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Film Maker in Minnesota Tracing Last Buddy Holly Tour [AUDIO]

Bobby Vee

UNDATED – For many teens in this area 54 year ago, a concert by many top rock and roll stars like Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens was one of the best days of their young lives. And finding out their idols were killed a week later in a plane crash was one of the worst days.

Toronto-based film-maker Sevan Garabedian is making a movie about the ill-fated Winter Dance Party tour of 1959, and has spent time in the 11 cities that led up to the February 3rd 1959 show in Clear Lake Iowa, talking to people who went to the shows and gathering whatever memorabilia he can.

The smallest town in the tour was Montevideo Minnesota, which hosted the tour on January 27th at the now-demolished Fiesta Ballroom.

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Garabedian says he and co-producers Jimmy McCool of Madison Wisconsin and Dave Hanson of Rochester Minnesota have interviewed 6 of the 7 surviving musicians who played during the tour, and some of the musicians who filled-in after the crash.

He has yet to talk to Bobbie Vee of St. Joseph who was a fill-in, but he did to a member of his band who was there.

Holly, The Big Bopper and Valens were flying from Clear Lake to Moorhead because their tour bus kept breaking down and had no heat during a very cold winter.

Garabedian says it’s incredible that the show in Moorhead and the tour still went on, even after the plane crash.

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Garabedian says to his knowledge, he has the only 8 pictures of the Clear Lake show known to exist. He says the film makers would love to see any other pictures or hear recordings of any of the shows during the tour, and says video would be “The Holy Grail”.

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Garabedian askes anyone who went to the shows or has anything to contribute to the movie to contact him at 514-931-6959.

He says he’d like to have the movie, entitled “Gotta Travel On-The Winter Dance Party Odysssey” finished in time for the 55th anniversary of the tour next year. He says he’d like to have mini-premieres in all the towns where the tour stopped.

This story courtesy KWLM in Willmar.

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