That time Zakk Wylde and I agreed that Lynyrd Skynyrd were right to return with Johnny Van Zant

By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed Zakk Wylde, back in 1994, he was still a member of the southern-rock band Pride & Glory, which was previously known as Lynyrd Skynhead. So knowing he was a huge Skynyrd fan, I asked him how he felt about the surviving band members getting back together seven years … Continue reading That time Zakk Wylde and I agreed that Lynyrd Skynyrd were right to return with Johnny Van Zant

That time Golden Earring frontman Barry Hay told me about touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd and getting beaten up with Ronnie Van Zandt

By Steve Newton It’s amazing what a person can find when they listen to old interviews they recorded on cassette back in 1984. Like that time I was chatting with Golden Earring vocalist and cosongwriter Barry Hay and asked him about touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd back in the seventies. Have a listen:   To hear … Continue reading That time Golden Earring frontman Barry Hay told me about touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd and getting beaten up with Ronnie Van Zandt

That time Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell told me that Lynyrd Skynyrd’s success gave him hope

  mudcrutch photo by red slater By Steve Newton When I interviewed Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell back in the summer of 1999 we got to talking about his early days playing with Petty in the Gainesville, Florida band Mudcrutch. At one point Campbell told me about how that band would sometimes … Continue reading That time Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell told me that Lynyrd Skynyrd’s success gave him hope

That time J.J. Cale told me that, like Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd also helped his bank account

By Steve Newton Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Second Helping was released the day after my 17th birthday, so the timing was right for it to become one of the major soundtracks to my rock-loving ’70s existence. I didn’t mind its smash-hit lead-off single, “Sweet Home Alabama”, but I liked its rollicking closing track, “Call Me the Breeze”, … Continue reading That time J.J. Cale told me that, like Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd also helped his bank account

That time I asked Rickey Medlocke about rejoining Lynyrd Skynyrd–and why he’d left in the first place

By Steve Newton Lynyrd Skynyrd was one of my fave bands in the seventies, but I never got to see them live with Ronnie, to my infinite regret. I did get to see them for the first time in Vancouver back in ’97 on the Legends Tour, and that was cool because the lineup at … Continue reading That time I asked Rickey Medlocke about rejoining Lynyrd Skynyrd–and why he’d left in the first place

That time Gary Rossington told me that Lynyrd Skynyrd would still be together, if not for the crash

By Steve Newton Back in 1986 I interviewed southern-rock legend Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd fame. At the time he had his own band called Rossington, which featured his wife Dale Krantz-Rossington on vocals. That group wasn’t nearly as great as Skynyrd–or the Rossington Collins Band, for that matter–but it was still a real hoot … Continue reading That time Gary Rossington told me that Lynyrd Skynyrd would still be together, if not for the crash

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton “Please sir, could I have a Second Helping?” 20. “Railroad Song” (Nuthin’ Fancy, 1975) 19. “Every Mother’s Son” (Gimme Back My Bullets, 1976) 18. “On the Hunt” (Nuthin’ Fancy, 1975) 17. “I Ain’t the One” (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nerd, 1973) 16. “I Never Dreamed” (Street Survivors, 1977) 15. “Tuesday’s Gone” (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nerd, … Continue reading Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

Album review: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Legend (1987)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 30, 1987 By Steve Newton If there was one band I would have killed (well, maimed anyway) to see in its original lineup, that band would have been Lynryd Skynryd, the pride of Jacksonville, Florida, and arguably the best southern rock band to come along. That wish was shattered forever … Continue reading Album review: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Legend (1987)

Album review: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Endangered Species (1994)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 13, 1994 By Steve Newton It’ll be 17 years this month since Lynyrd Skynyrd’s chartered plane went down in the Mississippi woods, killing—among others—vocalist Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines. Ten years after the crash, the group’s survivors decided to honour the music of the lost rockers … Continue reading Album review: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Endangered Species (1994)

The Definitive Lynyrd Skynyrd Collection is a must-have for hardcore Skynyrd fans

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 1991 By Steve Newton I know, I know—you can’t win. Just when you’ve finally replaced all your cherished Lynyrd Skynyrd LPs with half a dozen CDs, along comes a 3-CD box set that covers the entire course of the classic southern rock band’s ill-fated career. Well, don’t … Continue reading The Definitive Lynyrd Skynyrd Collection is a must-have for hardcore Skynyrd fans

American Stars ‘n Bars: Lynyrd Skynyrd and the lure of the Confederate flag

By Steve Newton The Rebel flag. The Southern Cross. Stars and Bars. Whatever you call it, the battle flag of America’s former Confederate states has been getting a lot of attention lately—most of it in the wake of last June’s mass shooting of black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina. Nine parishioners were killed by 21-year-old … Continue reading American Stars ‘n Bars: Lynyrd Skynyrd and the lure of the Confederate flag

Lynyrd Skynyrd founding member Bob Burns dies in car crash at 64

By Steve Newton Sad news for Southern-rock fans–and Lynyrd Skynyrd freaks, in particular. Original Skynyrd drummer Bob Burns–who played drums on the band’s first two albums–died last night after a single-car accident near Catersville, Georgia, when his car went off the road and hit a tree. Hardcore fans of the tragedy-prone band know too well that … Continue reading Lynyrd Skynyrd founding member Bob Burns dies in car crash at 64

Lynyrd Skynyrd blows the motherf***ing roof off the Hard Rock with a southern-fried riff-fest for the ages

photo by Kevin Statham. All other less-impressive photos by the Newt By Steve Newton Four of the seven Lynyrd Skynyrd members pictured on the cover of the band’s phenomenal first album are dead. That’s unfortunate, obviously; tragic, even. But if you saw the band play last night you might be tempted to say “So what?” … Continue reading Lynyrd Skynyrd blows the motherf***ing roof off the Hard Rock with a southern-fried riff-fest for the ages

Gene Odom’s Lynyrd Skynyrd book lacks literary grace and gory details

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 21, 2002 By Steve Newton On their latest CD, Southern Rock Opera, alt-country reprobates the Drive-By Truckers combine sociology, history, and musicology to deliver a concept album about southern rock, and the band they focus on to get their ideas across is Lynyrd Skynyrd. For the uninitiated, … Continue reading Gene Odom’s Lynyrd Skynyrd book lacks literary grace and gory details

Lynyrd Skynyrd heads to Vancouver for a “Friday Night Special”

Southern-rock heroes Lynyrd Skynyrd have just announced a show at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver. And it’s on a Friday, which is pretty close to a “Saturday Night Special.” As anyone who’s followed the band from its early-’70s beginnings knows, Skynyrd’s story is composed of the highest highs and lowest lows. The lowest was the … Continue reading Lynyrd Skynyrd heads to Vancouver for a “Friday Night Special”

Lynyrd Skynyrd freaks invade Riverside Studios on a Blair Witch-style scavenger hunt

Just came across this video from 1999 of a gaggle of diehard Lynyrd Skynyrd fans going nuts when they get inside the old abandoned Riverside Studios in Jacksonville, Florida, where the southern-rock legends used to rehearse and record, along with .38 Special. They all get pretty psyched when they come across a drawing on the … Continue reading Lynyrd Skynyrd freaks invade Riverside Studios on a Blair Witch-style scavenger hunt

Spine-tingling guitar solos light up Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first-ever Vancouver show

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 4, 1997 By Steve Newton Those ’70s-rock fans sure are a devoted bunch. Even if one of their fave old bands hasn’t produced a hit in two decades, they’ll stick with it and flock to its concerts to hold Bic lighters on high and relive the halcyon days … Continue reading Spine-tingling guitar solos light up Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first-ever Vancouver show

Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist Billy Powell dead at 56

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 28, 2009 By Steve Newton Original Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist Billy Powell died early this morning at his home in Orange Park, Florida, apparently due to a heart attack. He was pronounced dead at 1:52 a.m. after paramedics responded to a 911 call in which Powell, who has a history of … Continue reading Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist Billy Powell dead at 56

High school gym teacher who inspired Lynyrd Skynyrd’s name dies

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 21, 2010 I used to be a huge Lynyrd Skynyrd fan. Back in ’77, just before the crash, when you could still buy the soon-to-be-banned version of Street Survivors with doomed guitarist Steve Gaines’s head on fire, they ruled my turntable. I mean seriously ruled it. I don’t care much for the current Skynyrd … Continue reading High school gym teacher who inspired Lynyrd Skynyrd’s name dies

That time Zakk Wylde told me about jamming with Skynyrd and covering for Dickey Betts in the Allmans

By Steve Newton Zakk Wylde may be best known as the guitarist and songwriter who took over from Jake E. Lee to help Ozzy Osbourne stay on the charts with tunes like “No More Tears” and “Perry Mason”, but southern-rock fans also know him as the frontman in the power trio Pride & Glory, which was … Continue reading That time Zakk Wylde told me about jamming with Skynyrd and covering for Dickey Betts in the Allmans

That time Rickey Medlocke told me that he was hired to play Allen Collins’ guitar parts in Skynyrd

By Steve Newton Back in 1997 Lynyrd Skynyrd was headed to Vancouver for a show with Paul Rodgers and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, so you bet your ass I was gonna go. I was also gonna interview Rickey Medlocke, who had rejoined the band to play guitar alongside founding member Gary Rossington and former Outlaws picker … Continue reading That time Rickey Medlocke told me that he was hired to play Allen Collins’ guitar parts in Skynyrd

That time I asked Dickey Betts what song Duane Allman and the Skynyrd boys might be playing in heaven

By Steve Newton If you think I got into journalism at the age of 23–first at my hometown’s Chilliwack Progress and then, for the last 34 years, at Vancouver’s Georgia Straight–mainly so I could interview guitar heroes like Dickey Betts, you’re damn rights. I’ve loved Dickey ever since I heard him and Duane on Eat a … Continue reading That time I asked Dickey Betts what song Duane Allman and the Skynyrd boys might be playing in heaven

Newt’s top 5 Vancouver concerts of 2015: U2, Foos, Skynyrd, Alvins, Emmanuel

Skynyrd photo by Kevin Statham, all other photos by the Newt By Steve Newton Lynyrd Skynyrd at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver on March 20. “When you’ve got three shit-hot guitarists tearing up the place on deathless southern-rock songs you can’t really go wrong, in my book.” U2 (above) at Rogers Arena on May 14: “The encore … Continue reading Newt’s top 5 Vancouver concerts of 2015: U2, Foos, Skynyrd, Alvins, Emmanuel

Drive-By Truckers tone down the Skynyrdisms on Decoration Day

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 7, 2003 By Steve Newton Two years ago the Drive-By Truckers took the music world by surprise with Southern Rock Opera, a sprawling, two-CD concept album about ’70s rock and southern U.S. culture that focused on the legend of doomed Dixie rock act Lynyrd Skynyrd. The independent release … Continue reading Drive-By Truckers tone down the Skynyrdisms on Decoration Day

Patterson Hood on the Drive-By Truckers’ Southern Rock Opera and the true meaning of Skynyrd

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 30, 2003 By Steve Newton It doesn’t seem likely in today’s musical climate that any band would record a 90-minute concept album about 1970s rock and southern U.S. culture, focusing on the legend of doomed Dixie rock act Lynyrd Skynyrd. It’s even more unlikely that such a CD … Continue reading Patterson Hood on the Drive-By Truckers’ Southern Rock Opera and the true meaning of Skynyrd

Rickey Medlocke on reuniting with Skynyrd, the plane crash, and the rebel flag

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 21, 1997 By Steve Newton October 20, 1977, is a day branded by sadness for southern-rock fans. That’s when Lynyrd Skynyrd’s rented plane, short on fuel, crashed into a Mississippi swamp en route to a gig at Louisiana University. Vocalist Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines died … Continue reading Rickey Medlocke on reuniting with Skynyrd, the plane crash, and the rebel flag

Blues-rocker Nigel Mack started off covering Molly Hatchet, the Outlaws, and Skynyrd

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 23, 1997 In Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Ballad of Curtis Loew”, Ronnie Van Zant sings about a black bluesman with white curly hair who plays Dobro all day in exchange for drinking money. Feeling like a cheapskate, I don’t offer any monetary incentive to curly-haired local blues-rocker Nigel Mack while … Continue reading Blues-rocker Nigel Mack started off covering Molly Hatchet, the Outlaws, and Skynyrd