It's 1966 and a group out of El Paso, Texas calling themselves The Bobby Fuller Four are enjoying considerable success with their recording of "I Fought The Law". The song went all the way to number 9 on the national charts. A follow up record "Loves Made A Fool Of You" (a Buddy Holly cover) reached Number 26 on the charts. Then on July 18th, 1966, Bobby Fuller was found dead in his car, parked in front of his Hollywood apartment. His body was beaten and a gasoline soaked rag was stuffed in his mouth The Los Angeles Police Dept. called it a suicide. Those who knew the 23 year old singer, knew better.
In 1956, the Fullers moved from Salt Lake City to El Paso, where Bobby began attending Ysleta High School. In September 1957, he entered Burges High School as a sophomore and played in band and orchestra. Bobby returned to Ysleta in the fall of 1958. He was in ROTC, played drums for the school band (Randy played trombone) and was interested in journalism. His high school sweetheart was the envy of many girls mesmerized by Bobby’s green eyes.
He transferred to Technical Center in 1959 and graduated from there July 29, 1960. He briefly studied music, with an emphasis on drumming, at North Texas State University.
School bored Bobby, and his grades frequently slipped below average. As a teen-ager, he worked part-time at the Melody Shop in Basssett center and spent his free time flirting with girls and talking about guitars with musical cronies at the defunct Hilltop Oasis, El Paso’s leading hangout at the time.
Bobby loved cars. His 1959 metallic blue Impala was one of the hottest dragsters on the East Side. He and other students occasionally congregated for hot rod races on Montana Street, near where Lee Trevino drive intersects today. They also gathered in front of Burges, where students carefully painted a quarter-mile strip, measured by counting the revolutions of a bicycle tire rolled along the asphalt. Light poles were striped and signs were erected proclaiming the spot “Burges Dragway.”
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