Bobby Fuller was a massive Buddy Holly fan and in many ways emulated his bespectacled hero. When Bobby Fuller was on top form many say he sounded like Buddy Holly might have sounded in the sixties had he not died in 1959. Fuller was nothing if not ambitious and set up his own recording studio in his El Paso home where the sound quality was so impressive local bands would record there and Fuller would develop and hone his own producing skills. He had a few minor hits in the local Texas charts in the early sixties but felt he could do bigger and better things.
At around 1am early morning on July 18th 1966 took a phone call and then headed out. At the time he was staying in a Hollywood apartment with him mum who had moved with him from Texas. He said he’d come straight back but by the next morning when he had not returned his mother became concerned. She contacted the band’s manager to ask him to see if he had any information on his whereabouts. Fuller had recently treated himself to a new Corvette but when he headed out had taken his mum’s Oldsmobile. In the late afternoon this Oldsmobile mysteriously appeared on the driveway of the apartment and when Fuller’s mum went to check it she found his body sprawled across the front seats. Fuller was dead; he’d been badly beaten, was covered in blood and also covered in petrol and the resultant autopsy found his stomach was filled with petrol too. The police investigation was not by any means thorough and the conclusion was that this was simply another rock’n’roll star who’d overdosed and case closed. A verdict of suicide was recorded. Inevitably many theories and rumours circulated after Fuller’s death – after all why would a successful young pop start with everything to live for kill himself and swallow large quantities of petrol?The theory that most hold to be closest to the truth is that Fuller had been seeing a young lady who also happened to be involved with a major underworld gangland figure and unfortunately paid the ultimate price. There’s a certain irony that the last track he recorded before his death was called ‘Love’s Made a Fool of You’.
Fuller was a talented performer and songwriter and producer who, had he lived longer, would almost certainly have carved out a long career in rock’n’roll. The moral of the story? Don’t mess with gangster’s molls.