Friday, February 5, 2010

Rant #188: The Day the Music Died-Two Days Late

Just the other day, an anniversary passed pretty much without a whimper.

It passed me by too.

It was “the day that the music died,” when the 51st anniversary of the terrible plan crash that took three of the music world’s biggest stars from us—Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper.

The incident was immortalized forever in Don McLean’s song “American Pie,” and for some, it signaled the end of the innocence associated with the 1950s.

I was a little younger than two years old when this incident happened, so I really don’t have any recollection of it at all, except when I later heard about it as I became enamored with rock ‘n roll.

But to some, it is as profound an incident as when President Kennedy was assassinated a few years later.

During their few years entertaining us, Holly, Valens and the Big Bopper—Jiles Perry “J.P.” Richardson—left a huge body of work that, all these years later, has found its way to the newest, high-tech mediums.

The music is out there, one only has to look for it.

Films have been made about the crash, and about Holly and Valens. A film about the Big Bopper was in the works, but I haven’t heard much about it recently.

How does “the day the music died” relate to today’s world?

I don’t rightfully have the answer to that question. I doubt too many kids know about the incident or the people that perished. I doubt that many kids questioned anyone when they heard Madonna’s horrid remake of “American Pie” a few years back.

But the incident—and the song—still have their place in today’s world.

Life is a precious thing, thrown away by people who don't realize this (see Leif Garrett and Gary Coleman rants). The principles involved have grown bigger as our memories of them, as they were, have continued to grow through the latest media.

And if our kids happen to ask us who they were, we can give them the right answers.

The incident is part of history, and kids should know about it too.

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