Factual error: Near the end of the movie, a DJ announces over the air that the crash had occurred that killed Buddy Holly, J.P. Richardson (commonly known as "The Big Bopper"), and Ritchie Valens. The DJ then plays the Santo & Johnny tune "Sleep Walk" as a tribute to the lost musicians. The crash occurred on Feb 3, 1959 (and one would assume the radio news announcement was within 24 hours of the crash). The song "Sleep Walk" was not released until July 1959.
Plot hole: When Ritchie appears at a pizza party sponsored by a local radio station, his manager Bob Keane is handing out copies of Ritchie's first album. In reality, the album had not been released until April 1959, two months after Ritchie's death. As the actual LP includes his biggest hit "Donna", Ritchie had not yet recorded (or even composed) the song in this part of the movie until a few scenes later.
Factual error: Bob finds the discarded animation cells of Woody Woodpecker, Buzz Buzzard, etc. at Columbia Studios (where La Bamba was produced). Actually, these Walter Lantz characters appeared in cartoons that were produced by Universal Studios.
Continuity mistake: In the scene when Bob takes Ritchie to "get laid", Bob approaches the girl in the pink dress at the end of the row, while Ritchie goes to play La Bamba. You see Ritchie play La Bamba and in the background Bob is all over that girl. The next shot cuts to Bob just arriving at the girl.Michael Westpy
Factual error: Buddy Holly is seen singing 'Cryin', Waitin' Hoping' at the Winter Dance Party. He hadn't actually finished composing this song, never mind recording it as a finished piece of work when he went on his final tour. This song comes from his final recordings 'The Apartment Sessions' which he recorded in New York and was finally released after his death, complete with added backing music and vocals.davidleewarren
Continuity mistake: When Ritchie's brother lies down next to him in his bed, the covers are down to Ritchie's stomach whenever they show him in a solo shot, but are pulled up almost to his neck when the shot shows both brothers together. In the next solo shot of Ritchie, the covers are back near his stomach again.
Audio problem: Near the beginning of the movie there is a scene where Bob is talking to Connie and having the discussion about "honest" money. He grabs Connie's arm, hands her the wad of money and says "We're getting out of this s**thole tomorrow." But he is mouthing the words: "We're getting out of this *crap*hole tomorrow."
Factual error: The film depicts the coin toss between Valens and one of Holly's band members, Tommy Allsup, as having taken place at the airport shortly before takeoff, with Holly having tossed the coin. In real life, the coin toss took place at the Surf Ballroom when Tommy Allsup, after being asked numerous times by Valens to "let me fly", finally pulled a fifty cent coin out of his pocket and said "Call it." Valens called heads and won.MJR09