For some, it was like stepping back in time. For others, it was something entirely new. For all, it was a heck of a lot of fun.
“It absolutely, without a doubt, is everything I thought it would be,” said Field Morey, who was attending the Surf Ballroom’s Winter Dance Party for the first time. The Bedford, Ore. resident explained the event celebrating the music of Buddy Holly,
Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson had special significance to him. Before the 1959 crash which claimed the lives of the three musicians and their pilot Morey was a commercial pilot. However, in the wake of the plane crash, the Federal Aviation Administration passed regulations regarding instrument qualifications which took Morey out of his job.
“This was a Bucket List item,” said Morey, with his wife, Karen, nodding in agreement. “The highlight so far has been dancing to LaBamba,” said Karen Friday afternoon.
It was the third trip to the Winter Dance Party for Torbjoern Lorentsen, from Norway. The crash site was also of interest to him and while here in 2004 he took a plane ride for a bird’s eye view of the area. He forged a lasting friendship with the pilot and has remained in touch with many he met here over the years. “Seeing all the people-- old friends and new-- is the best part of the event,” he said.
Christer Backeus, from Sweden, was experiencing the Surf Ballroom and Clear Lake for the first time. “I grew up with this music. This is just amazing,” he said. “I brought my camera to help me keep memories of this special place.”
Sell-out crowds enjoyed three big nights of entertainment, headlined by Pat Boone. “I don’t know any other entertainer anywhere who has headlined the same place 55 years apart,” Boone said. He first performed at the Surf in 1957. And although he said he never met Holly, Valens or Richardson, he vividly -Read More Via e-Edition