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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 363
Mon, Jan 14, 2013

“Not Fade Away”
The Rolling Stones

1964

“♫ I’m
gonna love
you night &
day/ well
love is love
and not fade
away ♫”

It’s no coincidence an artist like Joe Strummer was changed, as a teenager, when first hearing The Stones rendition of this now Buddy Holly classic. The 1964 version of The Rolling Stones cover of “Not Fade Away,” sounds like a furious rhythmic freight train coming to shake your blues away. “It sounded like the road to freedom. Live! Enjoy life! Fuck chattered accountancy!” Strummer said describing the scene, from a brutally strict boarding school, when he first heard “Not Fade Away.”

In Chris Salewicz’s Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer Joe reminisced further about the Stones song that changed his life when he said, “I remember hearing “Not Fade Away” by the Rolling Stones coming out of this huge wooden radio in the day room and that’s the moment I thought, “This is something else! This is completely opposite all the other stuff we’re having to suffer here. That’s the moment I decided here is at least a gap in the clouds, or here’s a light shinning. And that’s the moment I fell for music. I made a subconscious decision to only follow music forever.”

Buddy Holly not only influenced The Beatles and The Stones as Keith Richards once admitted when he said, “It was the fact that we were doing Buddy’s song [“Not Fade Away”] that also gave us the extra provocation to start writing our own songs.” The Stones first manager Andrew Loog Oldham was right, when describing why making a record is an art and not a craft, he said it best, “It’s not something you know, it’s something you feel in your heart, in your gut and in every fiber of your instinct.”

The Beatles and The Stones both felt it and were influenced by Buddy Holly but they were not alone. It was only because Mick Jagger & Keith Richards riffed up Holly’s inspired Bo Diddley back beat, that a teenage Joe Strummer heard their brilliant cover and thirteen lucky years later The Clash were born. Rediscover the one song that birthed the most important rock and roll band of the Punk era, thank for you Buddy Holly, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for Joe Strummer, The Clash and not fading away.

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