By Tonya Garner: CNJ Staff Writer
Music lovers will be traveling thousands of miles to attend the upcoming Clovis Music Festival.
Tickets for the Sept. 8-10 event have been purchased by fans from as far away as The Netherlands and England, according to the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce.
John Beecher of Gloucestershire, England, is co-owner of Rollercoaster Records with JL Allison, drummer and founding member of the Crickets.
“I’m thrilled to be attending the festival this year (a first for me) and it will be great to be back in Clovis. Norman and Vi Petty were both helpful to me in getting started in the music business back in 1963,” Beecher said.
Beecher met the Pettys through running a fan club for Buddy Holly and the Crickets from 1960 to 1966.
“I can remember the buzz I got when I was able to stand in the old Seventh Street studio for the first time back in the ’70s,” Beecher said. “I’m very much looking forward to seeing my old friends the Crickets and Sonny West on stage and meeting up with people I met in the area when I was there previously.”
Beecher said he traveled to Clovis in the past when he worked with the British Broadcasting Company during the filming of Paul McCartney’s “Real Buddy Holly Story” documentary.
“I hear the old place hasn’t changed much,” Beecher said.
Washington, D.C., disc jockey Colin Davies traveled to Clovis from Cairo, Egypt, in 1986.
“I’m coming because of my life-long devotion to the music of Buddy Holly and the Crickets, and because most of his greatest recordings were made in Clovis,” Davies said. “Thanks to Buddy, the Crickets and Norman Petty, the town of Clovis is known throughout the world.”
Bob and Sylvia Burkinshaw of England said they are looking forward to the music performances and the Norman Petty studio tour.
“We haven’t been to the festival in the past, nor have we been to New Mexico,” Bob Burkinshaw said. “We are definitely lovers of rock ’n’ roll from the ’50s and ’60s and we love the USA.”
The couple said they are looking forward to both shows and the Norman Petty studio tour.
Ray Cullern of England plans to fly into Lubbock on Sept. 2 to attend the Buddy Holly 69th birthday celebration and stay for the Clovis festival.
“We are really looking forward to the whole festival and meeting up with all those we met in Lubbock last year,” said Cullern, a Holly fan since he was 13. “The highlight for me however, will be to see and hopefully meet The Crickets, particularly Joe and Jerry who were so much a part of Buddy’s music,” Cullern said. “I also understand that Peggy Sue will be attending.”