As the disabled bus is being towed past the auditorium before Buddy's final concert, the phone number on the side of the tow truck is made up entirely of digits. In 1959, the first two digits of all phone numbers consisted of letters, denoting the exchange. All-numeric phone numbers didn't begin until the mid-'60s.
In the final concert scene, a number of men in the front rows of the audience have full, longish hair typical of the late 1970s rather than short cuts they would have worn during the period the film is set.
The world map on the wall behind Buddy in the Greyhound Bus station shows the continent of Africa as made up of independent states. At the time "Cindy Lou" was going off to college, Africa was mostly comprised of British, French, Belgian, and Portuguese colonies which did not gain their independence till the 1960s.
In the roller rink scene, numerous pinball machines featuring rotary score wheels can be seen in the background. Score reels were not in use on pinball machines until the 1960s; in 1956, scores would have been kept by lit numbers on each machine's backglass.
In the final concert scene, Buddy Holly is shown playing a CBS-era Fender Stratocaster. CBS bought Fender in 1965 (six years after Buddy died). CBS Strats are easily identified by the larger style headstock and the different style headstock decals. Also, the guitar Holly is seen playing has a rosewood fingerboard, which wasn't introduced until 1959. Buddy's Strats (he owned at least three) all had maple fingerboards.
The Telecaster that Buddy plays at the Apollo is a mid seventies CBS model. You can clearly read the large "Telecaster" logo which was introduced when CBS bought the company from Leo Fender in the late 1960s.
When Buddy is attempting to compose in his apartment, and when the neighbor boys come over to ask him to 'fix' their guitar, he is playing a Gibson acoustic guitar (either a LG-3 or most likely a B-25). The guitar in the movie has an adjustable bridge (called the 'Tone Killer'), which was not introduced on the LG-3 until 1961, and the B-25 until 1966.
When Buddy calls Maria from Clear Lake, Maria answers her bedside phone and the background music from the Clear Lake concert is heard coming from her phone a split second before she actually lifts the receiver.
When Buddy plays his acoustic guitar for the two neighbor boys, it is in concert pitch. A moment after they leave, he picks up the guitar again. When he strums it this time, it is tuned a semitone below concert pitch.
(at around 1 min) Buddy pulls the truck into a garage to unload boxes from the back of the truck. Boxes in back of truck appear and disappear as Buddy moves them to shelf stacks. One time he takes some and none appear in truck but when he comes back to truck, more are magically there. Near the end of this scene, the green toolbox also mysteriously disappears.
When the band is recording "Everyday" in the garage, the reel to reel recorder is recording and 'on' when Buddy's mom comes into the garage to tell him he has a phone call. Then, right when Buddy leaves, the recorder is off even though he never flipped the off switch.
During his final concert, Buddy Holly is backed by a full orchestra. In reality, he toured with a small unnamed band consisting of Waylon Jennings on bass, Carl Bunch on drums and Tommy Allsup on lead guitar.
Early in the movie the family's last name on the side of the truck is spelled "Holly". Their name was actually Holley, but Buddy's name was misprinted on a record label and he adopted the revised spelling.
Buddy Holly and The Crickets did not perform "Maybe Baby" on "The Ed Sullivan Show". In their 2 appearances on the show, they performed "That'll Be The Day" and "Peggy Sue" on 12/1/57 and then "Oh Boy" on 12/26/58. "Maybe Baby" was not released until 2/28/58. However, Holly is seen rehearsing "Peggy Sue" before the show, which could be a reference to the original show or just a coincidence.
Although the film correctly notes that the song "Peggy Sue" was originally called "Cindy Lou," Holly actually used the name of his niece, not his girlfriend. The song was later renamed after Jerry Allison's girlfriend. Peggy Sue Garron.
The closing caption refers to "Clearlake" (one word), Iowa. The city is "Clear Lake" (two words), as seen at the city's official website, www.clearlakeiowa.com. The same mistake is made in the name of the (erroneous) "Clearlake Auditorium".
The movie makes it seem as though the program director at KDAV cannot have anything to do with 'bop' music because of his sponsors dislikes. In reality, the program director at KDAV booked Elvis Presley and Bill Haley and the Comets to Lubbock and invited Buddy to open for them.
At the beginning of the movie, Buddy Holly is seen playing a Fender Bronco guitar, which Fender didn't release until 1967, through Fender combo amps covered in blonde tolex and featuring brown-colored grills (he plays through these amps throughout the movie), which Fender didn't give as a feature until 1960. Also, when Buddy is playing with Eddie Cochran, Eddie is playing a Gretsch Country-Roc 7620 solidbody, which Gretsch didn't release until the early 1970s and his bassist is playing a blonde Fender Telecaster Bass, which Fender didn't release until 1968. Also throughout the movie, Buddy plays a white, CBS-era (1965-1985) Fender Telecaster with black pickguard (not a standard feature until 1976) and rosewood fretboard (not a standard feature until 1959). Towards the end of the movie, Buddy is playing a CBS-era Fender Stratocaster with large headstock (a feature from 1965-1981).
As Gary Busey is about to sing "Mockingbird Hill", he looks down at a piece of paper taped to the top of his guitar. Busey had forgotten the lyrics to the song and wrote them down on that paper so he could remember them during his performance.