Archive for Ronnie Van Zant

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Lynyrd Skynyrd

Posted in Your Sister's Record Rack with tags , , , , , on April 7, 2011 by 30daysout

My sister actually locked her bedroom door this morning – I’m shut out of her awesome record collection! But never fear, I’ll pull out one of mine – hmmm, let’s go for the good stuff today. And so we have the soundtrack for Freebird: The Movie, by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Freebird: The Movie is ostensibly a documentary film, released in 1996, but it’s really a concert movie featuring Skynyrd’s vintage three-guitar attack, filmed during various concerts in 1976 and 1977. Most of the footage comes from a 1976 performance in Knebworth, England in ’76 and features most of the original lineup with lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, the three stinging guitars of Steve Gaines, Allen Collins and Gary Rossington, and the keyboard work of Billy Powell. Somewhere along the line Ed King left the band and was replaced by Steve Gaines – I haven’t seen the movie, but apparently only Gaines is on the soundtrack although King is in the movie.

So let’s slap on the soundtrack LP – It kicks off with some recordings from England in 1976, “Workin’ For MCA,” “Saturday Night Special,” “Whiskey Rock-A-Roller.” You hear immediately this recording is a bit rougher and less polished than the classic live Skynyrd album One More From The Road (1976 ). But I like the gritty sound of this one; it sounds more like a concert recording to me, although I think engineers boosted the audience sound in places.

About seven songs in, we switch to a performance from July 1977, where Skynyrd performs “What’s Your Name” and “That Smell,” and between the two Van Zant mentions the new album they’re from, “comin’ out around September.” Then we go back to England and 1976, with awesome performances of “Gimme Three Steps” and “Call Me The Breeze” before the band winds it up for a rousing version of the Jimmie Rodgers classic, “T For Texas (Blue Yodel No. 1).” The boys rock that Rodgers tune, and there’s some nifty guitar work here … and it’s longer than the version of One More From The Road!

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Lynyrd Skynyrd Bassist Dies

Posted in News with tags , , , , on May 7, 2009 by 30daysout


It’s hard to think of a rock band that’s taken more savage hits than Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Donald “Ean” Evans, the current bass player for the band, died May 6 of cancer;  it was the second death of a band member this year – pianist Billy Powell died in January.

Evans, formerly of the Outlaws, replaced original Skynyrd bass player Leon Wilkeson in 2001 after Wilkeson died in his sleep.  Evans died of cancer at his home in Columbus, Ga.

Skynyrd, of course, has lost a number of original and replacement members over the years.  Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, backup singer Cassie Gaines and her brother, guitarist Steve Gaines, died in a 1977 plane crash.  Guitarist Allen Collins died of pneumonia in 1989, he had been paralyzed earlier when he crashed his car while on drugs.  And Hughie Thomasson, another guitar player, died in 2007 of a heart attack.  (It may seem like Skynyrd had about 1,000 guitarists, and they did, but some of ’em were replacements.  Any further detail would take up too much space).  Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

Anyway, R.I.P. Ean Evans. 

MP3: “Freebird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

United Press International story on Ean Evans’ death

Lynyrd Skynyrd official fan website

Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist dies

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 28, 2009 by 30daysout


Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist Billy Powell died last night at age 56. The cause of death is unknown. Powell went from roadie to keyboardist for the mega-popular southern rock band from Jacksonville, FL. He got the gig after late lead singer Ronnie Van Zant  heard him play “Free Bird.”  

No matter what you think about Lynyrd Skynyrd, Powell’s keyboard work was great on the aformentioned “Free Bird,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “What’s Your Name?” and tons of other hits. He will definitely be missed.

The band will have more information later today on their website.

YouTube: “Free Bird” – Lynyrd Skynyrd

YouTube: “Sweet Home Alabama’ – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Rock Moment: “Free Bird,” Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1976

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 27, 2008 by 30daysout

If you’ve ever been in a band you have probably encountered the jackass at the bar, who after a few beers, inevitably will yell out “play some Skynyrd.” Then after a few more drinks, he’ll scream “Free Bird” thinking it’s new and funny. When did all of this yelling out “Free Bird” nonsense start? I’m glad you asked.


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