Soundcheck: Buddy Holly and the ‘Lemon Drop Kid’, Wigan, England, Tuesday 18 March 1958
The ‘Lemon Drop Kid’ dragged himself out of bed, grabbed his snap-tin and water bottle, stepped out onto the cobbled street, mounted his bike and cycled to Bedford Colliery to begin the usual routine for the morning shift. But this shift would be different. The ‘Lemon Drop Kid’ knew that the minutes would seem like hours and the hours like days. He just needed to get to the end of the shift, get up the pit and he would then be in the fantasy land of rock ‘n’ roll and momentary escape. He had been listening to the music for two years in coffee bars, on record players, in pubs and in the dance halls of Manchester, Leigh and Wigan. He was also finding his own technique of guitar playing, fashion style and attitude to life through his embrace of American popular culture in all its forms. But today was different, today seemed more special. For the price of 8s. 6d today would lead him to the presence of the great Buddy Holly and the Crickets at the Wigan Ritz. The theatre had opened in 1938 and was the entertainment mecca of the town. For the last few weeks it not only had been host to the usual Hollywood fare of big screen adventures, romances and formulaic comedies but also a gritty depiction of the London underworld in The Flesh Is Weak and its tale of gangsters, prostitution and vulnerable young women. But tonight the stage, the orchestra stalls and the grand circle would all belong to Buddy.
KeywordsTeenage Girl Rugby League Popular Music Coal Face Usual Routine
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