Simple Man …

Image 1 - RARE Original Press Photo of Lynyrd Skynyrd a Southern Rock band
Original Press photo

“Sex, drugs, and Rock and Roll”?
Being a Rock Star is not quite so simple.
And Lynyrd Skynyrd definitely became the ‘poster boys’
of the carnage that can visit that dream. 

Wikipedia:

1977: The famous plane crash: killed Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray were killed on impact. Band members seriously injured: Allen Collins, Gary Rossington, Leon Wilkeson, Billy Powell, Artimus Pyle, and Leslie Hawkins, tour manager Ron Eckerman, and several road crew members suffered serious injuries.
1989: Allen Collins dies from pneumonia at age 37.
1996: Ed King left the Band due to heart complications
that required a transplant.
2001: Leon Wilkeson, found dead in his hotel room on July 27, 2001
–  due to emphysema and chronic liver disease.
2009: keyboardist Billy Powell died of a suspected heart attack at age 56.
2009: bassist Ean Evans died of cancer at age 48.
2015: drummer Bob Burns died aged 64 in a car crash.
2018: Ed King dies from cancer at age 68.

A lot of Rock Stars don’t get old.

Simple Man

Likely Lynyrd Skynyrd’s most famous and popular song is
Simple Man (1973).
Written by Ronnie Van Zant and Gary Rossington.
Lyrically the song is about a mother talking to her child about life,
inspired by the passing of Ronnie Van Zant‘s grandmother:

Mama told me when I was youngCome sit beside me my only sonAnd listen closely to what I sayAnd if you do this it’ll help youSome sunny day oh yeah
Oh take your time don’t live too fastTroubles will come and they will passGo find a woman yeah and you’ll find loveAnd don’t forget son there is someone up above
And be a simple kind of manOh be something you love and understandBaby be a simple kind of manOh won’t you do this for me son if you can
Forget your lust for the rich man’s goldAll that you need is in your soulAnd you can do this oh babe if you tryAll that I want for you my son is to be satisfied
And be a simple kind of manOh be something you love and understandBaby be a simple kind of manOh won’t you do this for me son if you canOh yes I will
Oh don’t you worry you’ll find yourselfFollow your heart and nothing elseAnd you can do this oh babe if you tryAll that I want for you my son is to be satisfied
And be a simple kind of manOh be something you love and understandBaby be a simple kind of manOh won’t you do this for me son if you can

And baby be a simple real simple manOh be something you love and understandBaby be a simple kind of man


Personally, I always felt the bombastic way this great song was rendered by Skynyrd ran contrary to it’s wonderful message / lyrics.
And I wondered if there weren’t more … gentle interpretations?

There are.
Here are a couple.

Doubt they’ll be as popular as the original.

Sidenote: though I’ve downloaded a few to their songs from YouTube,
I never owned any Lynyrd Skynyrd music.
They just went right past me. 

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One thought on “Simple Man …”

  1. Seems not.
    Found this:
    https://www.quora.com/Are-Ronnie-van-Zant-Townes-van-Zant-anr-Little-Steven-van-Zant-related

    “Profile photo for Amy Christa Ernano
    Amy Christa Ernano

    Follow
    lifelong rock & roll fan, sometime singer1y
    No. Ronnie’s last name was spelled differently, for one; Townes and Steven’s last name is Van Zandt, not Van Zant. Little Steven’s given surname was Lento; he took his stepfather’s surname of Van Zandt after his mother remarried. Neither he nor his stepfather were any relation to Townes Van Zandt.

    The only other famous musicians RVZ was related to were his brothers, Donnie (of 38 Special) and Johnny (who has fronted the reimagined Skynyrd since 1987), and his cousin Jimmie, who was not as famous, but was also a singer, songwriter, and guitarist (who was inspired as a kid by his older cousin Ronnie) and who died of cancer in 2016 at age 60.”

    The name is unusual so other folks had the same question.

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