“Simple Man” Demo Reveals How Lynyrd Skynyrd Brought This Gorgeous Southern Rock Classic To Life

“Simple Man” Demo Reveals How Lynyrd Skynyrd Brought This Gorgeous Southern Rock Classic To Life | Society Of Rock Videos


“Simple Man,” Take 1

For Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Gary Rossington, “Simple Man” functioned as both a song and as a how-to guide for good living. Inspired by advice given to them by their family matriarchs throughout the course of their lives, “Simple Man” is one of those songs that transcends barriers across the world; where “Free Bird” roared, “Simple Man” came in with a whisper as it echoed the advice from mama that everyone carries close to their heart, but packed a huge punch – which is what makes the demo you’re about to hear so incredibly special.

Recorded in 1972, this version of “Simple Man” is the stunning rough draft for the final cut that would be featured on Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd a year later and features an amazing, far away sounding echo effect applied to Ronnie’s voice that makes the track sound as if it’s really mama speaking to you through your memories – a far cry from the clear, bold vocals we’d hear from Ronnie in the song’s final take.

Fun Fact: “Simple Man” charted in the Hot 100 for the first time in May 2015.

Missing a few key elements as the boys fleshed out what was to become one of their greatest masterpieces – Billy Powell’s keys and Al Kooper’s organ, the thumping bass lick that seems to fill in the empty spaces between Ronnie’s vocals and guitarists Gary and Allen’s rhythm and melody – we love the simplicity of “Simple Man” as a demo recording and greatly admire the overwhelming closeness to the final take, as we’re sure you will too!

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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