Bopper casket to go on eBay

Dec. 31, 2008 at 10:21 PM
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HILLSBORO, Texas, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- The son of 1950s rock 'n' roll pioneer J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson says he intends to auction his father's casket, which is on display in Texas, on eBay.

Jay Richardson, 49, who was born three months after his father died alongside rock stars Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens in a Feb. 3, 1959, plane crash, said the proceeds from the auction will go toward a musical show about The Big Bopper and other projects to keep his father's memory alive, the Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise reported Wednesday.

The 16-gauge steel casket was exhumed in 2007 from Forest Lawn Cemetery in Beaumont to allow for it to be moved to a more visible location alongside a statue and historical marker. The casket was replaced in late 2007 and the old casket was put on display at the Texas Musicians Museum in Hillsboro.

"I have no personal use for the casket," Richardson said. "When you get down to it, it is just a metal box. More important is what this particular metal box represents."

"In another 200 years, will people care about rock 'n' roll?" he said. "Who knows? But why would I want to destroy it? Even though it was Dad's resting place for 48 years, it's also a unique opportunity to learn more about the early years of rock 'n' roll."

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