Buddy Holly

From Weezerpedia
"Buddy Holly"
Buddy Holly cover
Single by Weezer
Album Weezer (The Blue Album)
Released May 10, 1994
September 7, 1994 - as a single
Format CD, cassette, vinyl
Recorded August-September 1993 at Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY
Length 2:39
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Rivers Cuomo
RC# 165
COR# 59
Producer(s) Ric Ocasek
Status Officially released
Live debut August 1, 1993 in West Hollywood, CA
Professional reviews
Weezer singles chronology
"Undone - The Sweater Song"
"Buddy Holly"
"Say It Ain't So"
Weezer (The Blue Album) track listing
"The World Has Turned and Left Me Here"
"Buddy Holly"
"Undone - The Sweater Song"
Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo track listing
"The Bomb"
"Buddy Holly (Demo)"
Rivers Cuomo song chronology
"Souvenirs, Novelties, Party Tricks"
(RC# 164)
"Buddy Holly"
(RC# 165)
"Hot Tub"
(RC# 166)
Alternate cover
Cover of the European Retail CD
Cover of the European Retail CD
Spotify Canvas art
Spotify Canvas art
Spotify Canvas art

"Buddy Holly" is the second single and fourth track from The Blue Album.



"Buddy Holly" is one the most-well known Weezer songs. It was originally written on June 25, 1993 alongside "In The Garage", after the band was signed to DGC.[1] The demo for the song, released on Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo, features a slower tempo. In the liner notes for Alone, Cuomo explained how he was inspired to write the song after a friend from his choir lent him a Korg keyboard:

I was in the Santa Monica College Choir and I met a kid named Steve Graff who lent me his Korg Keyboard. Inspired by its goofy synth sounds, I decided to write some new-wave influenced songs.

The chorus melody, though, I came up with as I was walking through the lawns of the campus. The melody was in time to my steps: "ooo-we-ooo I look just like Buddy Holly." The lyrics I struggled with, trying to find the right reference point. An early version read, "ooo-we-ooo you look just like Ginger Rogers. Oh-oh I move just like Fred Astaire."

The life-situation that inspired the lyric was an incident in which the Weezer guys were making fun of my friend Kyung He (also in the Santa Monica College Choir). They were the "homies dissin' my girl".

I rarely wrote lyrics about tension between me and the guys in the band because I thought it would be awkward for us all to perform those songs together. In this case, though, it didn't seem like a big deal.

Obviously, this track is kind of slow compared to how it ended up on the Weezer record. [Even on the Weezer record we recorded it pretty slow. We sped it up during mastering.] I've always like big, fat, heavy guitar sounds and when I write a song with a sound like that I end up digging in and playing real slow. It isn't 'til we hear a song back on tape that we realize, "hey, that's a little dirgy."

- Rivers Cuomo, Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo, liner notes

"Buddy Holly" is the most oft-performed song in the Weezer catalog. Beginning in late 2000, an extended guitar intro was added, and continued to be performed through 2005. Rivers Cuomo has said that "Buddy Holly" is his favorite song to perform live.

Single release

"Buddy Holly" was the second single released from The Blue Album. Its initial cover art featured a photo of a very young Rivers Cuomo with a female friend. Apparently, the photo was used before gaining permission from this girl, and a search for her turned up fruitless. When Geffen realized they may be in an actionable position, they quickly changed the cover, and a photo of Cuomo and his brother Leaves was used instead. The incorrect cover only appears on promo copies of the single, except in Austrailia, who rushed a "Buddy Holly" single out so fast that it not only included the banned photo, but included none of the exclusive B-sides, instead simply including the LP version of "Holiday". Karl Koch would later say, "These Austrailians seem to rush into everything."

The retail single utilized live recordings from a November 1994 show in Rochester, New York as B-sides, along with the DGC Rarities version of "Jamie".


"Buddy Holly" is one of the most universally-loved and famous Weezer songs. The guitar fill at the end of the solo is one of the most notable moments in any Weezer song. Its music video was very significant in Weezer's career, winning awards and bringing the band a high level of visibility. The song was ranked as part of "The Very Best" by the Weezer songblog, Teenage Victory Songs. Allmusic.com gave "Buddy Holly" a 5 star rating and named it an "AMG Track Pick."

The song was covered by parody group Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine for their 2003 album Tuxicity.

Rhythm game appearances

Due to it's high popularity, "Buddy Holly" has appeared in various rhythm games since it's release. The first notable appearance of the song in a rhythm game was the Playstation 3 version of SingStar, released on December 7, 2007. "Buddy Holly" would later go onto feature as downloadable content for Rock Band, releasing on December 18, 2007. The song also features in both Guitar Hero (iOS) and Rock Band (iOS). Notably, the song appears in the Harmonix game FUSER, and Fortnite Festival.

Music video

The one that blew everything out of the water for Weezer, and, along with his "Sabotage" video, put Spike firmly on the map. No computer trickery, just a real Al, real sets and real props, combined with vintage footage to freak out a lot of fans not yet familiar with what CGI could and couldn't do.

- Karl Koch, Video Capture Device booklet, 2004

The music video, featuring the band spliced into a Happy Days set, was directed by Spike Jonze. The video combines new footage of the band, and old footage from the show, including many of its stars, such as Henry Winkler and Ron Howard. Also included, in a newly-shot speaking role, is Al Molinaro, who played Al Delvecchio on Happy Days. It was massively successful, and launched the band into mainstream fame. It was featured on the installation CD-ROM for Microsoft Windows 95 as well. In the commentary for the video on the Video Capture Device, the band members reveal that many of the backup dancers used in the video are friends of theirs, including Tony Maxwell of That Dog. According to an April 21, 1997 interview, Anna Waronker was also in the video, but her face is not visible[2].

The video has won several awards, notably four awards at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards, including prizes for Breakthrough Video and Best Alternative Video.

In a Riverpedia post from September 2020, Cuomo recounts a story watching Nirvana's video for "In Bloom" and admiring it. The video bears a number of similarities to Jonze's "Buddy Holly," including a TV personality introducing the band before the song, footage of the bands performing inter-spliced with footage of an audience that isn't actually there watching, and the band members giving a tongue-in-cheek 1950's style performance of the song.



Notable performances



What's with these homies dissin' my girl?
Why do they gotta front?
What did we ever do to these guys
That made them so violent?

Woo-hoo, but you know I'm yours
Woo-hoo, and I know you're mine
Woo-hoo, and that's for all of time

Woo-ee-oo I look just like Buddy Holly
Oh-oh, and you're Mary Tyler Moore
I don't care what they say about us anyway
I don't care 'bout that

Don't you ever fear, I'm always near
I know that you need help
Your tongue is twisted, your eyes are slit
You need a guardian

Woo-hoo, and you know I'm yours
Woo-hoo, and I know you're mine
Woo-hoo, and that's for all of time

Woo-ee-oo I look just like Buddy Holly
Oh-oh, and you're Mary Tyler Moore
I don't care what they say about us anyway
I don't care 'bout that
I don't care 'bout that

Bang! Bang! Knock on the door
Another big bang, get down on the floor
Oh no, what do we do?
Don't look now but I lost my shoe
I can't run and I can't kick
What's a matter babe, are you feelin' sick?
What's a matter, what's a matter, what's a matter you?
What's a matter babe, are you feelin' blue?

And that's for all of time
And that's for all of time

Woo-ee-oo I look just like Buddy Holly
Oh-oh, and you're Mary Tyler Moore
I don't care what they say about us anyway
I don't care 'bout that
I don't care 'bout that
I don't care 'bout that
I don't care 'bout that

Known recordings

This section requires expansion.
Performer(s) Title Filename Date of recording Recording location Length Appeared on Notes
Rivers Cuomo Buddy Holly June 1993[3] 3:00 Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo
Rivers Cuomo Buddy Holly 05 Buddy Holly 2.mp3 Listed as dummy data on riverscuomo.com demo storefront. Unknown if same as above recording.
Weezer Buddy Holly August 6, 1993[3] Cole Rehearsal Studios, Los Angeles, CA Rehearsal session. Recorded on Rivers Cuomo's portable DAT.
Weezer Buddy Holly August 11, 1993[3] S.I.R., New York City, NY Blue Album pre-production demo. Engineered by Chris Shaw.
Weezer Buddy Holly August 16, 1993 — September, 1993 Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY 2:39 4-5 takes were recorded. Sped up an unknown amount during mastering.
Weezer Buddy Holly August 31, 1994 105.7 The Point, St. Louis, Missouri 2:43 The Cornerstone Player 016 Acoustic performance on KPNT.
Weezer Buddy Holly February 21, 1995 Maison de la Radio Studio 105, Paris, France 3:04 The Black Sessions Live performance on C'est Lenoir.
Weezer Buddy Holly November 1, 2005 Capitol Studios, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA 3:13 Best Buy Exclusive DVD - AOL Sessions
Rivers Cuomo et al. Buddy Holly November 25, 2008 Fingerprints Music, Long Beach, CA 4:26 Not Alone: Rivers Cuomo & Friends Live at Fingerprints In-store performance with 150 fans
Weezer Buddy Holly October 27, 2009 Hard Rock Cafe, New York, NY 2:56 Raditude ...Happy Record Store Day! Acoustic performance for Sirius XM's "Artist Confidential"
Weezer Buddy Holly April 2016 Spotify offices, Brooklyn, NY 2:53 Spotify Sessions Acoustic performance, Spotify exclusive
about this table

See also