Sad Memories of a failed Rock Chick

On 23 March 1958 Buddy Holly and the Crickets played at Bristol’s Colston Hall. I had a ticket but nobody to go with. I was in the doldrums, and it was a Sunday. I hated going out on Sundays. When the time came, I could not rouse myself sufficiently to get ready, walk to the bus stop, and wait for a bus into the Centre. So I didn’t go. About an hour later I imagined the concert well on the way and regretted it. If we’d had a record player, I would have played ‘Not Fade Away’ at full blast. “Never mind,” my lovely Mum comforted me, “They’ll be back again next year.” Buddy died in a plane crash aged 22 on 3 February 1959.

Two years later, on 10 April 1960, Eddie Cochran rolled into Bristol with Gene Vincent for a week’s engagement at the Hippodrome. I bought a ticket. On the day I was booked to go, I woke up with laryngitis, and felt so ill I stayed home from work. By the evening I was not much better, and did not feel like going out, especially ‘alone again, naturally’. (Gilbert O’Sullivan wrote it in 1972, but by then my luck had changed. Which I never saw coming. A husband and three kids aged four, three and two materialised, ‘just like that’. Never alone again.)

But back in 1960, and in my head, Eddie sang ‘There ain’t no cure for the Summertime Blues’. Had I never heard of déjà vu? Was I thinking “I should have gone. I should have gone?” I don’t know. Eddie died in Bath Hospital on Easter Sunday 1960, following a car crash when leaving Bristol after the gig. He was 21. This time Mum kept silent.

In April 1967, I was tripping along Nelson Street, dreaming, ‘so in love with you, am I’….. (‘enough already’ with the catchphrases. Ed.) …… when I bumped into Jimi Hendrix, literally. He was with two of his band and was wearing a cowboy hat with a long feather. “Sorry,” I said. Automatically. And so did he! He passed on leaving me staring at his retreating back view with the fringed jacket, stupidly, speechless, rooted to the ground, unable to believe what had just occurred. Eventually I stumbled back to work, where still dazed. I told them. Nobody believed me. Sadly, like the other two, Jimi died tragically young.

I never became famous, but I am still alive. Half blind and a bit rickety and last week I turned 86. As my Mum would always say “What will be, will be.” (Sorry, Ed, I’m at it again.)


In May 1923, a memorial plaque was raised to Eddie Cochran at Bristol Hippodrome, where he had played his last gig.

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