LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Jerry Allison was back in the home where he wrote the lines to “That’ll Be The Day,” with a music legend and Lubbock’s favorite son, Buddy Holly.
The drummer recited the lines first composed in his old bedroom: “When Cupid shot his dart, he shot it at your heart, so if we ever part …”
“That sounded pretty good to me, and so we tried it out the next weekend at the roller rink,” Allison said, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (http://bit.ly/18Dhq7V ).
Allison and other band-mates from the Crickets gathered in Lubbock this weekend to mark what would have been Holly’s 77th birthday. More than a half-century ago, Holly’s life was cut short at 22 by a plane crash in Iowa that also claimed 28-year-old J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and 17-year-old Ritchie Valens.
The Buddy Holly Center opened its doors for free Saturday, Holly’s birthday.
Allison’s childhood home has been placed on the eastern side of the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, where Holly was born. Standup bass player Joe B. Mauldin and singer Sonny Curtis joined him for Friday’s ribbon-cutting.
According to Allison, Holly came up with the title of the song, “That’ll Be The Day,” from a line in a John Wayne movie.
A Nashville producer would say it was the worst song he ever heard. But the Crickets didn’t give up. They re-recorded the song, which later became the first song recorded by the Quarrymen, the forerunner of the Beatles.
“Paul McCartney did tell me that if there hadn’t been the Crickets, there never would have been the Beatles,” Allison said.
Renovating the home took about a year and cost $148,000, financed through private donations.
A full drum kit is on display in Allison’s childhood bedroom, as are photos of old friends.
The weekend gave Allison and others a chance to reminisce about nights spent with Holly in a ’55 Oldsmobile parked in the driveway. Allison they would “just talk about songs and girls and Elvis.”
“And sometimes we’d just enjoy a Coca-Cola, spelled b-e-e-r,” he added.
Information from: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, http://www.lubbockonline.com