Richie Valens' Last Will and Testament | Powers Neal
Donna Fox, subject of Ritchie Valens's hit song "Donna," recalled, "He would have . The most surprising test of fate occurred when Ritchie Valens kept asking . had also been Ritchie Valens's manager, and this helped form a connection to. In Ritchie and Donna met at a garage party where Ritchie was playing. It was love at first sight. They shared two and a half years of memories and hearts. Feb. 5, Here's a story I neglected to post in my original coverage of “The Day the Music Died,” an interview with Donna Ludwig of.
Joe placed himself in the middle and Faud's right hand was kept free to write down on a writing pad any spiritual messages that might make their way through the veil. Miller recalls that the cards felt strange and that he became nauseated. Slowly, he turned each card with his left hand. Halfway through the deck, Jimmy grasped Joe's hand so tightly that the singer's fingernails dug deeply into the producer's knuckles, cutting into the flesh.
Faud began slowly writing down individual letters that created the message now being obtained from the beyond. When the cards were completely turned, Joe Meek screamed in pain and wrenched his hand free from the now equally terrified Miller. In horror the three men looked at the spiritual message that had been recorded by Faud. The message stated a date -- "February the third.
As Miller recalled it, Joe Meek was now a man filled with a terrible urgency. Not only was he a fan of Buddy Holly, but now he had only a few short weeks to get the message to Buddy to be extremely careful on February the third. Meek contacted record companies, music publishers, and any other inside sources that could carry the prophetic message of doom to the popular American singer.
When February 3,finally came and passed without incident, Miller said Joe felt relieved but still felt it was his responsibility to personally deliver the message to Holly when the singer and his backup group the Crickets arrived in Great Britain in mid-February to begin their UK tour.
When Meek told Holly the incredible events of the tarot reading the singer very politely thanked Joe for his concern and promised that he would always be extremely careful in the future when February the third would come around.
In an interview with the BBC at the tour's end, Holly remarked that his tour of England had been very strange. First, a fan threw a brick with an autograph book attached through his dressing room window, almost hitting him, and then he received a message telling him that he was going to die.
If only Buddy Holly had remembered Joe Meek's warning the next year when on February 3,Holly climbed into a small chartered airplane on a cold winter's night in Iowa. Fate would not present Buddy Holly with a second chance. Fate had a different outcome in mind for the members of Holly's backing band.
Drummer Carl Bunch was hospitalized due to his contracting severe frostbite on his feet. Providence would also play a major role in allowing both Waylon Jennings and Tommy Allsup to escape the one-way flight in the doomed Beechcraft Bonanza. The band was forced to honor a grueling schedule of performances. Sometimes they would be forced to travel over five hundred miles in one night following a performance. To make matters even more unbearable, the musicians were forced to travel on reconditioned school buses that kept breaking down during the long road trips.
Coupled with temperatures that reached twenty-five degrees below zero, the musicians' morale was quickly diminishing. After performing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Buddy Holly made arrangements to charter the small plane to help escape the misery of the school bus caravan. Gaining a few hours would allow him to have his clothes laundered. When the Big Bopper discovered the plan to fly to the next show, he asked Waylon Jennings for his seat on the plane.
The Bopper was sick with the flu and wanted to see a doctor. For Jennings, who enjoyed the camaraderie of the other performers, it was no great sacrifice to give up his seat.
Richie Valens' Donna now?
The final bargaining item was the Big Bopper's new sleeping bag. When Buddy found out that Jennings had given up his seat he admonished Jennings to have fun on the Arctic school bus and laughingly joked that he hoped the school bus would break down.
Jennings quickly shot back a comment that haunts him forever when he remembers that night. Jennings quipped, "Yeah, and I hope your old plane crashes. Finally, Allsup produced a half-dollar and told Ritchie to "call it. As the coin came tumbling down, Ritchie smiled as he saw that he had made the correct call. According to Alan Freed, Valens claimed this was the first time he had ever won at anything. Allsup notified Buddy that Valens would take his seat on the plane.
Tommy then gave his wallet to Buddy to pick up a registered letter that was waiting for him at the band's next stop. Shortly after the crash, for a few anxious hours, investigators believed that there were five victims in the wreckage and looked frantically for the missing body that had to be hidden somewhere in the frozen cornfield. Luckily, Allsup had called home informing his parents about the tragedy just minutes before the call came to notify Tommy's mother and father that their son's name was given as one of the victims of the accident.
Tommy Allsup was given a second chance. To commemorate his good fortune he opened his own saloon when he returned to Austin, Texas. He called the bar the Head's Up Saloon. This would remind him in the future how a simple coin toss had saved his life. A few days before the fatal crash, Buddy had called up fellow rocker and friend Eddie Cochran. Holly was afraid that he had lost his creative touch and that he would never again have a song at the top of the charts.
Cochran assured him that he was still the top star in the rock galaxy and that it was only a matter of time before Buddy again topped the pop charts. When Cochran heard of the crash and death of his friends he was shaken.
He was supposed to have been there too. Had he cheated death? Dee had written the song the day after the accident and Cochran recorded his version of "Three Stars" on February 5,just two days after the ominous crash. The original purpose was to split the song's royalties among the families of the three fallen stars.
The song contains three verses of spoken narrative, and Eddie describes each of his departed friends with heartfelt emotion. For Ritchie Valens, Cochran sang, "Everyone calls me a kid, but you were only seventeen.
The record remained unreleased until when Liberty Records issued the single four years after Cochran's own tragic death. The English crowds loved Eddie.
One teenager in particular, George Harrison, followed Cochran from city to city acutely studying where Eddie placed his fingers as he played the guitar.
A few days before her twentieth birthday, Sharon Sheeley came to England to join Eddie on tour. Sharon was a hit songwriter herself and was the youngest songwriter ever to score a number one hit with "Poor Little Fool," a song she had penned for teen idol Ricky Nelson.
Sheeley had fallen in love at first sight with Eddie Cochran when Phil Everly introduced her to the singer. She imagined him as a blond Elvis and loved to watch him perform. Sheeley also had a tragic link to Ritchie Valens.
When Sharon arrived in England, she found Eddie to be severely depressed. He was taking tranquilizers to deal with clinical depression. He was convinced that he had cheated death by avoiding the Winter Dance Party and now he would be destined to die a violent death just like Buddy.
On one occasion, he asked Sharon to buy as many of Buddy's records as she could find. He would then sit in his room playing the songs over and over again. When Sheeley asked, "Doesn't it upset you hearing Buddy this way? Following one performance, Cochran visited a fortune-teller to determine just how long he had before he would meet an untimely death. This preoccupation continued throughout the English tour, with Eddie awakening from a troubled sleep one night screaming out "My God!
I'm going to die and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it! Eddie had scheduled a new series of UK performances but wanted to return home for a short visit before continuing the tour. On the way to the airport, the chauffeur-driven Ford Consul suffered a blown tire, putting the car into a frenzied spin like a hellish Tilt-A-Whirl reeling completely out of control until it smashed into a light post, bringing the car to a complete and violent stop.
Cochran was thrown from the car, as was Sharon Sheeley. Sheeley suffered a broken neck and a broken back. Gene Vincent reinjured his leg that had previously been maimed in a motorcycle accident. Vincent would carry the limp with him for the rest of his life. When Sheeley regained consciousness, she asked, "Where is Eddie?
If Eddie wasn't seriously hurt he would be with her. He would be there to comfort her. He wouldn't leave her alone to bleed to death by the side of the road. When the ambulance arrived they found Cochran's orange Gretsch guitar lying next to him in the pasture. The guitar had been hurled from the wreckage but miraculously didn't receive a single scratch. All three passengers where rushed by ambulance to St. Martin's Hospital in Bath. Ironically, the Crickets were in England finishing up an Everly Brothers tour.
Mauldin, fearing that there would be too many visitors in the way, decided to wait until the next day to see Cochran. Sadly, the next day Eddie Cochran would die from massive head injuries. Ritchie's mother and the Sheeleys knew each other through Ritchie's recording of Sheeley's "Hurry Up. Eddie also proved to be prophetic when he told Buddy that another of Holly's compositions would soon top the charts.
Holly's last single was aptly entitled "It Doesn't Matter Anymore. Buddy was making yet another point in rock and roll history, and that was that a dead rock star was very good business and a fortune could be made in the sale of rights and royalties. When the Crickets returned to the United States they would find that they would be involved in a series of other rock and roll tragedies. For whatever reason, bad luck seemed to follow anyone associated with the band. The first victim of the Holly curse was singer Ronnie Smith.
He fronted the band now composed of Jennings, Bunch, and Allsup. When the tour ended the band continued to record as the Jitters due to an injunction concerning the rights to the name the Crickets. InSmith was committed to a Texas state hospital for drug abuse. On October 25,a despondent Ronnie Smith hanged himself in the bathroom of the state hospital.
Richie Valens' Donna now? | Steve Hoffman Music Forums
Box was born and raised in Sulphur Springs, Texas, and joined the Crickets in David Box proved to be a regional success with one single, "Summer Girl," doing well in the local Texas markets. He, drummer Bill Daniels, who was also the pilot, and guitarist Buddy Groves left immediately after the show to fly back to their homes in Houston.
Sadly, Box was scheduled to be in Nashville, Tennessee, to cut his next single on October He was upbeat about his career and it appeared that he was poised to make a name for himself on the national stage. Box's parents met with Buddy Holly's parents a few days after the crash. Buddy's father remarked, "People will tell you the pain eventually goes away, but I can tell you now that it never does.
David Box was twenty-two years of age when he died -- the exact same age as Buddy Holly at the time of his own untimely death. Fate continued to play its dark hand when Bobby Fuller and the Bobby Fuller Four emerged from Texas in the early s.
Fuller admired Holly's work and had modeled his sound after that of Buddy and the Crickets. Petty had worked as Buddy's producer and had gained songwriting credits for a number of Buddy Holly's songs.
At the time of Buddy's death, he and Petty had dissolved their business ties, but there were many accounts of Norman Petty hiding vast sums of Holly's money.
Some of Buddy's friends go as far as accusing Petty of being responsible for Buddy's death. Fuller attempted to make his sound more up to date by writing songs about surfing and drag racing. If the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean could sell records by this set formula, then surely there would be some success in it for Fuller as well.Richie Valens - Donna - La Bamba
All he needed was a hit song that would allow him to break into the pop charts. InFuller moved his band to Hollywood, where Bob Keane of Del-Fi Records signed the band immediately after personally witnessing an intense performance in a local club.
The Hollyesque rocker conjured forth images of prime Buddy Holly in all his glory.
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By returning to his roots, the rock of Eddie Cochran and Buddy Holly, Fuller at last had his hit song, and "I Fought the Law" made its way into the top ten. But his career was about to come crashing down around him in what has become one of rock's greatest unsolved mysteries. The tragic comparisons to Holly continued throughout his short-lived career. It took a song by the Crickets to break Fuller to the national stage. Other haunting similarities to Holly included Fuller being contacted by Norman Petty to return to Clovis and continue his career under Petty's guidance, much in the same way as Buddy had been contacted by Petty to return and work out their differences.
Bob Keane had also been Ritchie Valens's manager, and this helped form a connection to that terrible night in early February. Bobby Fuller, like Holly, had just broken with his backing band and was putting together a solo career. Another striking comparison was that Bobby Fuller would also die at the age of twenty-two -- just like Buddy.
He left after receiving the call and told his mother that he would be right back. He had just purchased a new Corvette but on this night he drove his mother's white Oldsmobile. When Fuller didn't return to the apartment by the next morning, his now worried mother asked the band's road manager to look for the car. When she went to the car to check on her son she found his body lying across the seat.
He had been badly beaten. Blood was caked on his shirt and there was a small pool of blood on the floor. His hair was matted and his body and clothes were soaked in gasoline. Gasoline was also found in his stomach. Bob Keane said that when he arrived on the scene he witnessed a police office take a gasoline can from the backseat of the Oldsmobile and throw it meaninglessly into a Dumpster.
Incredibly, said Keane, no foul play was suspected. The car was not dusted for fingerprints nor was it impounded. Bob Keane was told that it was just another rocker who had OD'd. Bobby Fuller's death was listed as a suicide by the Hollywood police department. Of course, as with Buddy Holly's death, many rumors have circulated about the death of Bobby Fuller.
The predominant theory had Fuller as a victim of a gangland slaying.
It seemed that Bobby had a romantic interest in a young lady who was also dating a major underworld figure. Richard Steven Valenzuela was born outside of Los Angeles in He showed a talent for music at an early age, teaching himself how to play a number of instruments. Valens played guitar and sang with a local high school band until he was discovered in He signed a record deal and soon dropped out of high school to pursue his music career.
The tour conditions were miserable. The performers were shuttled from venue to venue on school buses that lacked heat in the bitterly cold Midwest weather. A number of the performers caught colds and one was even hospitalized for frostbite.
The performers actually started fires in trash cans on the bus just to keep warm. With a packed schedule, the performers where often on the road all night in below zero conditions.
Finally, Buddy Holly had enough. He asked his manager if a plane could be chartered to the next show in Fargo, North Dakota. The Big Bopper talked Jennings out of his seat, and Valens flipped a coin with Allsup for the final seat. Richie won the toss. Ironically, Valens had a fear of flying. The plane crashed five miles outside of the airport. The devastated public demanded to know why the plane crash. However, the young pilot, Roger Peterson, had recently failed his instrument test that would have permitted him to fly on instruments alone, instead of sight.
Other pilots also recalled that Peterson also became confused easily and would have been a dangerous flight for Peterson.