A Grave Situation
January 5, 2009 at 5:15 AM (PT)
There are any number of unusual pop music artifacts -- pieces of BEATLE sheets, BRITNEY SPEARS’ gum -- but not even GENE SIMMONs has considered selling a used casket, writes CNN. So keep an eye on EBAY: THE BIG BOPPER’s family is planning to auction the late rock ‘n’ roller’s casket in the next few weeks.
According to THE BEAUMONT (TEXAS) ENTERPRISE, J.P. "THE BIG BOPPER" RICHARDSON’s casket, made of 16-gauge steel, was exhumed last year so the singer’s remains could be moved to a more visible location with a statue and historic marker. THE BIG BOPPER, once a TEXAS DJ, was killed in the plane crash that also took the lives of BUDDY HOLLY and RITCHIE VALENS near CLEAR LAKE, IOWA, on FEBRUARY 3, 1959, a day since called "the day the music died." He was 28, and had just had his first major hit, "Chantilly Lace."
After the casket was removed, the singer’s remains were exhumed -- an autopsy showed that he did, indeed, die of crash-related injuries -- and placed in a new casket. The old one, according to THE ENTERPRISE, has been in public display at the TEXAS Musicians Museum in HILLSBORO, TEXAS, since last year.
JAY RICHARDSON, the singer’s son (born three months after his father’s death), told the paper he had "no personal use" for the casket. "When you get down to it, it is just a metal box," he said.
But it could be worth some money, says TEXAS MUSICIANS MUSEUM founder TOM KREASON.
"Certainly there’ll be some distaste, but I think this is a piece of history that is very special." he said. And if it doesn’t sell? "We’ve made a point about the historical value of J.P. RICHARDSON."