Factual error: When Buddy and the musicians tour bus is towed to the Clear Lake Auditorium for the final concert before the fatal air crash, the canopy states that the concert is on the 3rd of February. The fatal accident that took Buddy, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens occurred at 1am on 3rd February 1959 so the canopy should have read 2nd February.
Factual error: In the final concert scene, Buddy is shown playing a 1965 Fender Stratocaster, a CBS era model with a large headstock and "fat" CBS era Fender script logo. Needless to say, it didn't exist in 1959.
Factual error: The name of the venue where Buddy played his last concert was the Surf Ballroom, not the Clear Lake Auditorium .
Continuity mistake: Buddy is unloading boxes of tiles in his garage while Riley and he discuss the radio station programming. There are 8 boxes on the shelf and Buddy unloads another two boxes. A minute later, the same two boxes are back in the truck bed, and Buddy unloads them again.
Revealing mistake: During the sax player's solo (final concert), his fingers don't match the notes, and he stops moving his fingers before the solo is over. Also, the sax player in the blue jacket behind Buddy's right side often lags behind the sax player to his right. At times, it looked like the sax player was watching the sax player next to him to know when to play. Sometimes, he would put the reed in his mouth for a fraction of a section and just pretend to be playing. Near the end, both sax players seem lost and even laughing at themselves. (01:47:17)
Continuity mistake: When Ross comes to the Hollys' house for lunch, the positions of the coffee cups change a few times and are noticeable by which way the handle faces. First, Ross' cup handle points toward the left side of the screen. Next, the handle points toward the right side of the screen. Maria takes the cup to fill with coffee and then places the cup on the table with the handle pointing toward Buddy (on the opposite side of the table or towards the viewer). The next time Ross' cup is shown, the handle points toward the left side of the screen. The last view shows the cup with the handle pointed toward the right of the screen. Buddy moves his coffee cup once, but there are still a couple times when the handle points in a different direction compared to seconds earlier. No one was actually seen drinking coffee.
Factual error: Throughout the film, Gary Busey plays a Fender Stratocaster, but with a rosewood (dark-colored) fretboard / neck. Buddy Holly played a Fender Stratocaster with a maple neck, however, (light-colored natural maple wood neck) as Fender only came out with the darker rosewood neck in mid-1959, months after Buddy Holly's tragic plane crash.
Other mistake: The suit jackets that Buddy and JP Richardson were wearing at the last concert had to have been sewn incorrectly, especially the sleeves. The seam at the top of the sleeve caused bunching all the way down the sleeve. Buddy's jacket looked like it was buttoned incorrectly at the top, but it was probably also a sewing mishap and poor fitting. So, the way the jackets were sewn was one big mistake (or wardrobe malfunction). (01:40:44)
Factual error: Although actor Gary Busey was a professional rock and roll musician portraying one of the pioneers of Rock and Roll, Busey almost never plays a rock and roll riff in the entire movie. During his biggest scene in the Apollo Theatre sequence, for example, he holds a steady chord all the way through three songs, even as the music is rocking.