On January 31st, High School student Bob Dylan goes to see Buddy Holly play in Duluth Minnesota. He stands in front of the stage and swears that Buddy Holly “looked at him” at one point.
3 days later, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper die in a plane crash on February 3rd. See the American Pie lyrics in 1971. I would consider this, as McLean seems to, the start of the musical “hibernation” period leading up to February 9th, 1964.
Later in the year, the band that replaces Holly, Bobby Vee and the Shadows, return to their home Fargo North Dakota and decide to round out their band by hiring a piano player named Elston Gunn known by the brother of a band member who is currently washing dishes at a downtown restaurant.
As it turns out, Elston Gunn is actually Bob Dylan who had just happened to show up in Fargo that summer.