If I Leave Here Tomorrow

I just watched the Lynyrd Skynyrd doc on Netflix (If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd, 2018) and it was excellent.

I learned a lot about the band and the crash that killed six passengers. For one thing, I did not realize that the plane was a medium sized prop, and that there were 20 some odd people on board. In my mind, it was a crash like Buddy Holly’s or Patsy Cline’s. But it was not, the plane was quite large and there’s still speculation about what happened. Some say it ran out of gas, but the surviving band members said that the engine was not right from the get-go. It was very sobering to hear the accounts of the crash from the surviving band members who were interviewed for this documentary. Only six people died of the almost 30 on the plane, so that is a good thing, but the band died that day for sure. Ronnie Van Zant, Cassie Gaines and Steve Gaines were integral to Skynryd – especially Ronnie, of course.

It was good to hear from the only remaining members of the band, well, really only ONE of the original is left: Gary Rossington. Johnny Van Zant has been fronting the band since the 80s, but he is not an original member (he’s Ronnie’s little brother). All the rest have since died. If you’re interested in the details, watch the doc on Netflix and read the Wiki entry.

As you all know, I’m from E TN, so Southern Rock was a big part of my formative years. I was a little too young for Skynyrd in their heyday, but they were a big part of my high school years, which happened a few years after the crash. All the boys in band were huge fans. One guy had tickets for the Knoxville show from that fateful ’77 tour. They were sacred to him. One of the guys also had the Street Survivors record with flames on it, original release. (They removed the flames after the crash.)

We listened to Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin about equally, along with plenty of Journey and for me Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar.

I wish I’d seen Skynyrd in their heyday. I saw Rossington Collins Band for my very first concert – I think it was 1980 – so, that was part of Skynyrd, anyway. I remember the band boys dissing them for having Dale Krantz (female) as lead singer, which pissed me off.

What surprised me was the feelings hearing all that music brought up. It was a meaningful time for me, like all teens in High School. Hearing all that music brought back the times we sat in cars smoking and drinking, listening to Skynyrd. I’m not prone to nostalgia, so it’s a rare thing!

So, yeah. Interesting to me that I feel this way. I did not expect it! But, it’s true that music speaks to your soul, not your brain, so I guess I should’ve known it would affect me. I think I’m going to flesh out my Skynyrd collection.