Wednesday, September 29, 2010


For almost as long as there’s been rock ’n’ roll, Los Angeles has been a city at the center of its history and mythol­ogy—a town in which legends are made, burned, rebuilt, merchandised, forgotten. The city has had its fair share of native rock talent and has been the adopted home of many more singular rockin’ careers, but the powerful draw of L.A. has also meant that, through the years, the city has been the site of some of the most notable and unusual rock ’n’ roll encounters.

Some chance meetings have resulted in remarkable music—as in the low-key introductions that led to Crosby, Stills and Nash blending their first harmonies in a Laurel Canyon home. Some convergences have been darker—there’s the brief and creepy tangling of the Beach Boys with an aspiring songwriter named Charles Manson. Others are simply odd footnotes: David Bowie visiting an inpatient Iggy Pop at UCLA’s neuropsychiatric institute.

But perhaps the greatest of L.A.’s rock ’n’ roll tête-à-têtes occurred on a still summer night in 1965, high up in the rarefied climes of Bel Air. There, in a splendid home on Perugia Way, Elvis met the Beatles.

Or more precisely, the Beatles met Elvis. When the group traveled to the U.S. in 1964, they frequently cited Elvis as a major influence. Beatles manager Brian Epstein contacted Presley’s manager, the famously colorful Colonel Tom Parker, about organizing a meeting, but the logistics could never be worked out. The closest the Fab Four got to contact with the King came after their first visit to The Ed Sullivan Show, when the curiously charisma-deficient host read from a telegram: “Congratulations on your appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and your visit to Amer­ica. We hope your engagement will be a successful one and your visit pleasant. Give our best to Mr. Sullivan. Sincerely, Elvis & the Colonel.”

The following year, when the Beatles returned for a second U.S. tour, it all came together. The Beatles were in Los Angeles for a week, staying in a rented Benedict Canyon house while they played two nights at the Hollywood Bowl. Elvis was at his home on Perugia Way in Bel Air, having just returned from location, shooting his latest movie, Paradise, Hawaiian Style.

Epstein again initiated contact with Colonel Parker, and the decision was made that on the night of August 27, the Beatles would come to Elvis’ home for an informal get-together. Intensive security arrangements were worked out, and it was agreed that no press would be involved and no pictures would be taken or recordings made of whatever happened.

“So many things could have gone wrong,” says Jerry Schilling, who was living at the Perugia house at the time and working as a member of the “Memphis Mafia,” the entourage of guys who tended to all manner of Presley’s personal and professional needs. “If Colonel and Brian hadn’t gotten along, it wouldn’t have gotten past the phone-call stage. But there were no ego battles, and from the start it was approached as a pair of music greats coming together out of admi­ration for each other.”

The uncomfortable subtext to the meeting was that, in 1965, Presley’s moments of musical greatness were behind him, and he had become deeply despondent over the string of medi­ocre films and uninspired soundtrack material he found himself contractually bound to deliver. “I remember asking him once what his next movie was going to be,” recalls George Klein, a pioneering rock ’n’ roll disc jockey in Memphis, who began a lifelong friendship with Presley when the two met in an eighth grade music class. “He said, ‘Same story, different location. I beat up the bad guys, get the girl and sing 10 lousy songs.’ But as down as he was about what he was doing, I don’t think he really felt threatened by the Beatles. He appreciated the excitement of their records, and he thought they were fine songwriters. I remember him saying several times, ‘There’s room enough for everybody.’ Probably me and some of the other guys around Elvis felt more defensive than he ever did.”

Just before 10 p.m. on the 27th, Colonel Parker and Memphis Mafia “foreman” Joe Esposito rode in limos over to the Beatles’ Benedict Canyon house, picked up John, Paul, George, Ringo, Epstein and the Beatles’ road manager, Mal Evans, and returned to Perugia Way. “There was a huge crowd of fans at the gate to Elvis’ house,” recalls Esposito. “The Colonel didn’t want any press, but he leaked word to a few fan clubs so that there’d be some excitement outside.”

Elvis and then girlfriend (later wife) Priscilla Beaulieu met the Beatles at the door of the home, and as introductions were made between the Beatles and the seven or so Mafia members, the group moved to the smaller of two den areas, which was equipped with a large TV, a stereo system and a bar. As everyone found a place, there was an awkward lull. The two greatest rock ’n’ roll acts in the world were finally together, face to face. Now what was supposed to happen?

“No matter who you are,” says Schilling, “walking into Elvis Presley’s house is a different experience. His presence put things on a certain level, and I think the Beatles could feel that. But Elvis knew how to handle it. He said, ‘If you guys are just going to sit around and stare at me, I’m going to bed.’ That broke the ice and got a laugh out of everybody. Right away, the Beatles understood that Elvis was a guy with a sense of humor—and a guy who really loved crazy British humor. It wasn’t too long before John and Elvis were talking about Peter Sellers and favorite scenes from Dr. Strangelove.”

With the mood loosened up, the gathering turned into a friendly, free-flowing affair. Colonel Parker and Esposito oversaw the action at a craps table and roulette wheel that had been set up in the home’s larger den, while Schilling teamed with Ringo to take on Evans and Elvis’ cousin Billy Smith in a game of pool. Elvis wasn’t a drinker, so very little alcohol was served (though George Harrison slipped out to the swim­ming pool area, where he smoked pot with hairstylist Larry Geller and Mafia member Alan Fortas).

“I think there was probably some nervousness on both sides when the night began,” says Esposito. “But it turned out to be a really enjoyable, down-to-earth, getting-to-know-you situation. Not a wild party—just a really fun night. For us, it was great to see Elvis enjoying himself that way.”

Early on, Elvis showed off one of his musical pastimes to Lennon and McCartney—plugging a Fen­der bass into an amp to play along to records. Charlie Rich’s “Mohair Sam” was a favorite that summer, and Elvis nailed the boogeying bass line. There were guitars in the house, and there are varying accounts as to what extent the rock luminaries jammed. Esposito remembers a few ’50s oldies—not Elvis tunes—getting a run-through, though the left-handed McCartney had trouble doing much with a guitar strung for a right-hander. Schilling remembers Elvis playing bass but doesn’t recall any serious jamming. “I was paying attention that night,” he laughs. “That’s something I wouldn’t have missed.”

Whatever music got made, the four-hour get-together was successful enough that the Beatles wanted to return the favor, inviting some of Elvis’ guys to spend time where they were staying. “Just as they were leaving,” Schilling recalls, “John said to me, ‘I know Elvis can’t get out, but if you’d like to come up to our place, we’ll be there the next few days.’ ”

So Schilling found himself on a Benedict Canyon patio, at a table with John, Paul and George (Ringo was inside, on the phone with his wife). Either because they were freshly shampooed or wanted to protect their hair from the sun, the three Beatles had their heads wrapped in towels. Schilling remembers one other detail from that afternoon: “I was amazed watching their security guys grab up these girls who were scaling the canyon walls to get to the band, but the Beatles were so used to it they didn’t even notice.”

At one point, Lennon leaned over and asked Schilling to deliver a message to Elvis. “He said, ‘I didn’t have the nerve to tell Elvis this last night,” Schilling recalls, “but you see these sideburns? I almost got kicked out of school for trying to look like him. Tell Elvis that if it hadn’t been for him, I wouldn’t be here.’ ”

Later, back on Perugia Way, Schilling found Elvis sitting alone in the den where the Beatles’ evening first started. “I didn’t tell him right away that I’d just spent the day at their place,” says Schilling. “Elvis was a nice guy, but loyalty was very important to him. I built up to it slowly, then told him what John had said. He didn’t say anything, but he had this little proud smile on his face. I could see how much it meant to him.”

In the years since that August night, just a few unofficial photos have emerged—shots taken at the Perugia gates, most likely by a fan, as the Beatles appear to be leaving. The encounter lives on as a cherished memory for those lucky enough to have been there, but Esposito has come to question the occasion’s no-photo policy. “At the time, it seemed like the right thing not to have pictures or recordings, to let these guys just be themselves. But now I kind of wish we could have had some pictures taken, because it really was a helluva night


Dorothy Dix loved to play

and had so much to say

Her dog fluff

thought he was so tough

Fluff and Dorothy spent their days in the sun

fetching bones that Dorothy threw and such fun

One day in the woods, Dorothy ran into a tree

suddenly her world became so dark to be

Opening her eyes to a gravel road

and hearing croaks of a toad

Dorothy saw the name of the road and it was highway sixty nine

dusting herself off she began to walk down the highway in the sunshine

With Fluff by her side she walked for many a mile

skipping and always showing her smile

Along the way she met a man made of steel

and he introduced himself as a person so real

He told Dorothy he needed oil for his body so it wouldnt rust

and showed her the rust had damaged his bust

The three ventured further along and now met the broom man

who also told them of his fear of fire and thunder of which he ran

Now the four made a pact to find their cure and hope

when suddenly, they met another man named dope

Who had a tiny brain and wished he was smart

and would trade his heart for a new start

The five stopped for a rest

when attacked by flocks of pest

Mosquitos the size of a car

made sure they didnt travel far

But the broom man swept them away

to save the day

Nightime came and they bedded down to sleep in the forest they did love

when horrific sounds of wild beasts came from above

The dope shuttered with fear

and all shed a tear

A giant bear appeared with fangs so sharp and long

that the dope stood there frozen and horrifed and sang a song

Wheras the bear ran, for the dope was first to stand,and did no wrong

Daybreak approached for a new day

and they all went on their way

Where upon they saw a wagon on the side of the road

and to their surprise it was driven by a toad

The toad replied that if Dorothy kissed his cheek

he would grant her any wish with that she may seek

So Dorothy puckered her lips and kissed the frog

 and boom, the frog turned into a handsome hog

Dorothy now had any wish she wanted you see

and she thought long and hard and had a plea

Mr. Hog, she said, with baited breath so kind

May I have two wishes for I am in a different land

The frog now a hog, thought for a second, and said yes, my dear

for now Im back to what I was and have nothng to fear

So Dorothy smiled and said she wanted to go back home

but not alone

I want to marry the steel man who wont rust Mr. Hog

and also take , fluff, my dog

also give smarts to dope

which will give him hope

and give the broom man a place to live

for he needs to sweep and give

The Hog waved his two arms in the air and squealed words

that was so loud it scared all the birds

A blast of light and Dorothy awoke with the steel man in her arm

back home with fluff and full of charm

In the end, Dorothy Dix married the steel man and dinner she did fix

and through the years of bliss, she gave birth to four steel dix.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Children's Museum of Manhattan

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Last updated: Tuesday September 28, 2010, 11:10 AM


The Record


WHAT: "The Wizard of Oz" exhibit at the Children's Museum of Manhattan.

WHEN: Through Jan. 9, the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: The Tisch Building, 212 W. 83rd St., Manhattan; or 212-721-1223 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 212-721-1223 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

HOW MUCH: Children over 12 months and adults, $10 each; seniors, $7.

The Children's Museum of Manhattan has a hands-on exhibit featuring characters and regions from Oz.

Just like Dorothy, children can step into the wonderful world of Oz when they visit the Children's Museum of Manhattan's newest exhibit.

"The Wizard of Oz" has been a childhood favorite since the book by L. Frank Baum was published in 1900, and even more so since the 1939 classic film. The exhibit, which originated from the Miami Children's Museum, opens this weekend at the New York City children's museum.

Karen Snider, deputy director for exhibitions at the museum, said the film makes for a perfect children's exhibit for many reasons.

"This is so rich for an exhibition because the messages and visuals are so strong," Snider said. The Oz story resonates with children and adults because it's a "journey of childhood and of life," she said.

"I think it really underlines the importance of home and family and friends and how they guide and support every child's journey," Snider said.

"It also has other big messages: What we need is really inside of us all along," she said, referring to how the Cowardly Lion learns he was brave from the start, the Scarecrow realized he always had brains and the Tin Man always had a heart.

"We can help our kids nurture the skills they need to draw upon their own strength that they already have," Snider said.

Beyond the deeper messages, however, Snider said the exhibit is just plain fun, featuring elements to engage children intellectually and physically as they visit all the places from the film.

At the Gale family farm, children can reach into small cubbies to try to feel a farm animal and guess what kind of creature it is by touch. At another part, visitors can create a hand-powered tornado and learn about the science behind the storms. Professor Marvel's wagon features optical illusions. In Munchkinland, children can make music by striking colorful flower-shaped pipes and create Munchkin clothing with giant paper dolls.

At another part of the exhibit, children can climb a cargo net to reach the top of the Wicked Witch of the West's castle and slide down to escape. At another part, children can build a rainbow with giant foam blocks.

"What's great about this exhibit is that it's a great story and it connects with people on an emotional level," Snider said. "The activities in the exhibit really address the whole child."

WHAT: "The Wizard of Oz" exhibit at the Children's Museum of Manhattan.

WHEN: Through Jan. 9, the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: The Tisch Building, 212 W. 83rd St., Manhattan; or 212-721-1223 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 212-721-1223 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

HOW MUCH: Children over 12 months and adults, $10 each; seniors, $7.

The Children's Museum of Manhattan has a hands-on exhibit featuring characters and regions from Oz.

Bring the bunch along

Along with "The Wizard of Oz" exhibit, there are many special events for families. For a full calendar, go to Here are a few examples:

* Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Make a scarecrow stick puppet with raffia and other materials. Ages 4 and under.

* Oct. 24 at 3 and 4 p.m.

Make a costume element from the movie with Broadway costume maker Nick Godlee. Ages 5 and up.

* Dec. 5 at 3 p.m.

"Over the Rainbow and How They Got There: Special Effects and The Wizard of Oz." Oz historian John Fricke takes you behind the scenes with fun facts about special effects from the movie.

* Jan. 2 and 9 at noon, 2, 3 and 4 p.m.

Decorate a sash with badges of courage, for the Cowardly Lion, love, for the Tin Woodsman and wisdom, for the Scarecrow. Ages 5 and up.

Just like Dorothy, children can step into the wonderful world of Oz when they visit the Children's Museum of Manhattan's newest exhibit.

"The Wizard of Oz" has been a childhood favorite since the book by L. Frank Baum was published in 1900, and even more so since the 1939 classic film. The exhibit, which originated from the Miami Children's Museum, opens this weekend at the New York City children's museum.

Karen Snider, deputy director for exhibitions at the museum, said the film makes for a perfect children's exhibit for many reasons.

"This is so rich for an exhibition because the messages and visuals are so strong," Snider said. The Oz story resonates with children and adults because it's a "journey of childhood and of life," she said.

"I think it really underlines the importance of home and family and friends and how they guide and support every child's journey," Snider said.

"It also has other big messages: What we need is really inside of us all along," she said, referring to how the Cowardly Lion learns he was brave from the start, the Scarecrow realized he always had brains and the Tin Man always had a heart.

"We can help our kids nurture the skills they need to draw upon their own strength that they already have," Snider said.

Beyond the deeper messages, however, Snider said the exhibit is just plain fun, featuring elements to engage children intellectually and physically as they visit all the places from the film.

At the Gale family farm, children can reach into small cubbies to try to feel a farm animal and guess what kind of creature it is by touch. At another part, visitors can create a hand-powered tornado and learn about the science behind the storms. Professor Marvel's wagon features optical illusions. In Munchkinland, children can make music by striking colorful flower-shaped pipes and create Munchkin clothing with giant paper dolls.

At another part of the exhibit, children can climb a cargo net to reach the top of the Wicked Witch of the West's castle and slide down to escape. At another part, children can build a rainbow with giant foam blocks.

"What's great about this exhibit is that it's a great story and it connects with people on an emotional level," Snider said. "The activities in the exhibit really address the whole child."



la-me-execution-20100928 2695293 3.18 from 11 ratingsCalifornia's first execution in five years delayed by legal issues

A federal appeals court in San Francisco late Monday ordered a trial judge to reconsider a ruling that allowed for a convicted murderer and rapist to be executed this week at San Quentin State Prison.

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Even though this guy raped, so is the system; costing tax payers millions of dollars deciding what is needle or three...obviously, those waging this battle over how to kill the guy are pocketing enough money to pay their homes off and buy expensive cars. I wonder when he was done raping that girl if he asked how she wanted to die.

UPDATE.....federal judge Tuesday blocked the execution of convicted rapist and murderer Albert Greenwood Brown, saying there was “no way” the court could conduct an adequate review of California's new lethal-injection procedures before the death sentence was to be carried out Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel in effect reversed his Friday decision that the execution could go forward if the state gave Brown the option of dying by a single-injection method used in other states, rather than the three-drug cocktail prescribed by California’s new regulations.

Earlier today, Fogel had asked attorneys to weigh in on the state’s new procedures for carrying out lethal injections, including how similar and different they are from the older rules that the judge had previously found to be flawed.

Time has become a crucial factor in whether Brown will be put to death this year.

The attorney general’s office has said that the state’s supply of a key drug that renders condemned prisoners unconscious will expire on Friday and that further executions would have to wait until at least next year, when new supplies are expected.

Brown was convicted of raping and killing a 15-year-old Riverside girl in 1980



Best of 2010, Update 26

It's been ten books since my last update and, since the end of September comes in just a two of days, this will represent my Top 10 lists exactly three-quarters of the way through 2010.

To be considered this time are six novels and four nonfiction titles: Crying Tree (Naseem Rahka), The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai (Ruiyan Xu), The Hanging Tree (Bryan Gruley), "S" Is for Silence (Sue Grafton), Land of Ghosts (E.V. Seymour), Todos Santos (Deborah Clearman), The Gettysburg Approach to Writing and Speaking Like a Professional (Philip A. Yaffe), Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen (Jimmy McDonough), Born Standing Up (Steve Martin) and A World without Islam (Graham E. Fuller).

With only three months to go, it is really getting difficult for a new title to crack either list. This week shows just how tough, with only one of the ten titles gaining a ranking. So, of 68 fiction titles, these remain my 10 favorites:

1. Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese (novel)

2. Matterhorn - Karl Marlantes (Vietnam War novel)

3. The Calligrapher's Daughter - Eugenia Kim (novel)

4. The White Garden - Stephanie Barron (literary alternate history)

5. Shadow of the Swords - Kamran Pasha (novel about the Third Crusade)

6. Remarkable Creatures - Tracy Chevalier (historical fiction)

7. Drood - Dan Simmons (historical fiction)

8. Beatrice and Virgil - Yann Martel (novel with a punch)

9. The Secret Speech - Tom Rob Smith (historical thriller)

10. Far Cry - John Harvey (police procedural)

And the nonfiction list, from a total of 26 read, changes just a bit with Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen moving into what should prove to be a secure number 4 slot.

1. Lies My Mother Never Told Me - Kaylie Jones (memoir)

2. War - Sebastian Junger (about the daily lives of our soldiers in Afghanistan)

3. Man of Constant Sorrow - Ralph Stanley & Eddie Dean (biography)

4. Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen - Jimmy McDonough (biography)

5. Losing My Cool - Thomas Chatterton Williams (memoir)

6. Roger Maris: Baseball's Reluctant Hero (biography)

7. Jane's Fame - Claire Harman (on the evolution of Jane Austen's reputation)

8. Composed: A Memoir - Rosanne Cash (memoir)

9. The Opposite Field - Jesse Katz - (memoir)

10. The Tennis Partner - Abraham Verghese (1998 memoir)

And there you have the best 20 books of the 94 I've read so far this year - with only three months to go, the list is starting to look pretty solid.

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Labels: Best of 2010


Saturday, September 25, 2010


Arthur Stanley Jefferson (16 June 1890 – 23 February 1965), better known as Stan Laurel, was an English comic actor, writer and film director, famous as the first half of the comedy double-act Laurel and Hardy.[1] His career stretched from the silent films of the early 20th century until after World War II.


1 Early life

2 Laurel and Hardy

3 Trouble at Roach Studio

4 Fox Studios

5 Hardy's death

6 Life after Laurel and Hardy

7 Death

8 Legacy

9 Filmography

10 References

 Early life

Stan Laurel was born in his grandparents' house on 16 June 1890 at 3 Argyle Street, Ulverston[2] in the Furness region of Lancashire, England (now part of the ceremonial county of Cumbria).

His parents, Arthur and Madge (Margaret) Jefferson, were both active in the theatre and always very busy. But Stan's home life in Bishop Auckland, County Durham was still a happy one. In his early years, he spent much time living with his grandmother Sarah Metcalfe. He attended school at the King James I Grammar School, Bishop Auckland[3] and The King's School, Tynemouth, for a while he attended Rutherglen Academy.[4] His father managed a number of different theatres – one of which being the long demolished Eden Theatre in Bishop Auckland. Stan had a natural affinity for the theatre, with his first professional performance on stage being at the Britannia Panopticon in Glasgow, Scotland, at the age of 16.[5]

In 1910, he joined Fred Karno's troupe of actors, which also included a young Charlie Chaplin. For some time, Stan acted as Chaplin's understudy. The Karno troupe toured America, and brought both Chaplin and Laurel to the United States for the first time. From 1916 to 1918, he teamed up with Alice and Baldwin Cooke, who became lifelong friends. Amongst other performers, Laurel worked briefly alongside Oliver Hardy in a silent film short The Lucky Dog. This was before the two became a team.[2]

Short clip of Mud and Sand parodyIt was around this time that Stan met Mae Dahlberg, who was to have a great effect on his life. Also about this time, Stan adopted the stage name of Laurel, at Dahlberg's suggestion. The pair were performing together when Laurel was offered $75.00 per week to star in two-reel comedies. After the making of his first film, Nuts in May, Universal offered him a contract. The contract was soon cancelled, however, during a reorganisation at the studio. Among the films Dahlberg and Laurel appeared in together was the 1922 parody, Mud and Sand, of which a short clip can be seen at the left.

By 1924, Laurel had forsaken the stage for full-time film work, now under contract with Joe Rock for twelve two-reel comedies. The contract also had one unusual stipulation, that Dahlberg was not to appear in any of the films. It was felt that her temperament was hindering his career. In 1925, when she started interfering with Laurel's work, Rock offered her a cash settlement and a one-way ticket back to her native Australia, which she accepted. In 1926, Stan married his first wife, Lois Nielson. He would go on to marry three more times, but one of his wives he would marry twice (Clara).[6] In May 1930, his second child Stanley Robert Laurel died at age of nine days.[7]

He was also good friends with Jimmy Finlayson before the team of Laurel and Hardy appeared.

 Laurel and Hardy

Main article: Laurel and Hardy

Laurel went on to join the Hal Roach studio, and began directing films, including a 1926 production called Yes, Yes, Nanette. He intended to work primarily as a writer and director, but fate stepped in. In 1927, Oliver Hardy, another member of the Hal Roach Studios Comedy All Star players, was injured in a kitchen mishap and Laurel was asked to return to acting. Laurel and Hardy began sharing the screen in Slipping Wives, Duck Soup and With Love and Hisses. The two became friends and their comic chemistry soon became obvious. Roach Studios' supervising director Leo McCarey noticed the audience reaction to them and began teaming them, leading to the creation of the Laurel and Hardy series later that year.

Together, the two men began producing a huge body of short films, including The Battle of the Century, Should Married Men Go Home?, Two Tars, Be Big!, Big Business, and many others. Laurel and Hardy successfully made the transition to talking films with the short Unaccustomed As We Are in 1929. They also appeared in their first feature in one of the revue sequences of The Hollywood Revue of 1929 and the following year they appeared as the comic relief in a lavish all-colour (in Technicolor) musical feature, The Rogue Song. In 1931, their own first starring feature, Pardon Us was released, although they continued to make both features and shorts until 1935, including their 1932 three-reeler The Music Box which won an Academy Award for Best Short Subject.

 Trouble at Roach Studio

During the 1930s, Laurel was involved in a dispute with Hal Roach and ended up having his contract terminated. After being tried for drunk driving, he counter-sued the Roach studio. Eventually, the case was dropped and Laurel returned to Roach. Meanwhile, Laurel had divorced his first wife and married Virginia Ruth Rogers in 1935, whom he divorced to marry his third wife Vera Ivanova Shuvalova ("Illeana") in 1938. By 1941, he had once again married Virginia Ruth Rogers.

After returning to Roach studios, the first film Laurel and Hardy made was A Chump at Oxford. Subsequently, they made Saps at Sea, which was their last film for Roach. In April 1940, their contract expired. Roach decided to make a film without Stan Laurel, but with Oliver Hardy and Harry Langdon, Zenobia.

During the start of Laurel and Hardy's partnership, Stan had a baby girl with Lois (his first wife), born in 1928, and named the baby after his wife, Lois. Stan and his daughter Lois had a very strong relationship. Stan would take Lois onto the sets and try to see her as much as he could, even when he divorced her mother.

 Fox Studios

In 1939, Laurel and Hardy signed a contract at 20th Century Fox to make one motion picture and nine more over the following five months. During the war years, their work became more standardised and less successful though The Bullfighters, Great Guns and A-Haunting We Will Go did receive some praise. Laurel discovered he had diabetes, so he encouraged Oliver Hardy to make two films without him. In 1946, he divorced Virginia Ruth Rogers and married Ida Kitaeva Raphael. With Ida, he enjoyed a happy marriage until his death.

In 1950, Laurel and Hardy were invited to France to make a feature film. The film, a French/Italian co-production titled Atoll K, was a disaster. (The film was titled Utopia in the US and Robinson Crusoeland in the UK.) Both stars were noticeably ill during the filming. Upon returning home, they spent most of their time recovering. In 1952, Laurel and Hardy toured Europe successfully, and they toured Europe again in 1953.

During this tour, Laurel fell ill and was unable to perform for several weeks. In May 1954, Oliver Hardy had a heart attack and canceled the tour. In 1955, they were planning to do a television series, Laurel and Hardy's Fabulous Fables, based on children's stories, but the plans were delayed after Laurel suffered a stroke. He recovered, and as he was planning to get back to work, Oliver Hardy had a massive stroke on 15 September 1956. Paralyzed and bedridden for several months, he was unable to speak or move.

 Hardy's death

On 7 August 1957, Oliver Hardy died. Laurel did not attend his funeral, stating "Babe would understand." Afterwards, Laurel decided he would never act again without his long-time friend, but he did write gags and sketches for fellow comedians. People who knew Laurel said he was absolutely devastated by Hardy's death and never fully recovered, as the two comedians were very close friends.

Life after Laurel and Hardy

Stan Laurel's grave at Forest Lawn. The Birth of Liberty mosaic is visible in the background.In 1961, Laurel was given a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award for his pioneering work in comedy. He had achieved his lifelong dream as a comedian and had been involved in nearly 190 films. He lived his final years in a small apartment in the Oceana Hotel in Santa Monica. Always gracious to fans, he spent much time answering fan mail. His phone number was listed in the telephone directory, and fans were amazed that they could dial the number and speak to Stan Laurel. Jerry Lewis was among the comedians to visit Laurel, who offered suggestions for Lewis' production of The Bellboy (1960). Lewis had even paid tribute to Laurel by naming his main character Stanley in the film, and having Bill Richmond play a version of Laurel as well.


Laurel was a heavy smoker until suddenly giving up when he was about seventy years of age. He died on 23 February 1965, several days after suffering a heart attack.[8] Just minutes away from death, Laurel told his nurse he would not mind going skiing right at that very moment. Somewhat taken aback, the nurse replied that she was not aware that he was a skier. "I'm not," said Laurel, "I'd rather be doing that than have all these needles stuck into me!" A few minutes later the nurse looked in on him again and found that he quietly had died.

Dick Van Dyke, a friend, protege and occasional impressionist of Laurel's during his later years, gave the eulogy at his funeral. Silent screen comedian Buster Keaton was overheard at Laurel's funeral giving his assessment of the comedian's considerable talents: "Chaplin wasn't the funniest, I wasn't the funniest, this man was the funniest."

Laurel wrote his own epitaph; "If anyone at my funeral has a long face, I'll never speak to him again." Another statement was later found written down. This one said, " If anyone cries at my funeral, I will never speak to him again." He was buried at Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.


In 1989, a statue of Laurel was erected in Dockwray Square, North Shields, Northumberland, England where he lived at No. 8 from 1897 to 1902, and where the steps down from the Square to the North Shields Fish Quay were said to have inspired the piano-moving scene in The Music Box. In 2006, BBC Four showed a drama called Stan, based on Laurel meeting Hardy on his deathbed and reminiscing about their career.[9]

Laurel's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is situated at 7021 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, California.

In 2008, a statue of Stan Laurel was unveiled in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, on the site of the Eden Theatre.[10]

In April 2009, a bronze statue of Laurel and Hardy was unveiled in Ulverston, Cumbria.[11]

[edit] Filmography

Biography portal

Filmography of Stan Laurel (The films of Stan Laurel as an actor without Oliver Hardy)

Laurel and Hardy films (The filmography of Laurel and Hardy together)







Friday, September 24, 2010


Lynyrd Skynyrd (pronounced /ˌlɪnərd ˈskɪnərd/ LIN-ərd-SKIN-ərd by band members but sometimes pronounced /ˌlɛnərd ˈskɪnərd/ LEN-ərd-SKIN-ərd[1][2]) is an American rock band, formed in Jacksonville, Florida in 1964. The band became prominent in the Southern United States in 1973, and rose to worldwide recognition before three members and one road crew member died in an airplane crash in 1977. The band reformed in 1987 for a reunion tour with lead singer Ronnie Van Zant's younger brother Johnny as the frontman. Lynyrd Skynyrd continues to tour and record. Of its original members, only Gary Rossington remains with the band as of 2010. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2006.[3]







1 History

1.1 Early years

1.2 Peak years (1973–1977)

1.3 Plane crash (1977)

1.4 Hiatus (1977–1987)

1.5 Return (1987–present)

2 Recognition

2.1 Honors

2.2 Tributes

3 Members

4 Discography

4.1 Studio albums

5 References

5.1 Literature

6 External links


Early years

In the summer of 1964, teenage friends Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, and Gary Rossington, formed the band "The Noble Five", which then changed in 1965 to "My Backyard", when Larry Junstrom and Bob Burns joined in Jacksonville, Florida. Their early influences included British Invasion bands such as Free, The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles, as well as Southern blues and country & western music Allman Brothers.[citation needed] In 1968, the group won a local Battle of the Bands contest and the opening slot on several Southeast shows for the California-based psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock.[citation needed]

In 1970, Van Zant sought a new name. "One Percent" and "The Noble Five" were each considered before the group settled on "Leonard Skinnerd", a mocking tribute to a physical-education teacher at Robert E. Lee High School, Leonard Skinner,[4] who was notorious for strictly enforcing the school's policy against boys having long hair.[5][6] The more distinctive spelling was adopted before they released their first album. Note that almost no Southern accent distinguishes between /ɛ/ and /ɪ/ before nasals, so the pronunciation of Leonard Skinner's name would have been /ˌlɪnərd ˈskɪnər/, which is why the 'distinctive' spelling of the name would have made sense to the band members. Despite their high school acrimony, the band developed a friendlier relationship with Skinner in later years, and invited him to introduce them at a concert in the Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum.[7]

Skinner allowed the band to use a photo of his Leonard Skinner Realty sign for the inside of their third album.[8] Skinner died on September 20, 2010, at age 77 after a battle with Alzheimer's disease.[9]

In 1970, the band auditioned for Alan Walden, who would later become their manager on the newly formed Hustler's Inc. Walden worked with the band until 1974, when management was turned over to Pete Rudge. The band continued to perform throughout the South in the early 1970s, further developing their hard-driving, blues-rock sound and image, and experimenting with making studio recordings.

During this time, they went through a number of member changes, with Van Zant, Collins and Rossington remaining the only constants. Burns and Junstrom left the band, and were briefly replaced by Rickey Medlocke on drums and Greg Walker on bass. In 1971, with this lineup, they made some recordings at the famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. By the time they made a second round of Muscle Shoals recordings in 1972, Burns had rejoined the band and Leon Wilkeson had become Larry Junstrom's permanent replacement on bass, with Medlocke and Walker having left to play with the southern rock band Blackfoot. Around this time, the band occasionally played shows with both Burns and Medlocke participating, utilizing a dual-drummer approach similar to that of The Allman Brothers. Also in 1972, roadie Billy Powell became the keyboardist for the band.

Peak years (1973–1977)

In 1972 the band was discovered by musician, songwriter, and producer Al Kooper of Blood, Sweat, and Tears, who had attended one of their shows at a club in Atlanta. They changed the spelling of their name to "Lynyrd Skynyrd",[10] and Kooper signed them to MCA Records, producing their first album (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd). Leon Wilkeson left just before the band was to record the album (Wilkeson rejoined the band shortly thereafter at Van Zant's invitation and is pictured on the album cover).[citation needed] Strawberry Alarm Clock guitarist Ed King joined the band and played Wilkeson's parts on the album, along with some guitar. King switched to guitar after the album's release, allowing the band to replicate the three-guitar mix used in the studio. Released August 13, 1973,[11] the album featured the hit song "Free Bird", which received national airplay, eventually reaching #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and is still considered a rock and roll anthem today.

Ronnie Van ZantLynyrd Skynyrd's fan base continued to grow rapidly throughout 1973, largely due to their opening slot on The Who's Quadrophenia tour in the United States. On their 1974 follow-up, Second Helping, the band successfully avoided sophomore slump, with King, Collins and Rossington all collaborating with Van Zant on the songwriting. The album was the band's breakthrough hit, and featured their most popular single, "Sweet Home Alabama" (#8 on the charts in August 1974), a response to Neil Young's "Alabama" and "Southern Man". (Young and Van Zant were not rivals, but fans of each other's music and good friends; Young even wrote the song "Powderfinger" for the band, but they never recorded it.[12] Van Zant, meanwhile, can be seen on the cover of Street Survivors wearing a Neil Young t-shirt.) The album reached #12 in 1974, eventually going multi-platinum. In July of that year, Lynyrd Skynyrd was one of the headline acts at The Ozark Music Festival at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia, Missouri.

In January, 1975, Burns left the band and was replaced by Kentucky native Artimus Pyle on drums. Lynyrd Skynyrd's third album, Nuthin' Fancy, was released the same year. The album had lower sales than its predecessor, and Kooper was eventually fired. Midway through the tour, Ed King left the band, citing tour exhaustion. In January 1976, backup singers Leslie Hawkins, Cassie Gaines and JoJo Billingsley (collectively known as The Honkettes) were added to the band, although they were not considered official members. Lynyrd Skynyrd's fourth album Gimme Back My Bullets was released in the new year, but did not achieve the same success as the previous two albums. Van Zant and Collins both felt that the band was seriously missing the three-guitar attack that had been one of its early hallmarks. Although Skynyrd auditioned several guitarists, including such high-profile names as Leslie West, the solution was closer than they realized.

Soon after joining Skynyrd, Cassie Gaines began touting the guitar and songwriting prowess of her younger brother, Steve. The junior Gaines, who led his own band, Crawdad (which occasionally would perform Skynyrd's "Saturday Night Special" in their set), was invited to audition onstage with Skynyrd at a concert in Kansas City on May 11, 1976. Liking what they heard, the group also jammed informally with the Oklahoma native several times, then invited him into the group in June. With Gaines on board, the newly-reconstituted band recorded the double-live album One More From the Road at the Fox Theatre (Atlanta, Georgia) in Atlanta, and performed at the Knebworth festival, which also featured The Rolling Stones.

Both Collins and Rossington had serious car accidents over Labor Day weekend in 1976 which slowed the recording of the follow-up album and forced the band to cancel some concert dates. Rossington's accident inspired the ominous "That Smell" – a cautionary tale about drug abuse that was clearly aimed towards him and at least one other band member. Rossington has admitted repeatedly that he was the "Prince Charming" of the song who crashed his car into an oak tree while drunk and stoned on Quaaludes. Van Zant, at least, was making a serious attempt to clean up his act and curtail the cycle of boozed-up brawling that was part of Skynyrd's reputation.

1977's Street Survivors turned out to be a showcase for guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines, who had joined the band just a year earlier and was making his studio debut with them. Publicly and privately, Ronnie Van Zant marveled at the multiple talents of Skynyrd's newest member, claiming that the band would "all be in his shadow one day." Gaines' contributions included his co-lead vocal with Van Zant on the co-written "You Got That Right" and the rousing guitar boogie "I Know A Little" which he had written before he joined Skynyrd. So confident was Skynyrd's leader of Gaines' abilities that the album (and some concerts) featured Gaines delivering his self-penned bluesy "Ain't No Good Life" – the only song in the pre-crash Skynyrd catalog to feature a lead vocalist other than Ronnie Van Zant. The album also included the hit singles "What's Your Name" and "That Smell". The band was poised for their biggest tour yet, with shows always highlighted by the iconic rock anthem "Free Bird." [13] and they fulfilled Van Zant's lifelong dream of headlining New York's Madison Square Garden.

Plane crash (1977)

Main article: 1977 Convair 240 crash

On Thursday, October 20, 1977, just three days after the release of Street Survivors, and five shows into their most successful headlining tour to date, Lynyrd Skynyrd's chartered Convair 240 ran out of fuel near the end of their flight from Greenville, South Carolina, where they had just performed at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium, to LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Though the pilots attempted an emergency landing on a small airstrip, the plane crashed in a forest in Gillsburg, Mississippi.[14] Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray were all killed on impact; the other bandmembers suffered serious injuries.

Following the crash and the ensuing press, Street Survivors became the band's second platinum album and reached #5 on the U.S. album chart. The single "What's Your Name" reached #13 on the single airplay charts in January 1978.

The original cover sleeve for Street Survivors had featured a photograph of the band, particularly Steve Gaines, engulfed in flames. Out of respect for the deceased (and at the request of Teresa Gaines, Steve's widow), MCA Records withdrew the original cover and replaced it with a similar image of the band against a simple black background .[15] Thirty years later, for the deluxe CD version of Street Survivors, the original "flames" cover was restored.

Lynyrd Skynyrd disbanded after the tragedy, reuniting just once to perform an instrumental version of "Free Bird" at Charlie Daniels' Volunteer Jam V in January 1979. Collins, Rossington, Powell and Pyle performed the song with Charlie Daniels and members of his band. Leon Wilkeson, who was still undergoing physical therapy for his badly broken left arm, was in attendance, along with Judy Van Zant, Teresa Gaines, JoJo Billingsley and Leslie Hawkins.

Hiatus (1977–1987)

Rossington, Collins, Wilkeson and Powell formed The Rossington-Collins Band, which released two albums between 1980 and 1982. Deliberately avoiding comparisons with Ronnie Van Zant as well as suggestions that this band was Lynyrd Skynyrd reborn, Rossington and Collins chose a woman, Dale Krantz, as lead vocalist. However, as an acknowledgment of their past, the band's concert encore would always be an instrumental version of "Free Bird". Rossington and Collins eventually had a falling out over the affections of Dale Krantz, whom Rossington married and with whom he formed the Rossington Band, which released two albums in the late 1980s and opened for the Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Tour in 1987–1988.

The other former members of Lynyrd Skynyrd continued to make music during the hiatus era. Billy Powell played keyboards in a Christian Rock band named Vision, touring with established Christian rocker Mylon LeFevre (who, like Skynyrd, had once opened for The Who). During Vision concerts, Powell's trademark keyboard talent was often spotlighted and he spoke about his conversion to Christianity after the near-fatal plane crash. Pyle formed The Artimus Pyle Band in 1982, which occasionally featured former Honkettes JoJo Billingsley and Leslie Hawkins.

In 1980, Allen Collins's wife Kathy died of a massive hemorrhage while miscarrying their third child. He formed the Allen Collins Band in 1983 from the remnants of the Rossington-Collins Band, releasing one tepidly-received album, but many around him believed that the guitarist's heart just wasn't in it anymore. Most point to his wife's death as the moment that Collins' life began to spin out of control; he spent several years bingeing on drugs and alcohol. In 1986, Collins crashed his car while driving drunk near his home in Jacksonville, killing his girlfriend and leaving him permanently paralyzed from the chest down. Collins eventually pled no contest to DUI manslaughter, but was not given a prison sentence since his injuries made it obvious that he would never drive or be a danger to society again.

Return (1987–present)

In 1987, Lynyrd Skynyrd reunited for a full-scale tour with five major members of the pre-crash band: crash survivors Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson and Artimus Pyle, along with guitarist Ed King, who had left the band two years before the crash. Ronnie Van Zant's younger brother, Johnny, took over as the new lead singer and primary songwriter. Due to Collins' paralysis from the 1986 car accident, he was only able to participate as the musical director, choosing Randall Hall, his former bandmate in the Allen Collins Band, as his stand-in. As part of his plea deal, Collins would be wheeled out onstage each night to explain to the audience why he could no longer perform (usually before the performance of "That Smell", which had been partially directed at him). Collins was stricken with pneumonia in 1989 and died on January 23, 1990.

The reunited band was meant to be a one-time tribute to the original lineup, captured on the double-live album Southern By The Grace Of God/Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Tour 1987. The fact that the band chose to continue after the 1987 tribute tour caused legal problems for the survivors, as Judy Van Zant Jenness and Teresa Gaines Rapp (widows of Ronnie and Steve, respectively) sued the others for violating an agreement made shortly after the plane crash, stating that they would not "exploit" the Skynyrd name for profit. As part of the settlement, Jenness and Rapp collect nearly 30% of the band's touring revenues (representing the shares their husbands would have earned had they lived), and hold a proviso which forces any band touring as "Lynyrd Skynyrd" to include at least two from among Rossington, Collins, Powell, Pyle, Wilkeson and King. Apparently, that proviso is not being enforced, since Rossington is the sole member of that group performing as Lynyrd Skynyrd; King was not allowed to remain in the band since he was unable to tour because of heart problems. Pyle has disagreements with Rossington and Johnny Van Zant, and the others are now dead. Two other founding members of the band remain alive, original drummer Bob Burns and bassist Larry Junstrom, but they have not participated in the post-crash band.

The reconstituted Lynyrd Skynyrd has gone through a large number of lineup changes and continues to record and tour today. One by one, the members of the pre-crash band have left, been forced out, or have died. Artimus Pyle left the band in 1991 and his place has been taken by a variety of drummers since, with Michael Cartellone finally becoming his permanent replacement. Randall Hall was replaced by Mike Estes in 1993. Ed King had to take a break from touring in 1996. In his absence, he was replaced by Hughie Thomasson. King has stated that his break from the band was to be temporary, but the band did not let him rejoin after he recovered. At the same time, Mike Estes was replaced by Rickey Medlocke, who had briefly played drums with the band in the early 1970s. Leon Wilkeson, Skynyrd's bassist since 1972, was found dead in his hotel room on July 27, 2001; his death was found to be due to emphysema and chronic liver disease. He was replaced in 2001 by Ean Evans. The remaining members released a double album called Thyrty which had songs from the original line up to the present. Lynyrd Skynyrd also released a live DVD of their Vicious Cycle Tour and on June 22, 2004, Lynyrd Skynyrd released the album Lyve: The Vicious Cycle Tour. On December 10, 2004, Lynyrd Skynyrd did a show for CMT, Crossroads, a concert featuring country duo Montgomery Gentry and other genres of music. In the beginning of 2005 Hughie Thomasson left the band to reform his disbanded Southern Rock band Outlaws. Thomasson died in his sleep on September 9, 2007 of an apparent heart attack in his home in Brooksville, Florida. He was 55 years old.

On February 5, 2005, Lynyrd Skynyrd did a Super Bowl party back in Jacksonville with special guests 3 Doors Down, Jo Dee Messina, Charlie Daniels and Ronnie and Johnny Van Zant's brother Donnie Van Zant of 38 Special. On February 13 of that year Lynyrd Skynyrd did a tribute to Southern Rock on the Grammy Awards with Gretchen Wilson, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and Dickey Betts. On May 10, 2005, Johnny and Donnie Van Zant released a country album called Get Right with the Man which featured the hit single "Help Somebody". In the summer of 2005, lead singer Johnny Van Zant had to have surgery on his vocal cord to have a polyp removed. He was told not to sing for three months. On September 10, 2005, Lynyrd Skynyrd performed without Johnny Van Zant at the Music Relief Concert for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, with Kid Rock standing in for Johnny. In December 2005, Johnny Van Zant returned to sing for Lynyrd Skynyrd. The band performed live at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky, as a part of their 2007 tour. The concert was recorded in high definition for HDNet and premiered on December 1, 2007.

The band in 2008Mark "Sparky" Matejka, formerly of the country music band Hot Apple Pie, joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 2006 as Thomasson's replacement. On November 2, 2007, the band performed at the University of Florida's Gator Growl, the world's largest student-run pep rally, in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – also known as "The Swamp." The event's 50,000-person attendance marked the largest crowd that Lynyrd Skynyrd had ever played in front of in the United States, until the July 2008 Bama Jam in Enterprise, Alabama where more than 111,000 people were in attendance.[16]

On January 28, 2009, keyboardist Billy Powell died at age 56 at his home near Jacksonville, Florida. Powell called 911 at 12:55 a.m., complaining of shortness of breath. He had previously missed his doctor's appointment on the day before his death; the appointment was for a checkup on his heart. The EMS responders found Powell unconscious and unresponsive, with the telephone still in his hand. Rescue crews performed CPR, but he was pronounced dead at 1:52 a.m. Although a heart attack was suspected, and it was originally reported that an autopsy was to be performed, none in fact was ever done. Powell's death left Gary Rossington as the sole pre-crash member of the band, unless Rickey Medlocke's brief stint with the band in the early 1970s is counted.

On March 17, 2009, it was announced that Skynyrd had signed a worldwide deal with Roadrunner Records, in association with their label, Loud & Proud Records, and released their new album God & Guns on September 29 of that year. They toured Europe and the United States in 2009 with Peter Keys of the 420 Funk Mob on keyboards and Robert Kearns of The Bottle Rockets on bass (in place of Ean Evans, who died of cancer at age 48 on May 6, 2009, at his home in Columbus, Mississippi).[17] Scottish rock band Gun have been confirmed as special guests for the UK leg of Skynyrd's tour in 2010. [18]

In addition to the tour, Skynyrd is scheduled to appear at the Sean Hannity Freedom Concert series in 2010. Hannity has been actively promoting the God & Guns album, frequently playing portions of the track "That Ain't My America" on his radio show.



In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the group #95 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[19][20]

On November 28, 2005, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced that Lynyrd Skynyrd would be inducted alongside Black Sabbath, Blondie, Miles Davis, and the Sex Pistols. They were inducted in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan on March 13, 2006. Lynyrd Skynyrd had been nominated 7 times.

On March 13, 2006, Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 21st annual induction ceremony. The inductees included Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, Gary Rossington, Ed King, Steve Gaines, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson, Bob Burns, and Artimus Pyle (no post-crash members of the band were inducted, nor were any of the Honkettes). The current version of Skynyrd, augmented by King, Pyle, Burns and former Honkettes JoJo Billingsley and Leslie Hawkins, performed "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird" at the ceremony, which was also attended by Judy Van Zant Jenness and Ronnie's two daughters, Teresa Gaines Rapp and her daughter Corinna, Allen Collins' daughters, and Leon Wilkeson's mother and son.

In September 2010, Lynyrd Skynyrd was named #77 VH1's 100 Greatest Artist of All Time


In 1994, various country music artists united to record a Skynyrd tribute album titled Skynyrd Frynds.

Ronnie Van Zant's widow, Judy Van Zant Jenness, operates a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute website for the educational purpose of sharing the original Lynyrd Skynyrd band's history,[21] as well as Freebird Live,[22] a live music venue in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

The Drive By Truckers dedicated their album Southern Rock Opera to Lynyrd Skynyrd.[23]

Progressive metal band Dream Theater pay tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd on their live album Once in a LIVEtime, whereby the song "Take the Time" is modified to include the solo from "Free Bird".

Kid Rock, who frequently performed with Skynyrd, samples the guitar lick from "Sweet Home Alabama" in his song "All Summer Long"; he mentions "Sweet Home Alabama" in the chorus of the song and even had Billy Powell duplicate his distinctive piano solo for the song's conclusion.

Bo Bice, an avowed Skynyrd fan, performed with Skynyrd on American Idol and on several awards shows.

There are also a few tribute bands all over the globe, paying tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd only. The main bands are: the European "Leonard Skinner Band" located in Barcelona, Spain; "Poison Whiskey" in Rochester, NY, USA; and "Leotard Skynyrno" in Tokyo, Japan.

The bands Shinedown and The Deftones covered the song "Simple Man".

Metallica covered the song Tuesday's Gone as the 10th track from the first CD on their Garage Inc. album.


Main article: List of Lynyrd Skynyrd band members

Current members

Gary Rossington – guitars (1964–1977, 1987–present)

Rickey Medlocke – drums (1970–1971), guitars, backing vocals ,(1996–present)

Johnny Van Zant – lead vocals (1987–present)

Michael Cartellone – drums (1999–present)

Mark Matejka – guitars, backing vocals (2006–present)

Robert Kearns – bass, backing vocals (2009–present)

Peter Keys – keyboards (2009–present)

Touring members

Dale Krantz-Rossington – backing vocals (1987–present)

Carol Chase – backing vocals (1987–present)


Main article: Lynyrd Skynyrd discography

[edit] Studio albums

Year Title Certifications[24]

1973 (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd) 2x platinum (USA)

1974 Second Helping 2x platinum (USA)

1975 Nuthin' Fancy Platinum (USA)

1976 Gimme Back My Bullets Gold (USA)

1977 Street Survivors 2x platinum (USA)

1991 Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 —

1993 The Last Rebel —

1994 Endangered Species —

1997 Twenty —

1999 Edge of Forever —

2003 Vicious Cycle —

2009 God & Guns —

" — " denotes albums that weren't certified.