American Pie

But February made me shiver,
With every paper I’d deliver,
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step. 
I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside,
The day the music died.

Don McLean – 1972

Don McLean wrote American Pie in the late 1960 and released it in 1971. It was, in part, inspired by the tragic event that took the lives of three great musicians, 22-year-old Buddy Holly, 17-year-old Rickie Valens, 28-year-old J.P. Richardson, aka: “The Big Bopper” and their pilot. While many don’t recognize these names or even their music one thing is for sure: these three inspired the future of music. Especially the 1960 and 1970 Classic Rock era. So, the question is, did the music really die that day? I, for one, say “no”. But…

I often wonder what today’s music would sound like if these and the many others that died untimely deaths were still alive today? Names like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Otis Redding, Kurt Cobain, John Bonham, Brian Jones, Cliff Burton, Aaliyah, Ronnie Van Zant, Sid Vicious, Duane Allman, Hillel Slovak, Selena, Cass Elliot, Keith Moon, John Lennon and Freddie Mercury just to name a very few. Would music today be the same, we will never know. What I do know is that their music will last forever. Songs like:

  • That’ll Be the Day – Buddy Holly
  • Donna – Ritchie Valen
  • All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix
  • Me and Bobby McGee – Janis Joblin
  • (Sittin’ On) The Dock of The Bay – Otis Redding
  • Smell Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana (Kurt Cobain)
  • Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin (John Bonham)
  • Miss You – Rolling Stones (Brian Jones)
  • Until It Sleeps – Metallica (Cliff Burton)
  • Try Again – Aaliyah
  • Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd (Ronnie Van Zant)
  • God Save the Queen – Sex Pistols (Sid Vicious)
  • Ramblin’ Man – The Allman Brothers Band (Duane Allman)

While I couldn’t list songs for all these great musicians, do any of these listed bring back memories for you? If so, the music lives on.