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24 Facts About "La Bamba" You Didn't Know Until Now

La Bamba is turning 30 this year.

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2. Ritchie's real-life sister, Connie Limos, was on-set when the infamous "coin toss" scene was filmed, where Ritchie wins a coin toss to fly alongside The Big Bopper and Buddy Holly.

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She sobbed uncontrollably and threw herself at Lou Diamond Phillips screaming, "Why did you have to go? Why did you have to go?"

4. The mid-air plane collision at the beginning of the film occurred in real-life on January 31, 1957.

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The debris crashed into the schoolyard of Pacoima Junior High School, which ultimately killed 8 people, and injured 75 others. Most of the victims were school children.

Ritchie lost his best friend in the accident, and would cause him to develop a fear of flying. Ritchie was not at school that day, as he was at his grandfather's funeral.

6. Esai Morales had originally auditioned for the role of Ritchie Valens, while Lou Diamond Phillips had auditioned for the darker role of Bob.

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The director's brother, Daniel Valdez, who was also an associate producer, recommended Phillips for the role of Ritchie.

10. While it's stated in the film that Steve, Ritchie's dad, drunk himself to death, the real Steve died from life-long complications after coming into contact with mustard gas during the first World War.

11. Lou Diamond Phillips was a stage actor in Fort Worth, Texas when he first auditioned for the film in Dallas. He was flown to Hollywood two weeks later and was cast as Ritchie.

16. Writer/Director Luis Valdez was originally supposed to just write the script, with Taylor Hackford (who directed Ray in 2004) at the helm as director.

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But even though Hackford had been with the project since the beginning, he became too expensive to hire and stayed on as Executive Producer. So Valdez took over.

17. The idea of a Ritchie Valens biopic was first pitched back in the early '70s to music label A&M Records, but they turned it down.

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It was actually Luis Valdez's brother, actor/musician/producer Daniel Valdez and Taylor Hackford who first pitched the idea.

20. Valdez originally wanted to cast Emilio "El Indio" Fernandez, a pioneer of the golden age of Mexican cinema, for the role of El Curandero, but he died due to a motorcycle accident.

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The role went to Felipe Cantu, a longtime member of Luis Valdez's El Teatro Campesino, in what would be his last role ever.

21. Los Lobos were working on their second album By the Light of the Moon at the same time they were doing work for La Bamba.

Colombia Pictures / Via youtube.com

They had two studios at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, one for their album and another for the film, and would constantly have to run back and forth between the two.

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