Sunday, March 29, 2015

The NTSB re-examination of The Mason City Iowa accident February-3-1959 ( Roger Peterson - Buddy Holley - Ritchie Valens - J P Richardson )


The NTSB re-examination of  The Mason City Iowa accident February-3-1959 

( Roger Peterson - Buddy Holley - Ritchie Valens - J P Richardson ) 



I would like to invite your interest in promoting / supporting via your social media sites...
The NTSB re-examination of  The Mason City Iowa accident February-3-1959 
( Roger Peterson - Buddy Holley - Ritchie Valens - J P Richardson ) 

There is an organization called ( The NTSB )...Maybe you heard of them.
They are in the business of Investigating / reviewing accidents.
We have Petitioned The NTSB, to re-examine the aircraft accident from Mason City Iowa February-3-1959.
We are requesting your support !!
" Your Support " by expressing your sincere interest and invite The NTSB to re-examine this aircraft accident.

You can offer your support through ...
News Letter, E-mails, post on your Web-page, You Tube, Facebook, and Twitter sites.
We realize that ....February-3-1959 was ' 56 Years ' ago, and many folk's that were 15, 16, 17 years old at 
that time just might need a little  ' Hey Baby... ', and allow yourself to support this New Re-consideration Investigation by
The NTSB ( National Transportation Safety Board ).

ALSO:
The NTSB has open a Docket List...so that folk's can follow along as they reconsider the February-3-1959 Investigation. 
The Daily Tribune newspaper reports the deaths of Buddy Holly, J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson and Ritchie Valens. GAB Archive/Redferns

Clear Lake, Iowa, Feb. 3 (UPI)
Three of the nation's top rock 'n roll singing stars – Ritchie Valens, J. P. (The Big Bopper) Richardson, and Buddy Holly – died today with their pilot in the crash of a chartered plane.
The singers, members of a rock 'n roll troupe touring Midwest cities, died because they wanted to make a fast hop between dates so they could get their shirts laundered.

The tragedy that ended the careers of the three rising stars symbolized, in a way that was powerfully real, the decline of the strange new music that was carrying us into adolescence and adulthood. In rock and roll one has to be a fan as well as a listener, and the energy of the music depends on stars as much as it does on expertise and creativity. Send Jimi Hendrix to prison for a few years, bust John Lennon and Mick Jagger just one more time, and it won't matter much how good the next album by the Byrds sounds. Rock and roll is not composed in conservatories or judged in museums – this is one world where infinity does not go up on trial. 19 and 59 – the stars were gone.

The sound Buddy Holly had brought together was left to the second stringers, members of the bands who previously had been happy to back him up or copy his material. Then Bobby Vee appropriated the Crickets for an LP, and hired a young piano player, Bob Dylan, for his road band. That was where the momentum was. Rock and roll, as Dylan himself put it, became "a piece of cream."

Today, we can discover that the heritage of that flimsy, beautiful era comes to more than just the million-sellers everyone remembers. The spirit of the old music, brash, innocent, is a spirit our best craftsmen have never lost, and the memories are more than music – they jump out of an awareness of crucial, sometimes tragic events that exaggerate every note of "La Bamba" and "Peggy Sue" until there's just a lot more there to hear.
Following an appearance before 1000 fans at Clear Lake last night, they chartered a plane at the Mason City Airport, two miles east of here, and took off at 1:50 AM for Fargo, North Dakota. Their Bonanza four-seat single engine plane crashed minutes later.

If Buddy Holly were alive today I've no doubt that he, like Johnny Cash, would be recording with Bob Dylan. (The band, for their part, tried to get Gene Vincent to visit the sessions for their latest album, only to discover him living in a hospital in Los Angeles, crippled by an accident.) When young Bob Dylan brought an electric rock and roll band on stage at a junior high school music pageant back in Hibbing, Minnesota, to a reception similar to the one he received when he did the same thing at Newport years later, Buddy Holly tunes were most likely part of the program.

Traces of Holly's vocal style, his phrasing rather than his insane changes from deep bass to something resembling soprano, pop up all through Dylan's career: on an obscure 1962 Columbia single, "Mixed-Up Confusion," on "Absolutely Sweet Marie," on "I Shall Be Free No. 10," anywhere you look. Dylan and Holly share a clipped, staccato delivery that communicates a sly sense of cool, almost teenage masculinity.

This spirit is captured at its best on one of Holly's finest albums, The Great Buddy Holly (Vocalion VL 3811), recently released as a budget item ($1.98). The LP contains ten cuts recorded in Nashville before Holly made it as a star (these are the songs discussed by Barret Hansen in "Tex-Mex," the article in ROLLING STONE #23, but they are available). The accompanying musicians, lacking the flash and the excitement of Holly's later band, do all the right things and put the burden on Holly. He carries it with ease, on an early version of "That'll Be the Day," on love songs, on school-boy rockers. It's with the last two songs, "Don't Come Back Knockin'" and "Midnight Shift," that Holly gets into rock and roll like a young Carl Perkins singing about women who cheat on him, not people who step on his shoes.

This isn't the blues – there is no self-pity, not even a tear. Buddy has the last laugh. "Annie's beein working on the midnight shift" – he's glad to let you know, and he's not referring to overtime pay at the all-night drugstorThe phrasing is simply what we know as pure Dylan—
If she tells you she wants to use the caahhhh!

Never explains what she want it faaahhh!
—what Phil Spector meant when he heard the Four Tops doing "Reach Out" and said, "yeah, that's a black man singing Dylan." In an odd way, it was the Four Tops doing Buddy Holly. If things had been different, Holly and Dylan might be surprising us all with a snappy duet on "I Don't Believe You."

The plane skidded across the snow for 558 feet. Holly, 21, was found twenty feet from the wreckage.
Following his death, Coral Records released half a dozen albums of Holly's hits and memorabilia. While The Buddy Holly Story (biggest hits, Coral CRL 757279) ought to be part of everyone's collection, there is much more. Holly's obscure recordings, made on home tape-recorders, in high school with his pal Bob Montgomery, demos and rehearsal acetates, have been re-recorded with studio musicians, often the Fireballs, supplementing the original vocal tracks.

The feeling one gets from listening to these cuts, an uneven collection of various Number One records ("Smokey Joe's Cafe," "Shake Rattle and Roll," "Blue Monday," "Love is Strange," "Rip It Up," and so one), is that of visiting a funeral parlor to watch an embalmer touch up the face of a body mangled in an accident. The guy does a great job but you still don't recognize the face. For the most part, these records are interesting historically, not musically – they show where Holly came from, sounding like an anemic Carl Perkins on "Blue Suede Shoes," until he finally emerges as an original, able to master any sort of material in a way that is unique and compelling. His vocal on "Love Is Strange" steals the song from Micky and Sylvia. Holly had it all down.

Sometimes, these ancient cuts provide a real sense of what rock and roll might have become had Holly lived. The same shock of recognition that knocked out the audiences at the Fillmore West when the band from Big Pink lit into Little Richard takes place, with the same song, when the ghost of Buddy Holly is joined by the Fireballs for "Slippin' and Slid-in'" (from Giant, the "new" Holly release, Coral CRL 757504). An agile, humorous vocal is carried by a band that knows all the tricks. They break it open with the Everly Brothers' own seductive intro, constantly switching, musically, from song to song while Holly ties it together.

 The guitarist actually sounds like Robbie Robertson, throwing in bright little patterns around the constant whoosh of the cymbals. The excitement and confusion that comes from a precise marriage of the two songs is irresistible – it's certainly one of the best things Buddy Holly never did. He was only twenty one, so Coral Records just brought him out of the grave.

Valens, a 17 year old recording sensation hailed as "the next Elvis Presley," was thrown forty feet. Valens, from Pacoima, California, was rapidly becoming one of the hottest singing talents in the country. His first record, of a song he had written called "Come On, Let's Go," was released last summer and made him famous.
Richard Valenzuela, a Southern California boy. Ruben of Ruben and the Jets was patterned after Ritchie, and much of the material on the Cruising album is a fair representation of Valens' music. Today, it might all seem rather laughable, but for Ritchie and his fans, as Zappa would be the first to admit, it was no joke, it was just the way it was. "We made this album because we really like this kind of music: just a bunch of old men with rock & roll clothes on sitting around the studio, mumbling about the good old days."

Valens was a hero to the Mexican-American community in Los Angeles, and they cheered him on with the same kind of support they gave when one of their boys faced a black welterweight in the annual Golden Gloves Tournament. It meant a lot to break into a field that had always been in the hands of larger, more established minorities – blacks, Italians, Okies – Ritchie was the first Chicano singer, a hero, just a kid, but a hero.
Valens sang fragile melodies with the enthusiasm and commitment of Little Richard, and the tension that resulted from a fusion of these two elements in a single song captivated his audience and made him a star. Imagine Little Richard singing "Whispering Bells" or perhaps something like Mary Hopkin's "Goodbye" the way he sang "Lucille" and you have Ritchie Valens. He could turn it around: "Donna" is as touching a ballad as "I Threw It All Away."

Valens took an old Mexican festival song, "La Bamba," gave it a rock and roll beat, and scored with one of the most exciting records of the era. The split second flashes of the intro, the guitar break that happens before Ritchie has finished with the words – they were all in so much of a hurry the notes pile up on top of each other until the song itself explodes. And Valens traveled twenty feet farther than either Buddy Holly or the Big Bopper. What is left?

The only LP by Ritchie Valens that is still in print is a weird budget album (88c) on Guest Star Records (GS-1469), available in supermarkets and drugstores, "a product of the Synthetic Plastics Co." "Fine records need not be expensive" is their slogan. Again, more graverobbers. The company has taken Ritchie's audition tapes (vocal and fine acoustic guitar playing), studio jams that were recorded for vocals that were never sung, and some unreleased masters, added the hit version of "Donna," and come up with "an album." Surprisingly, it works as a record: starting with the early tapes, a kid trying to get his first contract, the sense of melody is there and there is no doubt about the talent. As with the Holly albums, we go through a period of uncertainty, the tracks randomly titled ("Rock Little Donna" is really about a girl named Susie), Ritchie finding himself, beginning to work with a band. Then the triumph, his perfect "Donna," a few pleasant songs, two jams, and it's over. This is Juke Box Heaven, courtesy of Guest Star Records. This is what is left. When Valens died "La Bamba" was right up there in the Top Ten; a week later it was slipping down off the charts, and Bobby Vinton was there, holding Ritchie's coat.

The wreckage and the bodies were not discovered until long after dawn. The other members of the troupe, including singer Frankie Sardo, the "Crickets," and "Dion and the Belmonts," made the trip by bus. Although grief-stricken, their performance tonight in Moorhead, Minn., took place as scheduled.
This story is from the June 28th, 1969 issue of Rolling Stone.
From The Archives Issue 36: June 28, 1969

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Et tu Brutis - The US Senate Traitors


Friday, March 06, 2015

Ferguson judge behind aggressive fines policy owes $170,000 in unpaid taxes


The judge in Ferguson, Missouri, who is accused of fixing traffic tickets for himself and colleagues while inflicting a punishing regime of fines and fees on the city’s residents, also owes more than $170,000 in unpaid taxes.

Ronald J Brockmeyer, whose court allegedly jailed impoverished defendants unable to pay fines of a few hundred dollars, has a string of outstanding debts to the US government dating back to 2007, according to tax filings obtained by the Guardian from authorities in Missouri.

Brockmeyer, 70, was this week singled out by Department of Justice investigators as being a driving force behind Ferguson’s strategy of using its municipal court to aggressively generate revenues. The policy has been blamed for a breakdown in relations between the city’s overwhelmingly white authorities and residents, two-thirds of whom are African American.

Investigators found Brockmeyer had boasted of creating a range of new court fees, “many of which are widely considered abusive and may be unlawful”. A city councilman opposing the judge’s reappointment was warned “switching judges would/could lead to loss of revenue”.

Brockmeyer, who has been Ferguson’s municipal court judge for 12 years, serves simultaneously as a prosecutor in two nearby cities and as a private attorney. Legal experts said his potentially conflicting interests illustrate a serious problem in the region’s judicial system. Brockmeyer, who reportedly earns $600 per shift as a prosecutor, said last year his dual role benefited defendants. “I see both sides of it,” he said. “I think it’s even better.”

As well as being a judge in Ferguson’s municipal court, Ronald Brockmeyer is also a prosecutor in two nearby cities and a private attorney. Photograph: brockmeyerlaw.com

While Brockmeyer owes the US government $172,646 in taxes, his court in Ferguson is at the centre of a class-action federal lawsuit that alleges Ferguson repeatedly “imprisoned a human being solely because the person could not afford to make a monetary payment”.

“Judge Brockmeyer not being incarcerated is a perfect illustration of how we should go about collecting debt from people who owe it,” said Thomas Harvey, the director of Arch City Defenders, one of the legal non-profits representing plaintiffs who were jailed in Ferguson.

Brockmeyer did not respond to multiple emails and telephone calls requesting comment. Federal tax liens filed against Brockmeyer by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) state that he has tens of thousands of dollars in overdue personal income taxes from joint filings with his wife, Amy. He also owes tens of thousands in employer taxes for his law firm and an annual tax paid by employers to fund benefits for the unemployed. Since November 2013, Brockmeyer has paid off another three overdue tax bills totalling $64,599.

He owns three properties in the St Louis area and accompanied his family on a vacation to Walt Disney World in Florida in 2013.

The judge was also named among a group of white Ferguson officials found by the Department of Justice investigators to be writing off citations for themselves and friends while punishing residents for similar offences. Another of these officials, court clerk Mary Ann Twitty, was fired by the city in connection with racist emails also uncovered by the inquiry.

The report said Brockmeyer agreed to “take care” of a speeding ticket for a senior Ferguson police officer in August 2014, and had a red light camera ticket he received himself from the nearby city of Hazelwood dismissed in October 2013.

“Even as Ferguson city officials maintain the harmful stereotype that black individuals lack personal responsibility – and continue to cite this lack of personal responsibility as the cause of the disparate impact of Ferguson’s practices – white city officials condone a striking lack of personal responsibility among themselves and their friends,” the justice department investigators said, in a scathing report on the city’s administration.

The class action lawsuit filed against Ferguson earlier this year alleges that the city violates the constitutional rights of defendants imprisoned over outstanding tickets and minor offences. It seeks compensation and asks a federal judge to force Ferguson to halt the practices.

“Once locked in the Ferguson jail, impoverished people owing debts to the city endure grotesque treatment. They are kept in overcrowded cells; they are denied toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap; they are subjected to the constant stench of excrement and refuse in their congested cells [and] they are surrounded by walls smeared with mucus and blood,” said one passage of the lawsuit, which went on to name several more hardships.

One of the plaintiffs – Roelif Carter, a 62-year-old disabled military veteran – alleges he was arrested and jailed for three days in Ferguson in 2010 after trying to pay the $100 monthly instalment for his outstanding traffic fines on the second day of the month rather than the first, when it was due. While living in “constant fear” he was arrested and jailed three more times in the following years when he was unable to pay the monthly charge, the lawsuit alleges.

“Most debtors in this country are not rounded up and jailed in brutal conditions,” said Alec Karakatsanis, a co-founder of Equal Justice Under Law and a lead attorney on the lawsuit. “But if you happen to owe your debts to a municipality in St Louis County, they are willing to let you languish there on a ransom.”