Thursday, July 7, 2011

OUCH! The Dion / Buddy Holly Controversy "Raves On"!!!

re:  OUCH!:
Looks like we're not the only ones offended by what Dion DiMucci is saying in his new biography ... one of the folks who was AT The Surf Ballroom the night that Buddy Holly boarded that airplane that fateful night is LESS than pleased with Dion's sudden rewriting of history.  (Especially in a book called "The Wanderer Talks The Truth"!)  Read on!  (kk)
Hey Kent
I have Dion as a Facebook friend. He has a poster of that tour and he was on it.  He played the last show with all those guys ... that is where his  side comes from.  As far what he is saying, it's supposed to be on video at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Read Tommy Allsup's comments below and then see what you think!  (kk)
Dear: Kent,
I am a huge fan of Buddy Holly and Forgotten Hits. I believe this article by Tommy Allsup will really open up a discussion about what really happened. This is a real passion letter by Tommy.
Tom Crowe 
Dion, to end all your lies about flipping the coin with Ritchie Valens, and to end all your vicious character assassination of all the parties involved, people you NEVER knew to begin with, I officially challenge you to meet me in Clear Lake, Iowa, and submit to a polygraph test ... NOW.
If you are telling the "truth" as you profess, you should be a man and step up to the challenge. This challenge is backed up with the full support of Bob Hale, (MC of the Surf Ballroom WDP show in ‘59), Barb and Jerry Dwyer (owners of the flight service as well as friends and employers of the late Roger Peterson) and Connie Lemos (Ritchie Valens’ sister), who represents the Valens family. It is equally backed up by my legions of friends in the music business, fans and family.
Buddy Holly chartered that plane for himself, me, and Waylon Jennings. You never had a thing to do with this. In fact, Buddy barely spoke to you so he certainly wouldn't have offered you a seat on the plane! You brag about how you were on a previous tour with him in the fall which is supposed to make us think you really knew him. Well I was his friend for the last year of his life and toured with him and I played on some of his songs! You were never in any "closed room" with Buddy for a meeting about the plane trip. You never flipped any coin. Bob Hale took Buddy in to Carroll Anderson's office to call Jerry Dwyer's Flight Service. And Bob Hale saw me flip that coin with Ritchie Valens...and he's still alive to confirm that. Are you calling him a liar as well? Frankie Sardo, who was also there that night, has also publicly stated that he witnessed the Big Bopper negotiating to get Waylon’s seat on the plane. Frank is still around to confirm this as well. Waylon Jennings has also stated in numerous documentaries that he gave his seat up to the Big Bopper. Do you really think Buddy would invite one of his band mates, Waylon, and not me? Buddy was my friend and he was also Waylon’s friend. He invited us on the tour with him and he felt responsible for us. Do you really believe, with his drummer Carl Bunch in the hospital, Buddy would disregard his closest friends and band mates and the hell we were going through on that bus and get in a “closed room” with you and invite you instead?? That makes absolutely no sense. How convenient also
that you bring all this up in the past year leading up to your new book release this coming April. All this controversy ought to drum up sales, right? Yes, too bad none of it is true. It’s interesting how in your previous biography, you didn’t mention being in a closed room alone with Buddy, Ritchie and J.P. and flipping a coin for the seat. Why not? You would think that would be important enough to mention, no? You didn’t mention it because you had yet to make it up in your own clouded mind.
Frankie Sardo and Bob Hale are two people alive today that witnessed me and Waylon give up our seats to Ritchie and J.P. These were our seats to give up! Do you have any witnesses? Do you have anybody that even comes close to backing your story up? Nope, I didn’t think so. We lost four young souls that day and we can never get them back and it makes me sick to see someone just come out of the blue with NO facts and rewrite history to make a quick buck, disturb the families of the victims, and maybe grab one last moment in the spotlight.
Before you filmed your interview about the Winter Dance Party tour with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you also made several calls to Sevan Garabedian and Jim McCool, respected documentary filmmakers on the Winter Dance Party tour and asked them several questions about the Winter Dance Party tour. Why are you asking them about the tour? You were there, weren’t you? Well, it makes sense to ask researchers like them for information, especially if you barely remember any of the things that transpired on the tour. Sevan and Jim have filmed interviews with 6 of the surviving musicians from the Winter Dance Party tour (including myself) and every one of them has heard what you had to say and had a nice chuckle about it. They certainly didn’t agree with anything you had to say in their interviews -and these are 6 musicians that were on the tour!!! The evidence is out there Dion, and it’s creeping up on you faster and faster.
I want you to know my true feelings about you. I backed you and The Belmonts for a month in 1959; the Belmonts were good; but watching YOU play guitar on just 3 open chords doesn't make YOU a musician. Ritchie Valens and Buddy THEY were fine guitar players. I can still, at age 79, back-up my playing and singing, can you? You got lucky on a mere few records in the 1960's; but then again, fast forward, and so did Milli Vanilli!!! But the public wised up and they were exposed for all their lies...just as your lies will be exposed. Buddy's music and his kindness will live forever; as will Ritchie Valens' fine guitar playing as well as La Bamba, and The Big Bopper's Chantilly Lace...but I think Runaround Sue ran out the door long ago and The Wanderer wandered off into a drug haze!
I am not nor have I ever been a liar; my solid Christian values, and my integrity and valor are the threads of my foundation. If Maria-Elena Holly says "Dion knows the truth," so be it. But come on, are we really supposed to take the word of a woman who didn't even ATTEND her own husband's funeral as truth? And her "claims" of MY book Dion about the truth concerning that as well. I'm sure you'll purchase it and can do so at WHY have you never, ever contacted Buddy's brothers (and family) in Lubbock if you shared such a "tragic moment" with Buddy? They will also tell you the truth about Maria-Elena. Heck, the entire Buddy Holly community knows the truth about Maria Elena. Having her on your side hurts you more than helps you!
I was VERY close to Buddy; I know what he said and did during that tour; you do not. Buddy BARELY spoke to you at all. And now you're trying to make a dime off of lies about those who should be left to rest in peace? And you spew these lies yet profess yourself to be a CHRISTIAN? You and past televangelists have a lot in common, don't you? You should be very afraid of your judgment in front of God, for all the lies you've told about fine and upright people; all for the sake of reclaiming another 15 minutes of fame. You stated something about planting seeds in your DVD; you best watch what you say as those "seeds" will eventually grow and devour you.
My future will not change by not getting into the Rock Hall of Fame. Nor will it change if the present management of the Surf Ballroom backs your lies as truth for the sole purpose of trying to get you to finally come to the Surf, something they have been desperately trying to do for years now. You keep recirculating and reposting The Surf's letter to you on your Facebook as if to "convince" people that your lies are truth. But they were not there in 1959....I was there and yes, so were you, and so were the rest of the musicians who in Sevan and Jim’s documentary have a laugh about what you claim to be the truth. And to discredit Roger Peterson's ability as a pilot? You say in your DVD that he was kicked out of many flight schools.
That simply isn’t a fact. Did you look that up? Of course not. But you did however break the hearts of Roger Peterson’s friends and family by spewing these lies 52 years later. Haven’t they suffered enough, Dion? You also claim that Jerry Dwyer hired Roger out of pity. Also not a fact. In fact, Jerry’s business partner and wife Barb Dwyer hired Roger (and not Jerry as you claim) because he was an extremely competent pilot. Jerry happens to be one of the most respected and decorated pilots in the country. Who are you? Are you an expert in aviation? You were actually caught in 2 lies with those statements alone. Shame on you. What do YOU know about Roger Peterson? And you made Ritchie Valens' sister cry in disgust after watching all the lies you told in your DVD, which happened this past Feb. at the Surf. Ritchie’s sister said her mother and brother would be ashamed of you right now.
Ritchie’s sister approached the president of the Surf Ballroom in tears after seeing your DVD and asked him how could they show that, with all the lies? You have a clearly evil and devious soul. In fact, as far as the Rock Hall goes, if they're backing your lies, then I don't ever want in. After all, we ARE judged by the company we keep.
My guitar work is already deeply embedded in rock n' roll history; my guitar licks are heralded by everyone. So come out from under that silly beret and sunglasses you've been hiding behind for the past 50 years, be a MAN and take the polygraph....PROVE you're telling the truth! By NOT accepting this challenge, the whole world will finally see you for the liar and devious "person" you are. If you’re going to make a sad attempt to re-rewrite ROCK & ROLL HISTORY, the least you could do is sit down with a polygraph and prove the things you are saying are true. I’m willing to do it. Is the “King of the New York Streets” a cowardly liar or a real man who will accept this
Dion, below are only a few of the many discrepancies in the Winter Dance Party tall tales that you've been saying and a few other facts as well:
*.. You claim after you heard about the crash, you got back on the bus and Buddy's guitar was laying there for you to look at. FACT: Buddy's guitar along with Waylon Jennings' bass and my guitar were stored in the luggage rack....OUT OF SIGHT.
*.. You never sat next to Buddy; not one time...on the bus. He barely spoke to you! Either Waylon Jennings or myself were always with him.
*.. Why was MY WALLET found at the crash site, in Buddy's possessions? Because since I lost the coin flip with Ritchie at the last minute and Ritchie was flying, Buddy took my I.D. so he could pick up mail awaiting me in Fargo!
*.. You cannot dispute Jerry Dwyer's knowledge of pilot Roger Peterson. Jerry was at that time one the most respected men in aviation history and still is today. He was also Roger's employer and friend. Roger's aviation record is available for everyone to research. The things you said about him are fantasy and lies. Just based on the things you said about him, your credibility is shot.
*.. You were never asked to write songs with Buddy. Why would he have asked you, someone he barely spoke to, when Jerry Allison, his co-writer was on the 3 week tour with him in October 1958?
*.. You didn't go into the hotel first the day after the crash. Sam Geller (road manager for GAC) and I walked in first. Evidently, you scored that nugget of info from reading facts about me!
*.. You sat on a couch with Ritchie Valens' sister years ago at the Waldorf-Astoria, for Ritchie Valens' induction, and NOT ONCE did you mention this coin flip with Ritchie. You also never mentioned it in your previous biography or in other interviews you've done prior to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame one. WHY? I can tell you never happened with you!
*.. The yellow bus you say we toured in was used only ONCE; not the whole tour as you state it was.
*.. And why does everybody in the know, researchers and fans alike, including ALL the other surviving musicians from the Winter Dance Party tour back me up and NOT you? 
Quite the piece ... but we've got a couple of things going on here.  Passionate? Yes.  Hurt and Angry?  Without a doubt.  But I think Tommy drifts off-stream here a little bit when he attacks Dion's music prowess ... without question, Dion was one of the biggest stars of that era and there's really no need to take pot shots at "Runaround Sue" and "The Wanderer", two of the biggest hits of the '60's and two songs that have clearly stood the test of time.  That's where Tommy's anger gets in the way of the REAL issue here. 
Attack Dion's character and call him a liar ... that's fine ... you were there ... and the fact that this story has never surfaced until now leaves things suspect at best.  But the question remains ... WHY?!?!?  Dion can certainly rest on his musical laurels without having to change the story and rewrite history.  If it was a tactic to help sell books, it might have pushed a few extra copies but the end result is that he loses ALL credibility in the process!  And (as they say) if THIS "fact" is fiction, what ELSE in the book is simply and embellished (or completely fabricated) tale?  Too bad ... 'cause there was absolutely NO reason to do it.
He could have talked about what it was like to be on that show ... what it was like performing and touring with Buddy ... the emotions he felt the next morning when he heard about the plane crash ... Buddy's musical and songwriting legacy ... and on and on and on ... but to write yourself into the script ... especially into the coin toss story that has been circulating for over 50 years ... just doesn't make sense.  (kk)
According to a Wikipedia entry that cites Dion's biography "The Wanderer" as its source (implying that this story comes directly from Dion himself):
"After a concert stop in Clear Lake, Iowa, (Buddy) Holly and others decided to take a flight to the next venue rather than travel on the tour bus. Dion was invited to accompany the group but decided that he could not afford the cost of the $36 flight, as it was the same monthly rent his parents paid for his childhood apartment and he couldn't justify the indulgence."
From another online bio:
"(Dion and the Belmonts') most fateful appearance was certainly February 2, 1959, when they appeared in Clear Lake, Iowa on a program with Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper. At the show’s conclusion, Dion was asked to pitch in thirty-five dollars to charter a plane to the next concert site. He chose to travel in the bus instead, and thus was spared when the plane carrying Holly and Valens crashed in a cornfield."

OK, so maybe he's trying to dispel his "cheapskate" image and THAT's why he's now singing a different tune???  Sounds to me like Dion flat out passed on the opportunity and there was NO coin toss involved in the process.  Waylon Jennings off-the-cuff comment about the plane crashing haunted him for the next three decades ... seems to me that if Dion were in ANY way, shape or form involved, we would have heard SOMETHING about that during all this time, too!  (kk)
In just one of the HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of interviews that Bob Hale has given over the past 50 years, his recounting of the tale leading up to who got to fly on the plane and who didn't has NEVER wavered ... in fact, Bob says it was HIS coin that was tossed that night!  (I'm pretty sure he'd remember if Dion was one of the guys calling heads or tales!!!)  Here's a brief excerpt from an interview he did with Rick Kaempfer a few years back:   
During intermission the back-and-forth conversation between The Big Bopper and Waylon Jennings took place, resulting in Waylon giving up his seat to Bopper. At that point Waylon uttered a phrase that would haunt him all his life – “Well, OKAY, but I hope your plane crashes!”Years later, at a social gathering in Kentucky, Waylon and I recalled that night. He said: “Man, there isn’t a day goes by that I don’t wish I could take back that comment. The next day when I got the news in Fargo, I went nuts. I cried, I yelled. And I began to drink. Drugs helped along the way. Of course, I realized years down the road I was killing myself, so I quit. I don’t know, maybe deep inside I was so damned guilty, I was trying to kill myself!” He admitted that no matter how long he'd live, he’d always be haunted by Feb 3rd 1959.
After the show was over that night, Tommy Allsup, pressured by Ritchie Valens, said, “Let’s flip a coin.” It’s at this point that two versions of the coin flip emerge. Tommy maintains he flipped the coin; I maintain that as soon as he suggested it, he reached into his pocket and realized he had no money – he was still in his stage clothes. He asked me if I had a coin. I took out a 50 cent piece, said to Ritchie, “OKAY, Ritchie, you want to go, you call it.”
“Heads it is, Ritchie, you’re flying.”
Tommy said, “OKAY,” and went out to the car to retrieve his bags which he’d already put in Carroll Anderson’s car. Regardless which version of the coin toss you hear or accept neither Tommy nor I demand “ownership.” We’ve talked about this, and have no emotional investment in either version. What we agree on is that night was a tragedy and an extremely emotional one for us all.
-- Bob Hale
I'm hoping Bob will talk with us further about this whole Dion controversy ... stay tuned!!!  (kk)
Sounds to me like this story is far from over ... let's hear it from some of the fans out there!