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.