If you know anything about the history of Rock & Roll, you probably know that Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash in 1959. There’s an interesting story attached to that story, and that is that Waylon Jennings was playing bass for Buddy at the time, and was scheduled to be on the same plane. The story goes that Waylon gave up his seat to The Big Bopper because the Bopper had a cold.
When Waylon was recording at Caribou Ranch,
I was working in the control room with him. When we finished, late one night, Waylon was waiting for his ride to the Denver airport. He was sitting on a bench in the studio, and I seized the opportunity. I sat down beside him, we both had a swig, and I said, “I’ve always heard you were supposed to be on the plane with Buddy Holly, but you didn’t get on it for some reason. What really happened?”
Here’s what he said, “Yes, I was supposed to be on the plane, but one of the roadies had a girl friend, whom he hadn’t seen for a while, waiting for him in Fargo. The roadies traveled by truck, so it would take them a lot longer to get there than it would in the plane. So I let him have my seat, and I rode in the truck.”
There it is, “straight from the horse’s mouth”. You decide for yourself – was he fooling with me, or was he telling it like it was?
As a side note: Years later I was working with a lady in Denver named Diane Hughes, and she told me that she grew up in Iowa, and it was her grandfather who owned the plane that Buddy Holly chartered that fateful day.