A guitar that Buddy Holly played during his UK tour in 1958 has made a return to the Bradford Odeon (formerly Gaumont), before being taken to the Buddy Holly Center in Buddy’s hometown of Lubbock, Texas.
The Hofner President guitar was used by Buddy mainly on the tour bus for rehearsing and songwriting, and was given to the tour’s compere, a young Dec O’Connor, at the end of the tour. Des sold the guitar to the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation (BHEF) in 2010.
Buddy Holly and the Crickets (Joe B. Mauldin on bass and Jerry Allison on drums) played two shows at the Bradford Gaumont on March 9th, 1958. Also on the bill were Ronnie Keene and his Orchestra, the Tanner Sisters, Garry Miller and Des O’Connor. The show was a hit with the young rock ‘n’ roll fans, but met with less enthusiasm by Peter Holdsworth of the Telegraph & Argus, who complained:
“Unless they had previously read the lyrics or heard them sung by an articulate vocalist, I would have defied anyone in the audience to tell me what 70 per cent of the words were which issued from the lips of this foot-stamping, knee-falling musician. Where on earth is show business heading?”
I don’t think Mr Holdsworth really understood the new music. Heaven knows what he would have made of Jerry Lee Lewis if Jerry’s planned June 1958 gig at the venue hadn’t been cancelled.
Among the other stars who played the Bradford Gaumont over the years were Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Cliff Richard, Tom Jones, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.