Monday, February 2, 2009

Has it really been 50 years?

Kudos to a number of national publications for noting the 50 year anniversary of the "The Day the Music Died." Rolling Stone, Time, CNN, and Texas Monthly all ran stories with roughly the same theme, retelling the story from various accounts. Hard to believe that Buddy would only be 72 years old today. In fact, many people involved in Buddy's life are still around: Maria Elena, Tommy Allsup, his Brothers, and some of the former Crickets can all be seen around in various places.

While I understand all the nostalgia surrounding the Day the Music Died, it was more of a marker for when everything began.  He influenced so many in his short tenure as a recording artist and will forever hold a place in the progression of rock and roll from the 60s to today.  Lubbock may be the place most impacted by Buddy's death, because if Buddy had not passed away, he very well might have put Lubbock in the limelight in the long term.  Instead, Lubbock became a place where young musicians could make it as long as they moved away to L.A. or Austin.  And now it's a town where the biggest consistent draws are revue shows showcasing music of the 70s, featuring the same musicians who performed in the revue of Music of the 60s 2 months before.  

Finally this leads us to Tech's student run radio station KTXT, maybe the last major cultural force in the promotion of good music in Lubbock, and it's closing due to...well, no one is exactly sure why it was closed down still.   Lubbock is still a place where you can find great bands, but the problem is no one knows where to find it, at least not on a consistent basis.  The city exists in a self imposed music vacuum, where the only major media outlets cater to the news reading and watching crowd, i.e. the 40-70 year old demographic.  No alternative music newspaper exists.  No major blog covers upcoming shows.  No indie radio station exists to promote live music.

So there you have it Lubbock.  50 years later your claim to fame is a list of many respectable musicians who moved away and rarely came back, because there was hardly a place to play as much as anything.  Supporting local music isn't even that hard, but you've blown just about every opportunity you had to make it work.  Well, I guess it doesn't matter anymore.

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