How Lynyrd Skynyrd Got Scared Of Success

How Lynyrd Skynyrd Got Scared Of Success | Society Of Rock Videos

CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 1976: Southern Rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd (L-R back row Artimus Pyle, Gary Rossington, Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins and Steve Gaines, front row Leon Wilkeson and Billy Powell) pose by their trailer backstage at an outdoor concert in October, 1976 in California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s journey to success wasn’t immediate, but their breakthrough with the release of their second album, 1974’s Second Helping, changed the game for the band. Reflecting on that period, current vocalist Johnny Van Zant and guitarist Rickey Medlocke shared their memories and insights during their ongoing Sharp-Dressed Simple Man tour with ZZ Top.

Speaking about ZZ Top’s influence, Medlocke praised their ability to reinvent themselves, especially after a three-year hiatus, and adapt to the evolving music scene. Van Zant echoed the sentiment, emphasizing their camaraderie and friendship with ZZ Top, recalling fond memories of touring together, even decorating the tour bus for Christmas during their extensive Millennium tour in 1999 and 2000.

The conversation shifted to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s early days and their recording sessions, with Medlocke reminiscing about the iconic “Free Bird” recording in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. He highlighted the precision and chemistry between band members during those sessions, particularly Allen Collins’ remarkable guitar performance.

Discussing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s lineup of talented guitarists, Medlocke emphasized the band’s cohesive sound and tight performances, attributing their confidence on stage to meticulous rehearsals. Van Zant added his perspective on Ed King’s contribution, describing him as the icing on the cake with his unique style.

When asked what Zant loved about Gimme Back My Bullets album, the vocalist praised its raw and gritty quality, reminiscent of the Rolling Stones’ music, crediting producer Tom Dowd for capturing the essence of the songs rather than focusing on perfection.

As Second Helping celebrates its 50th anniversary, Van Zant recalled the excitement surrounding its release and the band’s rapid rise to success. He reminisced about seeing his brother Ronnie Van Zant’s success firsthand, despite the challenges and controversies they faced during the “Torture Tour” period.

Medlocke also shared an anecdote about Collins’ premonition regarding the success of “Sweet Home Alabama,” highlighting the band’s uncertainty about its potential as a hit song. However, the track’s unexpected success propelled the band to new heights, solidifying their place in rock history.

Ultimately, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s journey is a testament to their resilience, talent, and enduring impact on the music industry, as they continue to inspire generations of fans with their timeless music and legacy.

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