Ronnie Van Zant and Lynyrd Skynyrd # 1

by Regis Boff

I am never tempted to be a fan. The alloy of words and music drains people of their identities. A wonderfully unique human state. No other animal mimics this voluntary subjugation other than Golden Retrievers.
I have gotten very close to some “artists”. And others not so much.
I have disliked a few. The country and western crooner Ronnie Milsap is one I loathed. He was blind. In the middle of a protracted negotiation, I let him know I was pleased he was so. His entourage was scandalized. I called them all cunts, still fuming. They continued to play for me because they were all money worshiping reptiles.
John Bonham of Led Zeppelin was not a favorite. I am not happy he is dead because he was an extraordinary drummer. I am still angry at him though and wish he would at least reach out to me from the Shadowland to say he is sorry.
Ronnie Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd could not have tried harder to PMOF, ) Piss Me Off Forever). Within the two hours of my meeting him he threw a bottle of Jack Daniels at my head then charged at me. He got restrained by others. It was fortunate for him.
Physical violence can many times make friendships stronger. With Ronnie, I realized much later it was practically compulsory.
We were waiting in the lobby of a hotel for everybody to come down to leave for the plane. Any morning assemblage of Skynyrd resembled the scene in “Gone with the Wind” where thousands of fallen Confederate soldiers lay stacked on the main street of Atlanta Georgia.
Ronnie, waiting beside me, black hat, and all abruptly heads into the elevator and disappears. Not ten minutes later a guitar case flies down the stairs followed closely by the band’s bass player tumbling like a fleshy “slinky.” Ronnie tells the road manager to pack everyone up and walks out the door to the waiting cars. I get in with him and ask what had just happened. Without looking at me, he says, ” Late”.

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