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milton

Picabo, ID

#1 Sep 14, 2008
I understand if being from Nachitochus your tired of the subject,if so I apoligize.
But if any of you attended or know someone who attended Croce's last concert or have any memories of his and his Groups brief stay there I would love to hear about it.
There is really very little info available considering his current stature as a songwriter and singer.
Any input would be appreciated.thanks.
milton

Picabo, ID

#2 Sep 14, 2008
Sorry I spelled Nachitoches incorrectly,no disrespect intended.
Operator

Natchitoches, LA

#3 Sep 14, 2008
Did you ever see the local movie that was made of his last concert and day? If not, I'll get the name of it and find out availability. I think it was available at the Book Merchant on Front Street in Natchitoches.

I was about 12 when the crash occured and wasn't at the concert, but have many memories of the reaction. His songs are still amoung my favorites.
RJJ Jr

Atlanta, GA

#4 Sep 14, 2008
I was supposed to be there that night. I was getting busy in the back seat of a '67 chevelle at the Chief Drive In instead. I did see the after math the next morning. Since I didn't go to the concert I had to help with them that morning. It was a sight I don't want to see.
JimCroceFan

United States

#5 Sep 14, 2008
milton wrote:
I understand if being from Nachitochus your tired of the subject,if so I apoligize.
But if any of you attended or know someone who attended Croce's last concert or have any memories of his and his Groups brief stay there I would love to hear about it.
There is really very little info available considering his current stature as a songwriter and singer.
Any input would be appreciated.thanks.
I didn't attend his last concert...however, I did meet him before the concert. At the time I was in high school and the NCHS maroon line was practicing in the coliseum parking lot where he was performing that night at NSU. I went by the practice to pick up some girlfriends and we saw his tour bus backed up to the doors. We noticed a back door cracked so we sneeked in.

We literally crawled on our hands and knees through the hallways and heard him rehearsing on the stage. It was the first time I'd heard "Time in a Bottle." We were hunkered down in a doorway watching him when we got caught by someone in his crew. But, instead of throwing us out, he said we could sit quietly and watch. When Jim was done we got to go into the dressing room back stage and meet him and his band. They were perfect gentlemen and gave us girls a thrill. He had even sang us a song personally about little apples falling from a tree......He was an awesome person....

After we left we circled back and left a note on the windshield of the tour bus. The next morning at daybreak my telephone was ringing....it was one of my friends telling me about the crash. We were all crushed! Sad part is...the styrofoam cup I had w/ me at the moment had ALL their signatures on it...and being a stupid, naive teenager at the time, I carelessly lost it at some point. I still regret that one! No one really knows about this story...but w/ God as my witness it is the truth.
Uno

Natchitoches, LA

#6 Sep 14, 2008
Fan, that is a great story!
u2bc

San Angelo, TX

#7 Sep 14, 2008
Operator wrote:
Did you ever see the local movie that was made of his last concert and day? If not, I'll get the name of it and find out availability. I think it was available at the Book Merchant on Front Street in Natchitoches.
I was about 12 when the crash occured and wasn't at the concert, but have many memories of the reaction. His songs are still amoung my favorites.
Billy O'Con played and sang as Jim Croce in that video. Billy did a super fantastic job. The folks who did Billy's make up were unbelievable. The first shots of the concert I thought were footage from the actual concert. I have one copy of the vhs which Billy gave me. Let us know if the video is available commercially. I had heard that Jim's widow would not allow it to be released. That's been a couple years ago so things may have changed since then.

One extremely important fact which the video brought out was there was NO drugs or alcohol found in any of the people on the plane including the pilot.
Lucky Lady

Mount Pleasant, TX

#8 Sep 14, 2008
My best friends sister was attending NSU at the time and actually has a piece of the plane.
I think it would be neat if Natchitoches did something in his memory on Sept. 20. Doesn't seem like 35 years ago. My how time flies!
RJJ Jr

Atlanta, GA

#9 Sep 14, 2008
I have his belt somewhere.
Know It All

Natchitoches, LA

#10 Sep 14, 2008
I attended the concert. It was one of the best that was ever at NSU. Croce and band were very talented.
After the crash NSU stopped having concerts like that. Entertainers did not want to come to Natchitoches because it was so hard to get to (before 1-49) and rumors about how they would be treated by the local police.
Ancient Elf

Vancouver, WA

#11 Sep 14, 2008
I was there & I can tell you it was a wonderful show. I can also tell you other people that were there. But I have to get their ok first, I guess to put their names on here. But I was with a gut named Robert Cedars who was going to NSU at the time. He is Winston's cousin. I doubt he's arond Natch anymore & I surely doubt he cares if his name is on here. But the other's might. I'll see because one of them you really need to talk to. He was behind stage with them, etc... Great show!! In fact, we were suppose to go to the motel to the party, but had a wrck & didn't make it. We saw the plane fly out from the airport. So sad!!!

Since: Jul 08

United States

#12 Sep 14, 2008
I was a student at NSU at the time, and I was at his last concert. I can't remember his exact last words to the audience but it went something like, "I'll see you later".

The next morning I heard about the crash, we went to the aftermath of the crash site (edge of the bypass). The pieces of the plane were later moved and piled up on the edge of a side road. At the time no one cared, lots of people looking at it, I took a small piece of metal from the plane myself, and still have it.

All sorts of rumors rampant about them leaving town hurriedly. Another about JC is that he was seated in the co-pilots seat. Not implying he was flying the plane, just where he was seated.

I know a bit more, but not really relevent to post here.
Ancient Elf

Vancouver, WA

#13 Sep 14, 2008
milton wrote:
I understand if being from Nachitochus your tired of the subject,if so I apoligize.
But if any of you attended or know someone who attended Croce's last concert or have any memories of his and his Groups brief stay there I would love to hear about it.
There is really very little info available considering his current stature as a songwriter and singer.
Any input would be appreciated.thanks.
If you look on the web it has a lot of interesting things to say including things about his concert in Natch. Like I said, I was there & it was awesome! He was a wonderful guy & his songs live on today! Good luck with your search!
Soapy

Plainview, TX

#14 Sep 14, 2008
I wasn't in Natchitoches at the time, but was about to transfer to NSU from another school. I remember hearing the news on the radio. Couldn't believe it.
expat

Adelaide, Australia

#15 Sep 14, 2008
I saw a copy of the police report stating he had a bag full of various illegal pills/drugs.
Politico

Natchitoches, LA

#16 Sep 14, 2008
Know It All wrote:
I attended the concert. It was one of the best that was ever at NSU. Croce and band were very talented.
After the crash NSU stopped having concerts like that. Entertainers did not want to come to Natchitoches because it was so hard to get to (before 1-49) and rumors about how they would be treated by the local police.
Sorry, you're mistaken. Jim Croce's concert was held in Sept. 1973, NSU had many talented artists and groups perform in concerts at Prather well into the eighties. Go back and review The Potpourri yearbooks.
sabre

Picabo, ID

#17 Sep 15, 2008
Wow,So much great personal detail in these posts!
Thank you all so much!
Your responses were more then I could have hoped for.
Ive been a fan of his since I first heard his music back in 1973 shortly before the crash.
I was only 13 at the time and hadnt started playing music myself yet.
I remember the Walter Cronkite mention of it on the evening news.
Considering the way other music tragedies have been documented and gone over with a fine tooth comb its amazing how little info there is about the accident and the last show and just one blurry little B&W photo of a Cop standing next to the fuselage of the wrecked plane.
Your posts alone provided more detail then Ive seen anywhere else.Once again thanks!
The brief little summary Ive seen of the accident report mentions the pilot "ran" from the motel to the airport...I wonder if he was just a jogger or what the heck that was all about.
Aparently he had heart disease and that may have been a factor.
Can anyone shed light on this?
RJJ jr.Im sure that the clean up was a mess ,unfortunately Ive seen the aftermath of a small plane crash(Though Croce's was twin engine Beechcraft) when I worked for the Forest Service.
It can be horrific and Im sure this one was no exception.
Anyway you all have a wonderful week,If you think of anything else please post nothings to trivial to post.
I think the reaction from the town in the immediate aftermath is facinating and something Ive wondered about.
thirstysomething

AOL

#18 Sep 15, 2008
I attended his last concert. I was 13 years old and it was my first concert. Not having the communications and living in western Natchitoches, I did not find out until the day after the "crash" happened. So sad. He seemed like such a kind and peaceful person.
Just a rumor

Whippany, NJ

#19 Sep 15, 2008
I was attending college there at the time of his death. The rumor was that the local police had harrassed the entire band so much that they were very anxious to leave town. Supposedly they were harrassed becausae of drugs. The pilot was in such a hurry to leave that he made an error and crashed. Who knows for sure? A few months later, a local police or sherriff officer burned to death in his home down cane river. It was rumored that he was killed because he knew to much. Who knows? When i was in college there, rumors ran rampant in that little town.
wave

United States

#20 Sep 15, 2008
u2bc wrote:
<quoted text>
Billy O'Con played and sang as Jim Croce in that video. Billy did a super fantastic job. The folks who did Billy's make up were unbelievable. The first shots of the concert I thought were footage from the actual concert. I have one copy of the vhs which Billy gave me. Let us know if the video is available commercially. I had heard that Jim's widow would not allow it to be released. That's been a couple years ago so things may have changed since then.
One extremely important fact which the video brought out was there was NO drugs or alcohol found in any of the people on the plane including the pilot.
not to make waves but I think I remember the newspaper not sure nat. or shreveport but the paper stated the was marj. found in the crash. It has been a long time. I think I am right on this.

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