The woman who inspired the iconic early rock-and-roll classic “Peggy Sue” has died. She was 78 and passed on Monday.
Peggy Sue Gerron was the real-life inspiration for Buddy Holly’s 1957 hit “Peggy Sue.” She met Holly while she was still a high school student attending his alma mater, Lubbock High, in Texas, and went on to marry the drummer for the Crickets, Jerry Allison.
There are a few versions of the story of exactly how she became the classic song’s namesake, according to Rolling Stone.
But what is certain is how deeply her loss is being felt:
— Jeanne Olsen (@ruby33tw) October 2, 2018
She inspired one of the greatest rock and roll songs of all time. Rest in peace!
— Aaron Sommers (@aaronsommers) October 3, 2018
— Andie (@andiemcdonagh) October 2, 2018
Oh how my soul yearns for you..
— JP (@JosephPSauer) October 2, 2018
— Linda (@wordfinga) October 3, 2018
Holly’s classic went on to inspire others to name their children Peggy Sue.
Such was the case with this Twitter user:
and….BUDDY HOLLY inspired my name in 1958
— Peggy Sue Craig (@PeggSuee58) October 2, 2018
The song’s ubiquitous presence in American culture almost guarantees everyone’s heard it—even if it was from a reference in Quantum Leap:
The way I remember it, it was Dr. Samuel Beckett and an adorable piglet with the inspiration for the song… but then I was raised by pop culture. Thanks, @ScottBakula!
— Hurricane Andrew (@hcaneandrew) October 2, 2018
Gerron was also known for being the first licensed woman plumber in California:
That's almost as random as Cherie Curry from The Runaways becoming a chainsaw sculptor!!
— DigitalDiggo (@digitaldiggo) October 2, 2018
Being immortalized in the annals of rock and roll history seems to have been something Gerron treasured.
In this 1993 interview from BBC Arena’s Tales of Rock ‘N’ Roll series, she describes hearing the song for the first time live and being shocked and “extremely pleased”:
Twitter user Gina Chev commented about how she felt the first time she heard Bon Jovi sing her name in a song:
That's so cool! Out of allllllll the songs there is not ONE called “Gina” When I was like 12 and I first heard Jon Bon Jovi sing my name I thought I was going to drop dead. I 100% seriously thought if we met, we would get married. UGH I wrote him LETTERS! SHOOT ME!!
— Gina Chev (@GinaChev) October 2, 2018
What a shame. I hope she lived a fulfilling life
— Blue eyes (@blueyes_blue) October 3, 2018
— Classic Movies (@ClassicMP) October 2, 2018
Sad to hear. Peggy Sue was the first thing I ever learned to play on guitar. Still have a go from time to time. RIP Peggy Sue https://t.co/ZJuLf9U3q6
— Charlie (@barefootchas) October 2, 2018
If you want to learn more about Peggy Sue Gerron, check out her 2008 memoir, Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue?