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"Not Fade Away" in Its Many Mutations.

Posted by Miss Ess, June 11, 2008 06:06pm | Post a Comment
"Not Fade Away"buddy holly not fade away the crickets is one of the best songs ever written: simple, direct, pleading, mentions a Cadillac in its lyrics...I mean, what more could you want in a song?

I had the great pleasure of witnessing a Bob Dylan show in 2000 from about four people back. It was incredible, and one of the highlights was "Not Fade Away."  I've pretty much been thinking about the song ever since then.

For Buddy Holly to write something so pure and so fantastically mutable, especially at the age of 21, is remarkable. He owes a debt to Bo Diddley for the beat, that's for sure! The song's been covered a zillion times over and each time there's something new-- whether it's Dylan's band's killer harmonies or Mick Jagger's haughty congas--  and "Not Fade Away" retains its greatness. Yeah, even in the Rush version.

Here's Dylan performing the track back on the same tour I saw him on with his kick ass band.  The sound quality's not the greatest, but I still think it rocks:


Now here's Bruce Springsteen, back when he was the hardest working man in show business, performing the song:


And of course there's the Stones:


Just cause I'm kinda a Gene Clark obsessive, here's The Byrds' version with Gene on harmonica...they pretty much just ape the Stones though:

Relevant Tags

Bob Dylan (45), Rolling Stones (27), Bruce Springsteen (21), The Byrds (6), Buddy Holly (3), Gene Clark (5)