By Tonya Fennell: Freedom Newspapers
The music and legend of Buddy Holly changed Dave Tobin’s life.
Tobin, a 67-year-old native of England, attended the Clovis Music Festival for the first time in 2001.
“I’ve always been a Buddy Holly fan,” he said. “I came (to Clovis) to fulfill a dream.”
That initial trip prompted the father of two to retire from his job with the Ford Motor Co. after 37 years, sell his home and relocate to Lubbock.
Since moving to Texas, Tobin said he has immersed himself in music. He attends South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, where he is studying video production technology.
According to Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Liz Eisenbraun, the Clovis Music Festival draws visitors from around the world.
Tobin, whose nickname is “English Dave,” said his entire life is filled with music now. He sings, plays guitar, harmonica and several other instruments in two bands. “We don’t play Buddy Holly music,” he said. “We play old time country like Hank Williams.”
But, Holly’s music will always have a special place in Tobin’s heart. “I’ve been a fan since 1957 when I first heard, “That’ll Be the Day,” he said.
And when he isn’t attending classes or singing in the choir, the music lover said he volunteers with the Visitors Bureau of Lubbock giving tours and greeting visitors.
Tobin said he has become “good friends” with Holly’s family and attends the same church the rock ’n’ roll pioneer attended in his youth.
Clovis Music Festival attendee Chris Howe, who lives in Oldham, England, is making his second trip to the United States in less than a year.
“I visited Lubbock in March,” Howe said, “and then I heard about the Clovis Music Festival, so I had to come back.”
Howe said he “emptied out the piggy bank” to make the trip. “I’ve traveled 6,000 miles to be here,” he said, “and it was worth every mile.”
Although Howe traveled specifically to attend the music festival, he said he has fallen in love with Clovis. “This whole place rocks,” he said. “Everybody is just so nice.”
Both men, who have become “fast friends” due to their common interests, said they are enjoying the event and looking forward to the evening shows.
“It’s (Clovis Music Festival) brilliant from start to finish,” Tobin said.