Buddy Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and Ritchie Valens were all killed in a plane crash on February 3, 1959 while on their way to a gig. They were – and still are – respected among those who appreciate music, particularly including other musicians.
Don McLean wrote his famous song “American Pie” as a comment on this event. It referred to the crash as occurring on “The Day the Music Died.” It is now over a half century since that plane went down and the National Transportation Safety Board has expressed interest in reviewing the event using modern methods to determine the causes and circumstances of it.
According to McLean, the NTSB should leave well enough alone. As he said it:
Americans in those days were always looking ahead. Death as not lingered over. We’d had enough of that in World War II. Death and grief did not go with the exuberance and bright colors of the 1950s.
Since then we have embarked on what I would call the “American death trip.” One simply has to look at the slew of autopsy shows on television and the endless regurgitation of Marilyn, Elvis and JFK death details to get my point.
Furthermore, because of the ever-growing psychological power of the media, we seem to think we can reach back half a century and touch things as if they are real. We live in a virtual nostalgic world because of this. Fortunately, Buddy Holly’s music is forever young and all any young person has to do is listen to it and his life will be changed forever.
And I am impressed about how close these remarks are to Leonard Nimoy’s final tweet:
“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.”
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