The real Lynyrd Skynyrd

Rock and Rap newsletter on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s nomination to the R&R Hall of Fame.

From the introduction to Lynyrd Skynyrd: An Oral History, written by their associate editor Lee Ballinger.

Lynyrd Skynyrd toured with a Confederate flag backdrop, yet wrote songs about solidarity with the ghetto….They worked ceaselessly to perfect their sound, and every note, every word, and every drumbeat was carefully crafted and thought out. Listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd, the inventors and undisputed champions of the three guitar attack, was and is like grabbing a highly charged electric fence….

Perhaps most important is the contradiction between the band’s image as pro-George Wallace Confederate rednecks and the reality that they were anti-handgun, anti-George Wallace, pro-peace, pro-environment, responsible citizens of the South. The band’s redneck image was cast in stone by the massive success of ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’ mistaken by many people (who missed the chorus of ‘Boo! Boo! Boo!’) as an endorsement of racist Alabama governor George Wallace.