Billy Powell, the famed keyboardist from Lynyrd Skynyrd, passed away yesterday. A one time roadie for Skynyrd, Powell joined the band after an impromptu jam session on the piano. He was later a survivor of the famed plane crash that took the life of lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and five others in 1977. After the crash, Skynard went on hiatus, but that did not stop Powell from pursuing his love of the piano.
He had some rough times down the road though, including serving a bit of time for a DUI conviction. But in prison, Powell found the Lord. After being released, he joined a Christian rock band named Vision.
Well, when Johnny Van Zant decided to get the old band together, errr.... get his brothers old band together, Powell left the life of a CCM artist and went on tour with Skynyrd. When Skynyrd reunited/reformed (this time), they were still pretty good because Johnny sounded very similar to his brother, but they just couldn't write a good song like they did in the 70s. I guarantee that you can't even name a song that the band wrote after 1977...now the band has pretty much turned into a joke. How long can you really survive on Sweet Home Alabama and Freebird? I guess the answer is 22 years. Thank you, Kid Rock, for stretching out the run even farther.
The song I am bringing you this week is a classic Skynyrd tune: That Smell. It is a song about lead guitarist Gary Rossington, a man who was known for being wild, crazy and unstoppable. He bought a new car, got wasted and crashed it into a tree, then a house ("whiskey bottles, brand new car, oak tree you're in my way"). The band was supposed to start a tour a few days later, but it had to be postponed because of Rossington.
If the UlikaBBQ team were to make an album of cover songs, this would be track 1.
R.I.P. Billy Powell