On The Front Porch with Lucky......
October 14, 2009 9:55:15 AM UTC Post #1

This is My Retrospective Experience with Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1988-2008, ...................

The first time I saw Skynyrd was the Tribute Tour,
they finally made their way to South Florida in '88,
and we were going for sure!

They were supposed to play the Miami Stadium. The line-up was:

Rossington Band
Lynyrd Skynyrd

Loverboy could'nt make it so they moved the show to the
Hollywood Sportatorium on the very edge of the Everglades.

It was fitting, because Lynyrd Skynyrd played there in
October 1977, a few days before the plane crash.

Rossington Band had just come out with "Love Your Man",
and they played a lot off that album.
it was so cool to see Gary up there on that stage,
a living legend no more than thirty feet away,
he wasn't wearing a hat.

Dale blew the roof off with her singing,
worth the price of admission in itself!

Starting to get a little rowdy now, it was "Festival seating",
not as laid back as the early seventies,
the whiskey taking it's effect on the crowd now,
and the place was overpowering of "Skunk" pot smoke.

People were starting to crowd the stage as Larkin Collins wheeled Allen onstage,
it was a bittersweet moment that's for sure.

Randall Hall and Gary were on either side of him, the crowd is going nuts,
Allen tries to put his finger to his mouth to quiet the crowd but they just get louder.
Allen smiles and says a few words that is hard to hear,
but I did hear... "Have we got a band for you!!!....".

They wheel him offstage and the place goes dark.
People are shoving and pushing each other,
I decide to take Mitzi off to the left side of the stage for safety sake.

All of a sudden the place explodes with "Working for MCA",
Gary wearing a hat now and a black leather fringes jacket open,
with no shirt, and playing his bad self for all to see with, "Bernice", backing him up all the way.

After the song, a fight breaks out where Mitzi and I
were just standing, Artimus gets up and takes a
plastic gallon jug of water
and sqeezes it and water shoots out fifteen feet,
doesn't work.

Someone yells out, "Hey Johnny! Where's your brother?".
(Something yelled out frequently at Johnny Winter concerts,
it did not play well here).

Johnny looked out at him and said....
"Watch out, I might jump out there and kick your ass"!.

One song after another, it was a dream come true to hear this music live,
Freebird blew us all away!

As we were driving home, my voice gone from all the rebel yells,
as I'm looking out into the night as Mitzi drove,
I'm wondering if we would ever see them again....

The Hollywood Sportatorium is gone now,
so is Allen and Leon, Billy, Hughie, and Ean....

Artimus and Ed King left and went their own ways.

But what a night, I sure hoped I'd see them again, I just had to!

To the Skynyrd Boys!!! (uh, That's with a Capital "B" for sure!)



October 14, 2009 2:28:24 PM UTC Post #1

If I closed my eyes and let my mind drift.......your words just took me back in time. Back to a time of transition that lead us to where we are now. Thanks for sharing your memories with us!

Ain't nothing sweeter than a Southern girl!

October 14, 2009 6:12:16 PM UTC Post #2

=roadfatigue said:Love the story, well all but the "where's your brother" part.
'Roy' shoulda jumped down there and explained a few things Van Zant style.

Thank you very much for the kind words Brother,
and you too little sister Sara.

Do you think maybe the guy was talking about Donnie?

.....Nah, he was a piece of work that's for sure.
It was a rowdy crowd, I wouldn't have wanted to be him.

There's plenty of rockin' chairs on this porch, y'all set a spell.

Take your shoes off, "Mitzi, bring out some beverages if you would!"

October 14, 2009 9:35:51 PM UTC Post #3

I was working at a little place on the ocean in South Palm Beach,
Florida one morning back in '91, when I heard the DJ announce that he has a
new Skynyrd song, but it is'nt supposed to be played until that afternoon.
The afternoon DJ is a friend of his and he's not sure what to do....
I call him up and say that, on behalf of the hard working, hard core,
Lynyrd Skynyrd fans, who got up early to go to work....
that he should play the song now!

He played the song.

A friend said they would sit in front of a Ticketmaster outlet for
twenty-four hours to insure us a good seat.
I told them that if they did that, to make sure they bought four tickets,
because they were going to be our guests.

They bought second row center at the Miami Arena.
Not a good section of town.

I made a phone call and secured a Limo to take us to the show,
when it pulled up, I thought I might be able to get used to this.

We see the lights of Miami, we feel safe and feeling no pain.
As the driver, (a retired cop from Chicago), opens the door,
I remind him as I step out that this is a very tough neighborhood.
He smiled, and pulled his jacket open to reveal a .45 automatic.
He said, "Don't worry,you're in good hands".

I feel a little intimidated my this huge room, it looked sold out to me.
As we reach the stage, I took great pride in showing these over-zealous,
"Event Staff" personnel my tickets in the second row!

Getting excited now, great seats!!!

Place goes dark, and the Georgia Satellites opened the show.
They did their best, they had just released their one big hit,
"Keep your hands to yourself".

Then the air was so thick with anticipation you could cut it with a knife!

The lights exploded, and there they were playing that song I heard on the radio...

"Smokestack Lightning".

They played "Southern Woman",

"I've Seen Enough",

"Pure and Simple",

they played a lot off that album Lynyrd Skynyrd '91!

Somewhere in the show, I hear a piano solo and yell out,

"Billy Powell on piano!",

Billy looks at me gets up and walks to the edge of the stage
and throws me a towel he has wrapped around his neck,
I catch it, and "Triumphantly" raise it to the ceiling!
He raises his fist and points at me and yells...."Yeah!".
We all wore that towel the rest of the night.

The song that blew everyone away was Freebird!

As we were on our way home,
I was looking out the window into the night, it all seemed so surreal.

This limo felt surreal...
Feeling shell shocked, I remember wondering if I'll ever be able
to actually meet the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd?

I hoped so because I had to....I just had to!!!

God bless us all,

October 14, 2009 9:48:04 PM UTC Post #4

Great stories, Lucky. Keep 'em coming.

I might go out to California might go down to Georgia, I don't know...

October 15, 2009 12:25:54 AM UTC Post #5


Hey Lucky,

I believe that I have that Miami concert on dvd. The quality isn't great, but it's a piece of history. They open with Smokestack Lightnin' and play Southern Women, Keepin' The Faith, Good Thing, I've Seen Enough and Backstreet Crawler (among many others).

It appeared to be a great show. I wish that I had been there as well. Cool story.

October 15, 2009 12:36:04 AM UTC Post #6

Ok.....I taken a seat in an 'ol comfy rocking chair and I am going to ask (in my sweetest southern drawl) Mitiz to bring me a cold beverage as well. Ready......keep 'em coming.

Ain't nothing sweeter than a Southern girl!

October 15, 2009 1:20:59 AM UTC Post #7


BTW.....it appears that B.P. threw you his towel between "You Got That Right" and "Southern Women" (songs 5 & 6). VERY cool.

October 15, 2009 7:54:53 AM UTC Post #8

@Wickey: Now that's cool! You got it on tape??!

I might go out to California might go down to Georgia, I don't know...

October 16, 2009 12:32:11 AM UTC Post #9


So, don't keep us hanging!
Go on, go on! :)

October 16, 2009 1:38:56 PM UTC Post #10

The next three years were good years for us, we went to see
Lynyrd Skynyrd every time they played south Florida.

Sometimes we traveled to Tampa to see them at the Sun Dome.
In '93, while checking in to the hotel across the street from the Sun Dome,
Ed King was in the lobby, and we got to meet him and get an autograph.

After the concert, in back of the hotel where our room was, a limo pulls up,
as we got out of the car, Randall Hall, his wife, and two daughters step
out, and they were all very nice and gracious, and the limo driver took pictures
of us using our camera, and Randall's camera, he made us feel like old friends.

As it turned out, it would be the last concert Randall performed with Skynyrd.

I kept the faith that God would fix it, so I could meet more Skynyrd members.
It paid off, because July 1, 1995, Lynyrd Skynyrd played Sunrise, Florida.
They played the Sunrise Musical Theatre several times, this time was special.

We had a friend in radio, that got us "Meet and Greet" backstage passes.
And before the show, we were escorted with contest winners from several
other radio stations in south Florida.

And there stood Johnny Van Zant, and Mike Estes, man, I felt like a school kid!!!

As it turned out, this was to be the last time Ed King performed as a member
of the band.
He developed a bad cold, (yet, to his credit, performed that night anyway), the next
stop on the tour was Atlanta.
Ed king developed congestive heart failure and was rushed to the hospital.
The doctor's stabilized his condition, and he was told he needed a new heart.

Gary Rossington, and Mike Estes finished the tour, sharing Ed Kings guitar parts.
It was a very scary time for the band, families, and the fans, no internet like today,
so news came slow on his recovery.

Like a long train whistle in the middle of the night, something big was coming.....

And it came that December, it was exciting, sad, emotional, and profound....

God blessed,

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