Even as I sit facing it directly, the heat from the 2PM winter sun can barely be felt on my skin and my eyelids. Still, it is something to be thankful for. And to show the sun my appreciation, I pump up the volume. It's Buddy Holly singing "Peggy Sue". (Yes, my tribe thanks the elements by turning up the volume on its CD players.)
I find it funny how my opinion of Buddy Holly's music has changed over the years. When I first discovered rock and roll, I thought early rock and roll was just great fun. Simple stuff, right? Then when I picked up the guitar and discovered 60s and 70s rock music, I began finding the music from the 50s too limiting. Too many ballads and filler on those albums. I was happy to lose my way in that dark jungle of blues, metal, classical, jazz blah blah. Then suddenly, all this 50s music began showing up again in my collection. I love how that happens. Great music just manifests itself without warning.
I again started paying attention to Buddy Holly's songs. What a revelation it has been. How the hell did he figure out that intro to Rave On? It's so damn modern in its feel (or has rock not grown up in 50 years?) The delicious groove on Peggy Sue. Or the guitar parts on "Words of Love" (George practically duplicated it note for note on "Beatles For Sale"). Or the vocal styling on "It Doesn't Matter Anymore". Or the evergreen "Not Fade Away", which was covered so beautifully by both the Stones and by the Dead in so many great shows. So much musical treasure is buried in those 2-minute songs.
Between Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, I feel at least one of them deserves to share the title of the "King" with the - well - the King.