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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Ready to rock? Buddy Holly tribute comes to town

Aug 31, 2018 06:16AM ● By Jan Weeks

Get out the saddle shoes and white bucks, the poodle skirts and pegged pants. Community Concerts of the Grand Valley brings “Not Fade Away: The Ultimate Buddy Holly Experience” to the Grand Junction High School auditorium on Thursday, September 27.

The tribute band wants to keep the legendary music created by Holly and the other rock and roll pioneers alive and relevant—edgy enough to bring it into today’s music scene while not forgetting the importance of the music’s place in history and the impact it had on the world.

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The day the music died

For those who may not know the story, Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens weren’t supposed to be in Clear Lake, Iowa, on their 1959 “Winter Dance Party” tour. The unscheduled stop at the Surf Ballroom left them tired and ready for a brief rest. The manager of the ballroom booked them a charter flight to Fargo, North Dakota.

The Big Bopper, aka J.P. Richardson, had the flu and didn’t want to endure the trip in a bus with no heat. Since there was room for only three passengers, he persuaded Waylon Jennings, the bass player, to give up his seat. Ritchie Valens and guitarist Tommy Allsup flipped a coin to see who would fill the third seat. Valens won.

The plane took off from Mason City’s airport a few minutes before 1 a.m. on February 3. Five minutes later, all aboard were dead after the plane crashed in a field. Yet their music is as popular today as it was 60 years ago. They may be gone, but they’ll never be forgotten.

Get season tickets

Tickets for the 2018-19 season are still available at $80 for adults and $40 for students, and will get you in to all seven concerts. Individual show tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students, and are available at or call 243-1979. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Seating is first come, first served and costumes and ’50s attire are encouraged!

Ticket giveaway: Shake, rattle and roll ’50s photo contest!

Send in your best shot from the ’50s or a shot inspired by the ’50s (costumes are encouraged) for a chance to win two tickets to “Not Fade Away: The Ultimate Buddy Holly Experience” on September 27. Winner will be notified by Thursday, September 20, and the winning photo will be featured in October’s BEACON.

Three ways to enter:

  1. Mail your photo to BEACON Senior News, PO Box 3895, Grand Junction, CO 81502. Please include your name and phone number.
  2. Upload your photo here.
  3. Email us your photo, name and phone number.

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