Dion Dimucci recalls that fateful plane flight

In a closed dressing room, we flipped a coin to see who was going to fly. The Big Bopper and I won the toss.

Then Buddy told us what the flight would cost: $36.

Thirty-six bucks. That figure set off an alarm in my brain.

All my childhood, I had listened to my parents argue about money, argue about the rent, and the figure kept coming up. So I could never forget how much they paid. It was thirty-six bucks.

I couldn’t bring myself to spend a month’s rent on an hour’s flight to Minnesota. I had too much of my mother in me.

I said to Ritchie, “You go.”

Waylon Jennings, who was in the Crickets at the time, gave his plane seat to the Big Bopper who had a severe cold and didn’t want to go on a long bus ride.