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Rave On: The Biography of Buddy Holly
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Rave On: The Biography of Buddy Holly

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  178 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Drawing on interviews with almost everyone who ever associated with Holly, including his widow, a biography creates a vivid picture of a young man who took the American music scene by storm and then died suddenly in a tragic plane crash. 25,000 first printing.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 18th 1996 by Simon & Schuster (first published September 13th 1996)
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Oct 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I admit I have a big bias when it comes to anything that concerns Buddy Holly being the fan I am. Having seen the stage play and movie, I thought I knew a lot about Buddy Holly, but this book completely destroyed those and threw me into the real world of Buddy. You get to see the good,bad,happy, and sad life that was Buddy's short visit to us. This author did a excellent job of researching everybodies point of view who got to know Buddy. I am going to make it a point of mine to get my own copy o ...more
Sep 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, and Buddy Holly - just tragic and all three of them were brilliant. I also love the thought of him in New York going to all the jazz clubs before he passed away. If he lived he would have made MORE great music. The guy just had that 'genius' element in his DNA.

A very well researched biography on the man. And again, it's heartbraking. Like the Gene Vincent bio, I just wanted to cry in the end.
Richard Barnes
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great read that captures just why Buddy Holly is so important in the history of rock and pop, and illuminates the tragedy of his early death.

Norman understands the history and sets Buddy's life against a background of the sudden explosion of rock'n'roll and Elvis with its equally rapid (partial) decline.

In addition, this book reveals the personal stories, in particular the complex and occassionaly sinister role of Norman Petty (Buddy's most prominent Producer and sort of Manager). Anyone who's r
Jeff Wilson
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Touching account of the life and tragic death of the original Rock and Roll Star.
Jun 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
After my mom died I got really into Buddy Holly. Or, rather, Buddy Holly just sort of showed up in my life all of a sudden. I don't know. I can't realy explain it without sounding like a complete nut, so I'll skip the details. Lets just say I freaked out and began to listen to the bespectacled rocker's music religiously, eagerly seeking out B-sides and rarities; anything, basically that he had touched. That hiccuppy croon of his was like a cool cool balm to my weary soul. Those three-chord tremo ...more
Addison Carter
Feb 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Not a fan.
Nov 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: death, rock-n-roll, 50s
I've been a Buddy Holly fan for years and I couldn't consider myself someone who knew about his brief life and music career so I decided it was time to read a biography. I chose this one because of the higher rating and because of the author writing many other biographies of famous musicians.

I did learn things about Holly that I hadn't known, how his material came to be, his rock 'n roll friendships, his management endeavors, and the financial struggle he faced towards the end of his life. Even
David Baltzer
Jul 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
I am giving this book a low rating for one very good reason: the author unfairly blames the pilot, Roger Peterson, for the crash that claimed his life as well as the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. 'The Big Bopper' Richardson.

There is ample evidence documented from accumulated owner reports for the same year, make, and model of airplane that it had a lot of design defects that caused problems and forced the company to replace parts for owners and make design changes. After the cra
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Buddy Holly (born, Charles Hardin Holley), one of the founders of rock’n’roll, died tragically in a plane crash on February 3, 1959, at only 22 years old. He had a new wife of only 5 months, and they were expecting their first child.

Buddy was a charming, genuinely nice, down-to-earth guy, but he wasn’t perfect. He had had an affair with a married woman, and towards the end of his life, he was in a battle with his first manager over money that was never passed on. The book goes into great detail
Sep 19, 2014 rated it liked it
A labor of love, but still, there seems to be many holes in the story he tells. Also, the author inserts himself into the narrative far too much for my tastes. His Beatles book is far better. I was happy to learn any information about Buddy as I only knew what that dumb Gary Busey movie told me as well as other dramatized versions of Buddy's life I have seen over the years. If you're in need of Buddy Holly introductory information, this is a decent book to read. Although, after reading this acco ...more
May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I read Philip Norman's account of Buddy Holly's life, I thought I'd be depressed through the whole thing...but surprisingly, I wasn't. Norman's biography really shined a light on who Holly was as a private person rather than just the rock icon with horn rimmed glasses. Although he was by no means perfect, he was kind, generous, optimistic, and a musical genius whose work endures even today. Now when I listen to his music, I have so much more appreciation for the beautiful person behind it.
Joe Eidson
Jun 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
You wouldn't think a life so short would have such a long biography, but this book is very well-researched and goes into some fine detail on Buddy Holly. My only complaint is that the prose sometimes lapses into some overly-saccharine description of Holly's genius - sometimes a chord is just a chord, y'know?
Michael Todd
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Of course, I enjoyed hearing details I never knew about Buddy Holly's life. However, I was especially intrigued to hear about 1950s pop culture, press, radio, music charts, the music industry and the audience. This book is like a time capsule of American and British life in that era. We're fortunate so many who had first hand knowledge were still alive to speak to the author.
Apr 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Basically, everything in the Gary Busey joint, The Buddy Holly Story, was more or less made up. Which is weird, because the stuff in here would actually be better as a movie than what they conjured up for the script anyway.
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Philip Norman has done a very good job of rooting out information that has become mythologized with the passing of time. I recommend this book to any serious music buff.
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: going-to-read
The book was so great talking about the biography of Buddy Holly but it was quite sad when the plane crash happened I was crying really hard when that happened in the book.But great book! :)
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
What a interesting life. A life taken way to soon.
Good book.
Peter Burton
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book especially on the role of Norman Petty and the details of the plane crash.A great rock star whose work has stood the test of time.A sad and moving account from a true fan.
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The definitive biography of Buddy Holly. Engaging writing for an engaging artist.
Mar 11, 2008 rated it liked it
my buddy holly obsession never really goes away. a 2nd-time read, and fascinating account of one of the giants of rock-n-roll.
Gunnar Hjalmarsson
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ýtarleg, skemmtileg og góð. Allt sem maður þarf að vita um Buddy og hans örstutta feril. Fullt hús!
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just finished to read this book and I'm crying. I love it. But obviously it's so sad.
Aug 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
Favorite biography ever. Swear.
rated it really liked it
Sep 05, 2017
Calvin Evans
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Dec 26, 2016
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Apr 15, 2017
Missy Ziemba
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Aug 11, 2013
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Jul 03, 2007
rated it it was amazing
Jun 28, 2014
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