Friday, February 22, 2008

The Big Bopper Movie

I went to a Big Bopper benefit concert in Beaumont back in 1989. (Oddly enough, it was the first time I got to see the Fabulous Thunderbirds in person.) They unveiled the bust of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and local hero the Big Bopper. Buddy Holly's widow was there and so was the Big Bopper's son, Jay Perry Richardson. At that time, he announced that they were finally going to make a movie about his dad's life. I remember thinking how great that was and wondering how I could actually get in the movie.

A few years went by and I moved up to Austin and never really heard anything else about the movie. Well, until a few days ago. They are trying to get this thing out by February 3, 2009--the 50th anniversary of the infamous plane crash that killed these three musicians. The title of the film is "The Day The Music Died". You can check out the website by clicking here. The website says that production started back in December but the truth of the matter is that the main investor backed out due to personal reasons and the project is on hold.

Let's hope that this movie "gets it right". Was I the only person who was annoyed that Gary Busey was playing a late 60's Strat in "The Buddy Holly Story"? How do you mess that up? And they even had a scene where Buddy punches Nashville record producer Owen Bradley. That scene didn't sit well with Sonny Curtis. The Austin Chronicle did a cover story on Curtis a few years ago. You can read it for yourself over at the Austin Chronicle website. (Can you believe that Curtis actually made the COVER that month?!?)

I understand that they're trying to make a Hollywood movie and not a documentary. But I just think they need to tell the story accurately. The Big Bopper's son is involved in this project so there is hope. The one disturbing line on the movie's website says "
As the Bopper was really an early rapper, we hope to have one of today's popular rappers cover 'Chantilly Lace' to appeal to the younger audience." Let's hope that doesn't happen!

Oh, just in case you missed it--they exhumed the Big Bopper's body in Beaumont last year at the request of his son. He had them perform an autopsy to put to rest the rumors that the Big Bopper had survived the crash for a short time since his body was found quite a distance from the others in the plane. And there has always been a rumor that someone may have been shot since Buddy Holly reportedly carried a gun on the plane. No bullet wounds were found on the Big Bopper.

They moved his grave site to the corner of the cemetery there in Beaumont and have plans to erect a statue in his honor.

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