Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience
That’ll Be the Day Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience, rock ‘n ‘rolls into town, bringing the music you danced and sang to. From “Peggy Sue” to “Everyday,” to “It’s So Easy,” Buddy Holly managed to change the face of rock ‘n roll and become a legend before dying in a plane crash at 22.
Rave On! is not an ordinary tribute show that tries to replicate every song as it was produced. Instead, the show reinvents the ordinary tribute show with an electrifying, high-energy rock ‘n roll extravaganza. The musicians are top flight and help re-imagine all the thrills of a Buddy Holly concert so many years ago. In a unique twist, the show’s creator, Billy McGuigan, as Buddy Holly, celebrates the birth of an era and pays homage to fellow rockers Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. The latter two, of course, would die in a snowy cornfield with Holly on a day that singer/songwriter Don McLean called “The Day the Music Died.”
For McGuigan, playing Holly was the role he was born to play. An Air Force brat, his father loved to sing Beatles music. In an interview with Broadway World, McGuigan described how his house was always filled with music. “One of my first musical memories was my dad teaching my brother Ryan and me to sing the high harmony lines on ‘She’s Leaving Home.’ There we were, Ryan, 5, and me, 8, singing these high parts terribly while my dad did his best Paul impersonation. Little did he know he was planting the seeds of a career in music!”
McGuigan has played Holly, the rock ‘n roll pioneer who died too young, more than 2500 times in Rave On! and hundreds more times in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. He has received critical acclaim for his energy, realism and raw talent. Tommy Allsup was a Grammy winner and a lead guitarist for Buddy Holly, gave up his seat to the Big Bopper on the fateful deadly flight. He has said that “Rave On! is the best Buddy Holly show out there.”