Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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FULLER, Bobby

(b 22 Oct. '43, Baytown TX; d 18 July '66, Hollywood) Singer, songwriter. Formed Bobby Fuller Four in El Paso with brother Randy, DeWayne Quirico, Jim Reese; played local dates for three years, moved to LA, got recording contract. Surviving evidence discloses infl. of Buddy Holly with admix of Tex-Mex, country rock; biggest hit 'I Fought The Law' '66 (top ten) ironically written by Sonny Curtis of the Crickets. Death was mysterious, involving a beating and petrol burns, officially suicide from ingesting petrol (gasoline) but he had gone out to buy acid from a hooker with a jealous boyfriend; theories incl. a bad acid trip covered up, or loan sharks angered at the band's not making enough money. Randy kept group going briefly; they soon split. Fuller tunes 'Another Sad And Lonely Night', 'Saturday Night', 'Little Annie Lou' suggest much talent lost. The Clash exuberantly covered 'I Fought The Law' '80; further legacy in music of Los Lobos, the Blasters. Compilations on Rhino and Ace; four-CD The Mustang Years on Del-Fi mid-'97.