Fly High Free Bird

Filed under: Entertainment,Florida News,Leisure |

It’s horrible growing old … because your heroes grow old as well and then eventually die.  One of my favorites are Lynyrd Skynyrd, a band who have endured more tragedy than any deserve, suffered another blow when Billy Powell, the keyboard player died in Florida aged 56.  This band represented Florida with pride and spearheaded the Southern Rock movement.  In rock nothing compares to Billy Powell on the keyboards for Freebird.  Knowing some of the band personally, I am saddened to think I won’t see him play this iconic anthem any more.

The musician was found dead at his Florida home by paramedics on Wednesday January 28 after he called them to complain of breathing difficulties.

The day before he had missed an appointment with a doctor for a heart examination.

Powell, who was born in Texas, went to school in Florida with the future bassist for Lynyrd Skynyrd, Leon Wilkeson, and initially found employment as the band’s roadie.

He worked for them until 1972, when singer Ronnie Van Zant heard him play his own version of the band’s hit Free Bird and invited Powell to join Lynyrd Skynyrd as their keyboard player.

Their self-titled debut was released the following year and the band achieved huge popularity during the rest of the decade with hit songs like Free Bird and Sweet Home Alabama.

Lynyrd Skynyrd were struck by tragedy in 1977 when their private jet crashed into a swamp in Mississipi.

Although Powell was seriously injured, he survived, unlike fellow members Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines.

In the years that followed the crash, Powell played keyboard in a Christian rock band called Vision.

He toured with Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1987 when the band reformed with Van Zant’s brother Johnny on vocals and remained with them till his death.

Powell’s wife Ellen and four children survive him.

10 Facts About Skynyrd

1) Previous names for the band included the Noble Five, My Backyard and One Percent.

2) The band finally got their name from the basketball coach at their Jacksonville High School, Forby Leonard Skinner, after he sent them to the Principle’s office for having hair that was too long. At first they spelt it, Leonard Skinnerd, which then changed to their more distinctive spelling on their first album.

3) They established their trademark three guitar attack on their first big hit Free Bird which was a tribute to the recently deceased Allman Brothers guitarist Duane Allman.

4) The band’s female backup singers were known as the Honkettes.

5) They supported the Who on their 1973 Quadraphenia tour.

6) 1974 hit Sweet Home Alabama was written as a tribute to the celebrated R& B studios Muscle Shoals, but after Neil Young’s criticisms of the South in his songs Alabama and Southern Man they rewrote the third verse to rebuke him. But the band and Young were on good terms and the Canadian originally wrote Powderfinger for Lynryrd Skynyrd although they never recorded it.

7) Gimme Back My Bullets was a reference to Rolling Stone magazine’s rating system. They had to stop playing it live because fans threw real bullets on stage.

8) Aerosmith had previously rejected the plane that crashed in 1977 and destroyed half the band at its peak for not being safe.

9) The cover of their sixth album, Street Survivors, released three days before the crash, which pictured the band surrounded by flames, had to be pulled.

10) The band reunited in 1987 with Johnny Van Zandt, brother of original singer Ronnie and were made honorary colonels in the Alabama State Militia.

vodafone tl yükleme kontör yükleme hamile giyim turkcell fatura alanya escort işbankası kredi kartı borç sorgulama elektrik faturası ödeme turkcell tl yükleme tl yükleme hgs yükleme pvp serverler site ekle r57 shell indir antalya escort yapı kredi borç sorgulama finansbank borç sorgulama akbank borç sorgulama ogs yükleme enerjisa fatura ödeme clk akdeniz fatura ödeme