My interest in Buddy Holly and my love of his music as well as 50s Rock ‘n’ Roll and the era in general has been with me for the last 30 something years almost my whole life.
It all can be traced back to 1957 when my 9 year old father heard “That’ll Be The Day” and bought the 78 rpm record. My father from that point was a Buddy Holly And The Crickets fan and for the rest of the 50s and throughout the 60s and decades to follow would buy Buddy’s albums and 45s and play them.
I am told by my mother that when she was pregnant with me, I would kick and move around whenever my dad would play Buddy’s music along with other greats such as Eddie Cochran. This continued when I was very young listening to the music that came out of the speakers that towered above me.
Then in 1980 when I was 8 years of age my father bought our first video recorder and hired the “The Buddy Holly Story” for which I sat and watched one afternoon. I remember watching the film loving the images in front of me and the reconstruction of the era and crying at the end when it seemed all over and asking my parents what happened to Buddy as realising that he had in fact died. This moved me as he seemed very much alive to me and being so young I had not realised until that moment that the music and the person I had heard and seen on many album covers had actually lived decades before as time had no meaning to me at that time nor did I know about the life story and musical journey that led to the music I liked so much being created.
It was a few months after this that one day at middle school I was asked by my teacher if I would be interested in learning an instrument, the choices were the usual Violin or Cello or Guitar. The guitar was the obvious identifiable choice for me that felt right and my parents agreed to let me learn and bought me my first guitar.
From that moment on I lived and breathed the guitar learning very quickly and it came so naturally I finally within a few months was able to play along with the music I liked so much and working through a “Buddy Holly Lives” music book that was bought for me, I would spend every spare moment playing Buddy’s songs striving to get every detail of playing right wanting to re-produce the amazing sound that spoke so loudly to me.
Through my teenage years from 1986 I started to look into Buddy’s life by reading every book that was available at that time namely the fabulous “Remembering Buddy” book which still stands as the best today. I was enthralled by the story and it took me on a journey and made my own journey of learning Buddy’s music and music of the 50s so real to me as if I was following the same footsteps.
At this time in the 1980s I should have been more immersed in the pop culture of the time, however I could never identify with it and felt at home in the 50s for which I never knew first hand, I am sure this caused concern with people around me like friends however I could not help it.
Ein Traum wurde wahr: Dan kaufte sich im Alter von 14 Jahren bei seinem Musikalien - Händler am Ort genau die Fender ST57 Strat Gitarre, die er auf dem Plattencover des Albums "The CHIRPING CRICKETS" gesehen hatte. Das Geld hatte er selbst durch diverse Jobs verdient, Hochachtung!
I remember going to a local musical instrument store when I was about 14 and picking up a Hohner catalogue where they had a picture of a ST57 Strat guitar which was based on the 1957 sunburst Strat that I had seen on the cover of the “Chirping Crickets“ album and I had to have it. Drooling over this catalogue for months and doing whatever jobs I could to save for the guitar, I finally managed to buy it. From this point I would sit in my bedroom at every waking moment and just try to learn all the lead breaks and down strokes that Buddy was showing me through his music, and the joy I would feel when I nailed a particular song feeling that I had achieved something.
Zu der Zeit, als Dan sich seine Traumgitarre kaufte, auf der er in seinem Schlafzimmer jede freie Minute übte, besuchte er eine Schau mit amerikanischen Autos. Die gefielen ihm, besonders ein '57er Chevrolet Belair. Er beschloss, sich so ein Auto einmal zuzulegen.
It was around this time that I also got taken to an American Car show one windy day and fell in love with 50s American cars which I saw as being very natural to see and such cars of beauty especially a 1957 Chevrolet Belair which I promised myself that one day I would own one and I am lucky enough to say that I now do.
Der Jugendtraum von Dan in Bezug auf den '57er Chevrolet Belair ist nach vielen vielen Jahren endlich in Erfüllung gegengen. Voll Besitzerstolz steht er hier neben seinem Prachtstück. Echt gut in Schuss, meine Hochachtung!
During my teenage school years together with friends who shared my love of Buddy’s and The Crickets music and also the 50s scene, got together to form a band, with typical Lead Guitar and Vocals (me) drums and base. We would play in the school hall after school as it had great echo and we would practice at our houses too. The funny thing is listening to these old tapes, the music was developing more than our voices were at the time as our young male voices had not broken yet and had a chipmunk quality about them.
We played a few gigs and jammed a lot over the following years with my sister joining us as our drummer however life took over and it was time to leave school, grow up and get a job so I did.
I continued to play for myself at home and start to collect old Buddy vinyl records and in 1994 I had the opportunity to work hard in my job to win a place to fly to Dallas Texas for a week of training and fun. I saw this as an amazing chance to finally be near Lubbock and I worked hard and won my place.
Wer als Buddy Holly Fan in Lubbock Texas ist, besucht das Buddy Holly Center und lässt, wenn eben möglich, ein Foto von sich aufnehmen zusammen mit der Riesenbrille, die Buddy's Markenzeichen war und vor dem Center steht.
I arranged to stay out for another week and would spend that week in Lubbock, the wonderful thing was that my father decided that through my interest in Buddy re-vitalising his own interest would join me in Lubbock and so began a father and son pilgrimage to find the real Buddy and to walk the streets and drive the roads that Buddy had, including houses, places of interest and Clovis. This was a time when it was not the norm for Lubbock to have visitors and they were surprised that we would travel so far to go there. Armed with just the “Remembering Buddy “ book as this was pre-internet days we discovered Buddy’s Lubbock together.
We later in 2006 went back to Lubbock together again for Buddy’s 70th Birthday and did the whole thing again, this time armed with a Sat Nav.
Im Hotel Lubbock Inn durfte Dan einie Lieder auf Tommy Allsup's Akustikgitarre vor Publikum spielen und konnte sich mit Tommy und Band ganz zwanglos vor dem Hotel unterhalten. Tommy steht auf diesem Foto bekanntermaßen in der Mitte.
Ein Foto von der Jam Session, für Dan Springall ein unvergessliches Erlebnis.
On our last trip in 2006 we were staying at the Holiday Inn that many who have been to Lubbock would know and were amazed to find ourselves standing outside chatting with Tommy Allsup and his band, who later invited me and my father to see them do an impromptu jam session in the hotel bar where I got to play a couple of songs on Tommy’s acoustic guitar to the audience which was a thrill.
Dan and his 3 cuties.
(Great shot, Dan! You're a lucky guy!)
Dan mit seiner Frau und den 2 Töchtern.
The greatest piece of the jigsaw for me was meeting my wife in the mid 90s at my place of work at the time. To have found a wonderful person who was just as pretty was lucky, however to then find out she actually liked Buddy Holly and owned an album was fate. We were married in 1999 and have two great little girls who also love the music as well as popular music too.
Now finally bringing it forward to the present day, in 2008 I decided that I wanted to be a part of the 50th Anniversary of the Winter Dance Party in Clearlake. I had for years been a regular member of Bill Griggs board and saw many people sharing their stories of attending previous year’s events and getting to talk to some of these people becoming friends online with them urged me to want to be a part of the biggest event the 50th.
It was a very turbulent time as Christmas was looming and I needed to pay for the trip and also my job was not going too well for me and my best friend who was to come with me had to cancel his plans to join me. It looked like I was going to miss it, however it all came together, I found a new job, and I was able to pay for the trip and my father once again joined me on the trip to Clearlake replacing my friend.
Dan hat sich einen weiteren Traum erfüllt. An dem Ort, wo Buddy Holly seinen letzten Auftritt hatte, im Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake Iowa, war er bei den Feierlichkeiten zum 50. Todestag der 3 Stars persönlich anwesend und fand viele Freunde von Buddy aus England, mit denen er nun weiter freundschaftlichen Kontakt hat.
It was a culture shock from the dry hot climate and surroundings of Lubbock to be instead surrounded by snow as high as 6 feet on the sides of the roads where the snow ploughs were constantly out clearing them. Wearing many layers of clothing we had an amazing time discovering the area, the Surf, the crash site and the airport where Buddy took off from, it was 1994 all over again following in Buddy’s footsteps although it was sad to think that the footsteps we were following were his final.
It was from this trip and being egged on by my new found Buddy friends made at the Surf that I would return from Clearlake to record some live tracks of me playing Buddy’s Apartment Tapes for You Tube as my personal tribute for the 50th Anniversary. Up to this point I had always just played for myself and never shared my recordings.
For the record, I do not set out to impersonate Buddy, I am not a professional musician or singer, I am just a normal fan that loves to play music and when I sing Buddy’s songs it just feels easy and natural to me, I put this down to being influenced by the music for so many years that it programs you in some way.
In front of the Surf Ballroom entrance.
Direkt vor dem Eingang des Surf Ballroom.
My ultimate dream (and I am sure is shared by many) would be to play a couple of songs with The Crickets, however I cannot imagine this ever being more than a dream and I am thankful that I can pick up a guitar when the mood takes me and play the songs that have been with me for as long as I can remember.
Rave On !
THANX to Dan for sharing his Buddy Holly story, a great story, indeed !