| 10 Worst Rock Star Plane Crashes |
What is it about famous musicians that makes them believe it’d be a swell idea to charter a small, unreliable aircraft through inclement weather? Music history is quite literally littered with the tragic wreckage of such ill-fated journeys. Blender.com examines the 10 worst rock & roll air disasters and the sometimes dubious decisions that led to them.
By David Peisner
Blender.com, December 2006
Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson
Holly, Valens and Richardson were barnstorming through the Midwest in 1959 on a package tour and looking to avoid a frigid February ride from Iowa to Minnesota aboard a bus whose heater was on the blink. Holly chartered a plane for himself and two bandmates, but guitarist Tommy Allsup lost a coin flip to Valens for one seat on the plane, and Holly’s bass player, future country star Waylon Jennings, graciously gave up his seat to Richardson, who was running a fever. Holly reportedly needled Jennings about his decision, telling him, “I hope your old bus freezes up.” Jennings responded: “Well, I hope your plane crashes.” Crash it did, into a snowy Iowa field, shortly after takeoff, killing everyone aboard, and forever memorializing February 3, 1959 as “The Day the Music Died.”
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