in the same room as
Buddy! Oh, how I would have loved to have gone to the stage door and waited - all night if needs be - but as I said, since the show was running almost an hour late, my friend and I had to run to catch the last train back!

Sad, sad, sad! When I think of all the stars I did meet, Gene Vincent, Paul Anka, John Barry, Terry Dene (?) to name but a few - but time ran out on us that night and my dad was jumpy enough about allowing me to go to Liverpool unaccompanied in any case.

But it was certainly one of those "nights to remember".

BTW, the show was absolutely, stunningly, wonderfully, fantastically and
humungously brilliant! I had seen lots of the stars of the day by that time
and Buddy certainly rated as not just the best but the best by about a
thousand miles - but then perhaps I'm just a teensy bit biased, don't you

As a result of preparing this article, I've just searched out my copy of the tour program and what have I found? What I always presumed to be the program is, in fact, a book of songs and that's what I used as a scrap book!

The actual program is inside and not defaced save for my notes about which songs they sung and the order (plus a few hearts pencilled around his name!).

Other than that it's in mint condition having spent all of its life safely tucked up inside this song book!

I also found a regular cornucopia of clippings including a couple of interviews and even one written by Buddy himself!

These were:

New Musical Express 8th September 1957 "The Crickets"
article including a photo of the boys with Niki Sullivan and Bob Thiele
(head of Coral) with a calendar and pointing to Oct 1st 1957 which was the
predicted date of "That'll Be The Day" reaching 1m sales.
Melody Maker January 1958 Interview with Buddy by unkown journalist.
New Musical Express March 7th 1958 "Holly-Crickets give us the loudest rock show yet!"
New Musical Express March 28th 1958 "Buddy Holly says 'We had a real ball!'"
Hit Parade April 1958 " "I scoured London for a new sports car" writes Buddy Holly."
New Musical Express June 13th 1958 "Buddy Holly is getting into the
Presley-Donegan-Boone disc class."
Disc September 1958 "Buddy Holly fans are loyal to him"
Hit Parade October 1958 "The Crickets"
Hit Parade November 1959 "Buddy Holly is still a potent force in big beat"

1958 "The Real Buddy Holly"
1957 announcement of the UK tour (?Daily Mirror)
Aug 8th 1958 "Crickets can win their 'fourth test'." (?Daily Mirror)
February 6th 1959 "Buddy Holly package show was coming here." (?Daily
1958 "Sitting on a table in his dressing room at Hammersmith Gaumont on
Tuesday evening...."
1959 "Now it's Buddy without his buddies!" (?Daily Mirror)

Plus various smaller clippings and photographs from newspapers and

Throughout the following months, I played Buddy's records constantly. My
parents complained - well they were square, weren't they?!! But it made no
difference. I began a lifelong dalliance with writing when I started writing
short stories with the three boys as my principle characters! I still have
some of those early scribbles (and no I am not going to share them!!).

Eventually I left college and started my nursing career and, thank God, all
my Buddy stuff went with me much to the indignation of my father who had to carry the suitcase across a fair bit of London! Residency was obligatory in
those days but in the sitting room was a record player so I was still able
to play all my records. They were very popular amongst my fellow students.

Then one morning when I came down to breakfast, I found my friends sitting with very somber expressions. They kept exchanging these strange glances but mostly were just staring at their plates.

I was mystified until one of them asked me if I'd seen the papers that morning. When I said I hadn't she produced a Daily Mirror from under the table and showed it to me.

Daily_Mirror_Crash_Headlines.jpgThe headlines stunned me; to such a degree I don't think I reacted at all.

I ate my breakfast and went on duty to the female geriatric ward where I was working. I went through the day in a kind of haze and when I got off at lunch time, I took my records down the sitting room and played them over and over until I cried. It was the saddest time of my life at that moment and I thought I should never feel good again.

It was, needless to say, February 4th 1959, less than a year since that wonderful evening in Liverpool.


Jo in


only two





                                          London 1961

They say that nearly everyone can remember what they were doing when Kennedy was shot and I would suggest that the same would be true for the 9-11 attack on the twin towers.

But I can remember that day like it was yesterday. However, not as quite clearly as I remember 28th March 58 when I was 16 years old!!


                                   HANS, Keeper of the flame


Hi Hans,
Hi, it's Steve O'Connor here from Australia and I've really enjoyed browsing your wonderful web-site. Wow! what fantastic tribute to Buddy Holly (the Legend). People say and do some really nice tributes and you are no exception (you are a great guy yourself).

I know Buddy would be tickled pink to know how you have remembered him and I thank-you Hans (Keeper of the Flame) for sharing your love for Buddy with us all.

Also I thought the article your friend Jo Fox added to your site was absolutely terrific reading, What a lovely lady.

I will return again to read more on your site as time is against me at the moment. I'll put a link on my page.

Well done Hans, take care and bye for now.