10 March 2018

Optometrist Dr. Armistead

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Clear Lake, Iowa

The glasses appeared to be government issued, but they were carefully chosen as part of Holly’s image—not by Holly himself, but by his optometrist, Dr. J. Davis Armistead. “Buddy was trying to wear the least conspicuous frames he could find,” wrote Dr. Armistead. “Personally, I was not happy with the frame styles we had been using. I did not think they contributed anything to a distinct personality that a performer needs.” It was while on vacation in Mexico City that Armistead found the frames that he felt Holly needed. He brought back two pair of the heavy plastic Faosa frames. “Those heavy black frames achieve exactly what we wanted—they became a distinct part of him.” In fact, they became a part of rock n roll history. Before Buddy Holly, it would have been impossible to imagine a skinny, knock-need kid in an Ivy League suit and thick, heavy glasses being considered “cool.” After Buddy Holly, the look and attitude that would later be called “geek chic”.