Buddy Holly and Wigan Ritz

Several years ago I was watching a documentary about Buddy Holly, and I remember being completely blown away by the fact that he had played in Wigan in 1958. I mean, Wigan of all places! My own home town of Leigh is right next door and is God’s own country, according to my Mum…and still he gave it a miss! Charming!

I’m being facetious, of course. He did indeed play at the Wigan Ritz, but it was not only that fact which made the documentary memorable. The other reason was an interview, given for the documentary, by a now elderly woman, who met Buddy Holly when he came to Wigan to play. She said he was very nice and seemed to take a shine to her, so much so that he gave her a card and told her that if she wanted to, she could come to the stage door that night, give the card and her name and she would be allowed backstage. A personal invitation from Buddy Holly to go backstage and hang out with him! The chance of a lifetime, right?

Indeed it was, but history will never know how the night panned out, because she didn’t go. She was too nervous, she said, and so decided not to go. As I listened to her speaking, I couldn’t help but wonder whether history would have been different had she gone. Perhaps they would have had a relationship. Perhaps he would have stayed a while in Britain. And perhaps, he would never have taken that fateful flight in 1959. Who knows?

The world is full of “if only”, “what if”, “perhaps” and “maybe”. The greatest adventures in life never begin by saying no, so when opportunity knocks, don’t wait too long to answer.



2 thoughts on “Buddy Holly and Wigan Ritz

  1. I had no idea either! Green Day actually played their first UK show at a social club in Wigan too. I’ve worked here for 11 years and I don’t think anything that interesting has ever happened.

    Liked by 1 person

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