As we all get ready to watch Prince's halftime Super Bowl show, it's worth checking out this excellent American Heritage story about a different day the music died: February 3, 1959, when Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson died in a plane crash immortalized in Don McLean's early '70s anthem, American Pie. From the article:
Richardson, in fact, had come down with the flu, and he wasn't looking forward to another cramped, frigid night on the bus. When he heard that Holly was arranging to charter a plane for himself and his band, he asked Holly's bass player-a young man named Waylon Jennings, who would later become a country music star-if he could take his place. Jennings acquiesced. Later that day Holly teased his bassist about giving up the plane ride. "He said, 'Well, I hope your bus freezes up,'" Jennings recalled years later. "And I said, 'Well, I hope your plane crashes.' I was awful young, and it took me a long time to get over that."
The worst Super Bowl performance of all time? In my opinion, that would be Sir Paul McCartney's 2002 warbling of his horrible 9/11 tune, "Freedom."
And this is as good a time as any to remind everyone to read Michael Novak's hoolarious reaction to Janet Jackson's Nipplegate, in which everyone's favorite former ambassador to the Vatican the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva argued that the NFL should do penace for introducing a woman's tit into a pigskin classic by producing "a ten-year sequence of halftime shows that tell the great story of the Founding of our nation."