Posted May 27, 2007 - by Bob Hayden, Australia

How long have Australians been waiting for a book to be released dealing with the late and great Buddy Holly in this country. Since 1958 I do believe. This is a book not to be missed, take my word for it.

Well, it has finally arrived after many years of pain staking research to obtain all Buddy Holly related material, then to become part of a wonderful collection that has finally seen the light of day in this country through this newly released book.

Every since I can remember, people were telling me about how he (Buddy Holly) came to Australia in 1958 for the late Lee Gordon, and was just such a wonderful performer on stage and more important that Buddy was a great down to earth guy off the stage.

It was only the tragic loss of his life that prevented him from returning to our shores to perform again.

It did not matter who you talked to from that 1958 tour, the promoter, his lifetime Australian partner, the staff at Lee Gordon's Sydney office, or the fans that went to see this artist "strut" his stuff with his guitar on the various Australian stages during those early weeks of Febraury 1958.

Bill Haley and his Comets started the rock and roll phase here in this country, and many other great artists followed, but not one of them over the Lee Gordon Big Show years captured the hearts and minds of Australians like one Charles Hardin Holly.

Rod Jordan has always been a big fan of Buddy Holly and his music since I first spoke to him a long time ago, when were both collecting records. Rod was collecting Buddy Holly, and I, Elvis Presley, but only Australian made vinyl recordings and associated items like programmes and pictures. It was Australian material only for us, and that's what made the collecting more enjoyable.

Rod had mentioned to me that he would one day complete the mammoth task of researching the Australian tour itenary, and collate all the Australian Buddy Holly and Crickets recorded material for inclusion in a book that would be for all Holly fans to enjoy, not just in Australia but around the world.

Then, Rod went meeting Buddy Holly's family and then fans and collectors all around the world, interviewing them where possible, and getting their thoughts and memories down on tape or paper, and also collecting everything that was Holly related in the process. It was a very large time consuming exercise. My only fault was that I did not know that he wanted to interview Paul Anka, and with a little help that could have been organised when Anka visited Australia some years back for a series of private concerts for a leading Australian business person. It was only after Anka had returned to the states that I told Rod of seeing him perform live in Sydney and had a few items autographed. In a small way I felt that I had let Rod down. I can remember one story from that visit that confirms Rod's theory that the guys got on well during the tour. Anka credits Jerry Lee Lewis for teaching him how to drink (Australian) beer for the very first time, in no small way during his Australian tour.

There was only one thing that he could not find that I was aware of, and so were many other Buddy Holly fans, and that was the live tape that came from the special show that was recorded in Melbourne, when all the artists performed at the Nurses home on St Kilda Road.

I had the pleasure of notifying Rod that I knew the young technician that was on duty that day, and finally I got his account of the event for Rod on a disc after many years of prompting him. I had it done in such a way that when Rod got it, he was most surprised that an "avid Elvis Presley fan" was sitting on information that he had been trying to corroborate for many a year. It was a pleasure to help out. To my knowledge that interview with Graham Miles has only been played on a radio show I was hosting in 2005, and never been played again. It would have been a greater thrill if Graham had retained a copy of the live show, but that was not to be.

What a delightful read going back all those years, remembering when we were teenagers, and rock and roll was all the rage, and Holly was the next biggest thing as Elvis was in the army for awhile.

Rod has recaptured in full, the modest way Buddy Holly visited this country, then began to enthrall the large crowds that came to see him and The Crickets perform on the Lee Gordon Big Shows. Such was the impact he had here in Australia that moves were underway for him to return to Australia for another Lee Gordon Big Show. Richie Valens was another that was signed to come with a number of other artists, but a plane crash put a sad end to the much awaited return.

The pictures that have been included in the book are excellent, and many have never been seen in any fan club magazine or related Buddy Holly book released to this date. The old box brownie sure did get a work out. I am quite sure that this will not be the last time we see these long lost pictures from nearly 50 years ago. Over many years, I have personally met many Buddy Holly fans within Australia, and this book should make them very happy indeed. There had been tremendous interest from overseas Holly fans trying to get a copy of the very first printing. It will not last long on the book shelves.

This is a book should not be missed and it will only be printed once. You can order your copies by writing to Rod Jordan @ 1630 Snow Road, Milawa 3678 Victoria, Australia


Emailing Rod at hollysbuddy1@bigpond.com

This is the only place at present where you can pre-order your copy of the book. All prices and postage costs will be given given when you make enquiries.

Bob Hayden
Australia 2007

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