The Surf Ballroom’s abode in music history has continued been secured, as the armpit of Buddy Holly’s aftermost concert and the abode where, as Don McLean sang, the music died.
Now the acclaimed 72-year-old amphitheater in Clear Lake, Iowa, has been clearly declared a celebrated abode by the U.S. secretary of the Interior, landing on the Civic Celebrated Landmark account this month, aloof canicule afore the 62nd ceremony of that acute day.
“The Surf Amphitheater is a civic treasure. You can about feel the activity and apprehend the echoes of all the concerts over the years,” Chris Kramer, administrator of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, said in statement. “The soundtrack of the 20th aeon played live, appropriate actuality in Clear Lake, Iowa.”
Located a little over two hours south of Minneapolis, the Surf has continued been a common stop for touring musicians amid Des Moines and the Twin Cities. Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper were en avenue to a concert in Moorhead, Minn., in the aboriginal morning hours of Feb. 3, 1959, back their baby even comatose in an Iowa acreage on a biting night afterwards their Surf Amphitheater concert.
Over the years, a who’s who of music has performed at the Surf, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Lawrence Welk, Little Richard, the Everly Brothers, B.B. King, Wanda Jackson, the Beach Boys, Santana, the Doobie Brothers, Willie Nelson and added afresh Little Big Town and Robert Plant.
Originally opened in 1934, the Surf was a sister amphitheater to the Terp in Austin, Minn., and the Prom in St. Paul. Afterwards a 1947 blaze destroyed the Surf, it was rebuilt and reopened the abutting year with the aforementioned oceanside theme.
In 2008, the North Iowa Cultural Center & Building took over operation of the Surf as a nonprofit. It operates as a building and a concert and accident venue, with a accommodation of 2,100. Political rallies for candidates of assorted parties, including Barack Obama and Donald Trump, accept been captivated at the ballroom.
McLean, best accepted for his 1971 archetypal “American Pie,” which refers to the 1959 even blast as “the day the music died,” was appointed to acknowledgment to the Surf on Feb. 3 this year, but the gig, forth with the ceremony Winter Dance Party, was adjourned due to the pandemic. The Surf has captivated the multiday accident on the ceremony of the final Holly concert back 1979.
The Surf Amphitheater is Iowa’s 27th Civic Celebrated Landmark, abutting a account including President Herbert Hoover’s birthplace in West Branch and the Old Capitol in Iowa City.
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