Find Out Why Lynyrd Skynyrd Calls Lacy Van Zant The ‘Father Of Southern Rock’

Find Out Why Lynyrd Skynyrd Calls Lacy Van Zant The ‘Father Of Southern Rock’ | Society Of Rock Videos

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Father Knows Best

With his signature overalls and snowy white hair and beard, Lacy Van Zant was as much a part of the Lynyrd Skynyrd experience for the Skynyrd Nation as Lynyrd Skynyrd itself, always offering a kind word or some valuable piece of Van Zant wisdom and gushing with pride at the finely tuned machine his sons built from their childhood home in Jacksonville, Florida. Fiercely respected for his unshakeable faith in God, fierce devotion to family and a work ethic that helped shape Lynyrd Skynyrd’s unrelenting pursuit of success, Lacy’s journey with the band began with long trips spent on the open road for work – often taking Ronnie, Johnny, and brother Donnie of .38 Special along with him for the ride to the tune of Merle Haggard and Hank Williams.

Later, the Navy veteran’s influence was felt in the form of slipping the boys $20 before their next gig, repairing band vehicles and buying Lynyrd Skynyrd their first real drum kit – even pleading guitarist Gary Rossington’s case after being thrown out of school for his long hair.

Lynyrd Skynyrd Looks Back On Lacy Van Zant:

“He’d say, ‘Come in here and watch some real musicians.’ We learned from it. Me and Allen Collins freaked out watching them play steel guitar,”Gary Rossington on Lacy and The Grand Ol’ Opry

“He was very protective of his sons. He was the rock of the family. He was a disciplined person who ruled with an iron fist.”Billy Powell on Lacy Van Zant’s dedication to family

“He was a character and a good soul. I loved that old man.”Rickey Medlocke on Lacy’s legacy

When Lynyrd Skynyrd was faced with the difficult decision to return to the stage following the 1977 crash, it was Lacy whose words spurred Johnny Van Zant into action and back onto the stage, taking his rightful place at the front of the band in his brother’s honor. Late keyboardist Billy Powell once reflected the conversation that took place between Lacy and Johnny, saying,  “Ronnie wrote most of the music, and for it to die with Ronnie was ridiculous in Lacy’s mind,” Powell said. “Lacy was glad the music went on.”

While most other fathers of the 60s and 70s were fiercely against all things rock and roll,  Lacy was the ultimate in rock and roll stage dads – and if you ask Johnny today what he thinks about his late father’s contributions to Lynyrd Skynyrd, we’re pretty sure he’d smile and just repeat what he told the Florida Times-Union in 2004: “He was the father of Southern rock ‘n’ roll, as far as I am concerned”.

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd & Second Helping Live’ is available now on DVD, Blu-ray and digital formats – it’s the perfect gift for the Lynyrd Skynyrd fan in your life. Buy it here on Amazon!

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