The Passage Of Time: Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash Happened 35 Years Ago On October 20, 1977
Music came to brick and mortar record stores on big black vinyl discs that were played on turntables attached to high-end component stereo systems. Telephones were rotary-style and cell phones were merely a dream. The internet wasn't invented because computers hadn't mainstreamed into our lives. Haute Couture included flared jeans and silk-screened shirts. Elvis has just passed away in August. And a southern rock band was just emerging into their own.
A lot has happened since October 20, 1977. It's hard to believe that it's now been 35 years since Lynyrd Skynyrd's red-hot career was forever changed with the plane crash that took the lives of three it's members: Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, and the incomparable Ronnie Van Zant. Sure the surviving members continued on and with numerous changes in it's lineup, but the original incarnation of the band was gone.
Charlie Daniels - himself a well-respected figurehead in southern rock and roll - has always said that Lynyrd Skynyrd was the southern rock band - the consummate sound that defined the genre, even more so than the Allmans, Marshall Tucker, or the CDB.
As with any famous person or group of people who leaves us early, you wonder "what if". As successful was Skynyrd was in the fall of 1977, they were really just gelling as a band - defining their sound. Their last studio album "Street Survivors" had just been released three days before the plane crash. What would the next album have sounded like?