Yesterday, in honor of the fabled "day the music died," WFMU's Beware of the Blog posted an awesome entry, along with an MP3 of a phone conversation between Buddy Holly and Paul Cohen, an executive at Decca Records.
Cohen plays the part of cartoonishly greedy record executive to such greasy, ash-flicking perfection you'd swear this was straight out of a movie. (Preferably not one starring Gary Busey.) From Dave the Spazz's post:
Holly assumed that Decca had dropped his contract and he was fine with that--he just wanted permission to re-record the songs that Decca had no intention of releasing. Due to various screw-ups, Holly's last session at The Quonset Hut in Nashville was a big fat waste of time. It didn't help that they had to find a last minute bass within twenty minutes or that producer Owen Bradley was running late for a waterskiing appointment (wtf?) or that Webb Pierce dropped by with some terrible idea about raising the octave on "That'll Be the Day." It was a total Nashville three hour rush job and Buddy and his band felt bulldozed by the experience. The session yielded zero out of five usable takes (at least according to Decca) and Buddy's recording career was stillborn. The Decca suits shipped the Quonset Hut master tapes into cold storage and resumed playing golf on their office carpets with sideways plastic cups.
Within a few minutes, Cohen goes from "I don't know anything about it" to "Oh, no, you can't have those" (referring to the recordings) to "Let me hear what you do first" (about anything that Holly might record in the future). Utterly wretched and totally amazing.