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Just wanted to write to you before, well, no one is guaranteed tomorrow, so, just thought I would let you all know a bit about me and the influence Lynyrd Skynyrd has had on my life and the impact of your latest release, Last of a Dyin' Breed.
I remember the first time I heard the studio version of Freebird, I was 10 1/2 yrs old and it was the summer of 1975. It was at an arcade room in Long Island , NY, and an older friend dropped a coin into the juke box, and he picked Freebird and I heard it in it's entirety. WOW!! That's all I could say and feel. I was hooked from then on. Like many back then, I was into the drug and booze scene as well, very early I might add. My youger uncle ( same age as Johnny ) had his own band in OH, and turned me on to many rock bands and went to concerts with him too. One of many requests of mine for Christmas 1976, was, of course, Lynyrd Skynyrd, One More from the Road. Well, I got it!! Yeah!!! My oldest uncle's( a year younger than Ronnie) first wife bought it for me, and in the deep southern drawl that she had from Mississippi, she said, " I got that new album for ya from " LIE NERD SKIE NERD " !! LOL, she did not know, so of course I corrected her on the correct pronunciation. I burned that LP up for many years!! And of course, the Live version of Freebird blew me away even more!!! As did all the songs on that album, beautiful stuff man, hits you right in the soul!!
I distinctly remember the tragedy in 1977. Shortly before it happended, my friend was planning on going to see ya'll at the Garden in NYC. I could not afford to go, as I was poor, so I begged my friend to bring me back a t-shirt and I would pay him for it when he got back. Well, we all know that concert never came to be, unfortunatley for everyone. My step sister, 4 yrs older than me, told me of the crash the morning after. I did not beleive her. She said it was true, she read it in Newsday newpaper. I ran, not slow, but fast to see for myslef. She was right. There was a small section in there about the crash, which I had missed, as I read the paper daily. I remember after I read it, I just closed the newspaper, did not cut out the section, and just walked away. I was crushed as well.
Things did not go well for me after that, as it did not for many folks.When Street Surviors was released in my very small town, I wanted it, but could not afford it, so listened to the tunes on the radio. " That Smell" rang so true in my life, and for many others I have known, some made it, some did not. I made it. After I grew up, I had the money to buy more LP's by ya'll, the second one I bought used from a friend, ironically, It was " Second Helping ". HA!! More gems from ya'll!! Loved every song on that album as well!! Others I bought were " Gold & Platinum " " First & Last" and serveral greatist hits compilations. The last one I bought was your latest, Last of a Dyin' Breed, at Best buy for $9.99!! I was just browsing and looking for another artist, and saw your latest. Once again, I really could not afford it, but I bought it anyway, what the hay!! Man, I am glad I did!! This album, in my opinion, is the best material, musically and lyrically, ya'll have ever done!! Very tight and on the money!! Messages and Truth abound in there that resonate in my soul. I was saved 20 yrs ago, but fell away in a mighty way in 2007. I think ya'll know what I mean. I have come back to Him and have been sober since I buried my mom the first part of Feb 2013. I could go on and on, but I know your time is precious as well. I would love to send your latest to so many folks, but they just might not get it like I do. Oh well, prayer is more powerful!! Here we are again, I am going on 49 and you all are touring again!! LOL. I was going to see ya'll when I had the money in late 2011, but I had already seen ZZ Top many years ago, and The Doobies & Chicago with my 2nd wife before she passed in mid 2011. I thought, I have already seen the others, and ya'll probably were not that good anymore. Boy was I wrong, again!!! LOL! I hear so many on your latest, Jimi, Dickey, Duane, and others as well as yourselves. Gary, Thank you for keeping Duane's legacy alive in your music as you always have!! He was another friend I never met just like ya'll, but still consider him , others, and ya'll as well ,as my Friends, for life!! I see again you are very close, but, once again, we skirt each other, as my choices in life have put me in a place that I cant see ya'll live. But thats OK!!! It really is not needed. I have all the memories!! And I do have you tube and the DVD that ya'll did at ACL. Great as well, Rickey, you Rock man!!! If I have brought up some bad memories for ya'll, I do apologize, it sincerely was not my intention in writing to you, but to thank all of you instead!!
I wish you all and yours the best of success and blessings, now and in the future, and pray that God will keep you all safe and secure in His loving arms!! Take care my Friends!!! In His love, Bob Sloane, Georgetown, TX.