- the Buddy Holly Story
A Bio-musical in 2 acts. Written by Alan Janes and Rob Bettinson.
Victoria Palace, London - 12 October, 1989. (5000+ perfs). Transferred
to Strand Theatre, London 1995
With the support of local radio DJ, Hipockets Duncan, Buddy and his
two friends form a Country & Western band - Buddy Holly & the
Crickets - and begin to carve out a career in music. After a difficult
start at Decca in Nashville, they sign a contract with up and coming,
innovative record producer Norman Petty. Within hours, Buddy Holly & the
Crickets start to churn out hits from the recording studio built in Norman's
backyard, among them "That'll Be The Day", which soon rockets
up the charts and reaches number one within two weeks. Buddy Holly & the
Crickets are suddenly the hottest act in the country and out on national
Whilst recording in New York, Buddy proposes to Maria Elena Santiago,
the Puerto Rican receptionist of his record publisher after a courtship
of all of five hours! Newly married and ambitious, he completely shifts
focus to New York and a rift develops between him and The Crickets. After
a declaration of home truths during a recording session, the band split
and Buddy unexpectedly finds himself having to pursue a solo career.
Buddy joins The Winter Dance Party, a bus tour through the Midwest
quenching the teenage thirst for the new music called Rock 'n' Roll.
The tour is hard work, the weather conditions appalling and the performers
are alternating between sleeping in the luggage racks and dropping into
hospital to be treated for frostbite.
Our story ends on Feb 3rd 1959 after a rocking concert at the Surf
Ballroom in Iowa. Buddy makes the fateful decision to break his promise
to his pregnant wife not to fly, as he and the other two head-liners
board a small plane and take off into the night destined for their next
show. During a snowstorm, in the dead of night, the plane crashes - there
were no survivors.
The tragedy shocks the world, snatching the lives of three of the world's
most dynamic musical talents: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big
Buddy Holly's brief life is immortalised in this dynamic and heart-rending
stage show. It's a celebration of the man, his music and life that catches
that unique mixture of innocence, determination, humour and charm that
was Buddy Holly."...and the rest is just Rock 'n' Roll..."