“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.
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.
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:
And baby be a simple real simple manOh be something you love and understand Baby be a simple kind of man
And I wondered if there weren’t more … gentle interpretations?
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.