Happy Birthday Ronnie Van Zant


Convair CV-240

Ronnie is the oldest of the Van Zant brothers.  His two younger brothers are Johnny and Donnie (I kid you not).  OK when it came to naming the kids their parents showed a limited palate.  However this family is Southern Rock Gold.  Ronnie and Johnny were founder members of Lynyrd Skynyrd while Donnie co-founded .38 Special.  The two younger brothers also formed the band Van Zant after the death of Ronnie.

Like Chuck Berry, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens he gained rock legend status by his death in an air crash.  Steve and Cassie Gaines, other band members also died in the crash which led to 6 fatalities of 26 passengers and crew.  Ronnie would have been 70 had he lived today, and was only 29 when he died in 1977.

As a lyricist Ronnie qualifies in my book as a poet.



Rock & Roll Legend


The Beechcraft Bonanza, probably the most famous aircraft in the world of Rock and Roll.  On this day in 1959 three rock and roll stars boarded one of these planes for their last flight.  RIP Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper died in the crash in Clear Lake, Iowa.

Joey “The Lips” Fagan in “The Commitments” (Alan Parker, 1991) recalled that night in the following dialogue:

Joey: Buddy Holly’s last words.

Bernie: What?

Joey: We can’t travel in that shit heap.

Outspan Foster: Did Buddy Holly say that?

Joey: Before he flew to meet his destiny on that storm-tossed night.