Lecturer’s music tourism research brings him to Clovis

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Executive Director of the Clovis and Curry County Chamber of Commerce Ernie Kos points out specific memorabilia to David Leaver of Manchester, England at the Norman and Vi Petty Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum Wednesday. Leaver was in Clovis to research sites where music originated.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

Researching music tourism landed a British lecturer in Clovis.

David Leaver, a lecturer with Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, recently finished traveling the world studying hometowns of musicians. Now he’s researching sites where music was recorded, produced or performed.

Leaver, 60, spent two hours at the Norman Petty Recording Studio on Wednesday and took a tour of the Norman and Vi Petty Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum.

Leaver said music tourism is a huge industry because it is based on an emotional connection.

He said traveling to Clovis after years of hearing about it and its connection with Buddy Holly surprised him.

“It’s a small town. It’s non-descript. It’s a small market town for the surrounding area,” he said. “But then you think why on earth would the studio be there? It adds to the mystique really.”

Leaver has traveled to Beatles-related locales in Liverpool and Bob Dylan’s hometown of Hibbing, Minn., to study the places.

“What I’ve found is that you have to have someone with a passion for it to move forward,” Leaver said.

He said tourists will travel to a location no matter the distance if they have a connection to it or if it is significant to them.

“There is money to be made. Music tourism is emotionally driven. And if you are emotionally connected to something, you will pay whatever,” he said.

After visiting Hibbing, he found that residents of the town were ambivalent about Dylan.

“He left and some have never forgiven him,” he said.

Leaver teared up while talking about a recording given to him of Buddy Holly’s song “Wishing.”

“My parents died when I was 13. I was being shipped off and I brought the “Wishing” record with me,” he said. “And now I have one of the original recordings. This isn’t ending up on eBay.”