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8:05am — Researcher Explores Rock ‘n’ Roll Roots in Clovis

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Music-tourism study takes British business school lecturer to Norman Petty studio.

Last year, British music-tourism researcher David Leach published his account of visiting the hometowns of `50s and `60s rock ‘n’ roll icons — traveling to Liverpool; Memphis; Tupelo, Miss.; Hibbing, Minn.; and Lubbock, Texas.

This week, Leach, a lecturer with Manchester Metropolitan University Business School who is doing a follow-up study on where legendary music was recorded, produced or performed, stopped by the Norman Petty Recording Studio in Clovis for a couple of hours and took a tour of the Norman and Vi Petty Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum, the Clovis News Journal reported.

In an article titled “Before they were famous: music-based tourism and a musician’s hometown roots,” Leach wrote of his visit to Buddy Holly’s hometown of Lubbock, among others, and this year he decided to come to Clovis where Holly recorded his greatest hits at the Petty studio.

Music tourism is a huge industry, Leach told the News Journal.

“There is money to be made. Music tourism is emotionally driven. And if you are emotionally connected to something, you will pay whatever,” he told the paper.

In his visit to Bob Dylan’s hometown of Hibbing, Minn., he found that some of those town’s residents were still ambivalent about the former Robert Zimmerman.

“He left and some have never forgiven him,” Leach told the paper.

Leach also told the News Journal he was surprised by Clovis.

“It’s a small town. It’s nondescript. It’s a small market town for the surrounding area,” Leach said. “But then you think, why on earth would the studio be there? It adds to the mystique really.”

Leach wasn’t just interested in the business/tourism aspect of the Lubbock/Clovis/Buddy Holly connection.

He teared up when talking to a News Journal reporter about a recording he’d been given of Buddy Holly’s “Wishing.”

“My parents died when I was 13. I was being shipped off and I brought the ‘Wishing’ record with me,” Leach told the paper. “And now I have one of the original recordings. This isn’t ending up on eBay.”

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