on March 15, 2008
Run a search on the Lubbock Avananche-Journal's webpage and you'll find the story. As for the tome's literary value, it starts off slow and only modestly engaging with a meandering recount of Peggy Sue's high school days. However, the story quickly picks up steam with her rushed wedding to Crickets drummer Jerry and their double honeymoon to Acapulco with Buddy and Maria Elena. With some shocking revelations and the ever-mounting drama in Peggy Sue and Jerry's marriage, it turns into a genuine page-turner. I devoured the last half of the book in an afternoon. Peggy Sue is a likable and sympathetic character; you'll root for her all the way to the end.
on April 27, 2016
I own a copy signed by both authors purchased in 2008. It's a good book with a lot of interesting information not found elsewhere, and difficult to put down.
Peggy Sue's recollections of events 50 years earlier are generally believable, and there are different perspectives here about Buddy Holly, her husband Jerry Allison, producer and manager Norman Petty, and Buddy's short-term wife, Maria Elena, than found in any other biography. Peggy Sue describes her husband as being a partier, adulterer, and alcoholic. She paints a warmer picture of Norman Petty than have other biographers, indicating that Buddy Holly continued his association with him and was making plans with Petty up until the end of his life. As far as Maria Elena, per Peggy Sue she had a definite attitude and was Buddy's "Yoko". After she met and married Buddy, the Crickets soon broke up and Buddy moved to New York. He made demo tapes in his New York apartment. Then followed his tragic death. Exactly the same scenario happened with John Lennon. Plus the miscarriages that both Maria Elena and Yoko suffered. That is, if Maria Elena was actually pregnant or just thought she might have been. I have read elsewhere that Maria Elena's pregnancy was never confirmed, and she didn't even see a doctor when she allegedly had a miscarriage in the bathroom, plus no one in the Holley family had known anything about this at the time. Maria Elena told the story of her purported pregnancy many years after Buddy died.
Although I really like the book and all the behind the scenes information, she tends to paint a picture of both Buddy Holly and especially herself as poised, mature, wise and clear-thinking adults in every situation she describes. Peggy Sue was a teenager at the time, and how she states she responded to other people is just too "wise beyond her years" for a teenager. And she makes some questionable claims, such as Buddy Holly stopping an elevator between floors about 3 months after marrying Maria Elena to confide in Peggy Sue that he had a lawyer drawing up divorce papers. If that is true, it's sort of odd that Buddy would have continued to live with Maria Elena for the following couple months before his death. She says he also told her to divorce his pal and drummer Jerry Allison (who she generally has nothing good to say about), and mentions that Buddy Holly attempted to be intimate with her and implies a couple times that he maybe was interested in marrying her.
Another problem is that the book is filled with quotations of conversations that took place 50 years earlier. She says she kept a journal, but unless she was carrying a tape recorder or taking shorthand in a notebook while talking to people at the time, all of the conversations within quotation marks are fictitious. No one has the ability to recollect verbatim, word for word, specific conversations between several people that took place decades ago - certainly not after 50 years. In this respect, the book is more a novelization based on facts.
Nevertheless, the book is essential and very worthwhile for Buddy Holly fans as it provides behind the scenes information and a different perspective from previous biographies of Buddy Holly. I'm glad she wrote her story. A newer paperback version is in print at this time.
on April 7, 2008
..and now you do. If you're a Buddy Holly fanatic like myself, this is a quick enjoyable read. If I were Jerry Allison or Maria Elena, I wouldn't want this book to come out. Neither individual escape without a severe taint. Allison is portrayed as an immature, self-absorbed, wife cheating, wife beating alcoholic (Peggy Sue was married to him) and Holly's wife, Maria Elena is viewed as a class conscious, coniving, thoroughly unlikeable b@#*ch who didn't even attend her own husband's funeral. Peggy Sue drops a bombshell or two along the way, including Holly's plans to divorce his new bride of a few months. It's an era of black and gold Chevy's, pink Cadillacs, bobby sox and dates that consisted of hamburgers and Cokes. The chapter on the double honeymoon of Peggy Sue & Jerry and Maria Elena & Buddy is alone worth the price of the book. From the sand of West Texas to the glitz & glamour of 1950's New York, this book will transport you back to a time long gone, but whose music still lives on.
on August 21, 2008
Peggy Sue has chosen to tell us what not only happened to her, but why. Yes, the story has it's high points and its lows. Don't we all have our good qualities and those we aren't so proud of? Buddy Holly, Marie Elena, Jerry Allison, and Peggy Sue herself were only human, after all. Her story helps set the record straight.
Marie Elena has a right to protect Buddy's name and reputation, but in doing so to the extreme, she has harmed herself by creating the impression that she is solely out to make money off her late husband's name and image.
Jerry Allison comes off as problematic, also, but given the culture and time he grew up in, it's understandable why he did some of the things he did. We men aren't always of the best character.
In reading her book, I did not get the impression Peggy Sue was relating only the bad in anyone she happened to write about.
Perhaps, Jerry Allison or Marie Elena could write books of their own to relate their experiences in their own words.
Buddy Holly, Norman and Violet Petty, Niki Sullivan and others are gone. They can't tell us their side of the story. Those who are yet with us can. Peggy Sue has taken the time to give us her view of things. If you read "Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue?" you will have a better understanding of some of the individuals who helped shape or worked with Buddy Holly.
Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue? is a warm, straightforward recollection by the lady immortalized in Buddy Holly's classic rock love song. Peggy Sue Gerron's reminiscences about her young adulthood and friendship with the 'young man in a hurry' (as Buddy has become known) is a gentle, loving portrait of their lives and times in Lubbock, Texas in the 1950's. No scalding exposes here regarding Buddy. More troubling, in Peggy Sue's life, is her marriage to Jerry Allison, one of the original Crickets.
Peggy Sue's story contains some revelations--particularly that Buddy was planning to file for divorce of Maria Elena--and gently hints that Peggy Sue was his real love all along. Perhaps so. Maria Elena has achieved a tough-as-nails reputation, even going as far as trying to prevent the publication of this memoir. And, it is widely questioned whether or not she really was pregnant when Buddy was killed in that plane crash.
This book resonates with a sound of truth, and is a gentle look at another side of a man whose life and music impacted -- and directed -- music as knew it back then, as well as today. Immensely personal and highly enjoyable, this book is definitely on the must read list for any fan of Buddy Holly's, as well as Peggy Sue's. I'm so glad she wrote this one!!!
on July 9, 2015
I bought this book earlier in 2015 because I did wonder what happened to Peggy Sue. When the song Peggy Sue was popular, I had no idea that she was a real person. I graduated in 1960 from a small Oklahoma town, so her description of life back then reminded me of a lot of things that I had forgotten. She tells her story in a realistic fashion, and the descriptions of the people in the book rings true with the other books that I have read about Buddy Holly. Peggy Sue and Travis Holley (Buddy's brother) were interviewed on the PBS radio show Prarie Home Companion on April 4, 2015. ( this was a rebroadcast from April 27, 2013 )
If she had lied about her experiences with Buddy Holly, I don't think that Travis would have appeared on the show with her.
I wish that she had better luck in love.
on May 7, 2008
When rock and roll artists sing about women - it's nine times out of ten not actually about one specific woman - but that one time out of ten, one has to wonder who these songs are about and how they inspired the artist. "Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue: A Memoir by Buddy Holly's Peggy Sue" is the story of the famous artist who was taken from the world far too soon and the subject of one his most famous songs - Peggy Sue. She speaks candidly and with total truth about her relationship with Buddy Holly and sets all the rumors and myths surrounding them and their respective spouses to rest. "Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue: A Memoir by Buddy Holly's Peggy Sue" is highly recommended for Buddy Holly fanatics and community library memoir collections with a focus on music.
This is an endlessly fascinating "behind the scenes" memoir. Autobiographies are an individual's best chance to give (and leave) his or her own version of events, as he or she saw them, and he or she wants them to be recorded (that is, subjectively and including the interpretation part, if applicable). This one never lets you down. For anyone interested in those short, short Buddy Holly days, this is a page turner, from beginning to end. Staying up late, and later, in bed, I kept wondering what was going to happen to this fascinating cast of characters on the next page, which could never be guessed -- despite a mature recognition of the foibles of human nature.
What a time! What incredible, creative talent! What a group of people! What music! What fun!
Filling in events, contemporaneously, as she heard them (and from where), is a priceless record. As a historian, I am so appreciative that Ms. Gerron made the effort to get this down in words on paper.
on October 21, 2008
This an amazingly written, first-hand account of life in the Buddy Holly days, from a totally different perspective than the public had previously been shown. Buddy, as always, shines as the immortal star that he was. I applaud Peggy Sue for her courage to present the inside story. It is a must read for all Buddy Holly fans.
on August 10, 2015
This book really takes me back, to the very beginning of rock and roll. I always wondered what had become of Peggy Sue, and now I know.