Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1977 album, “Street Survivors,” is legendary amongst music fans for many reasons, most notably its collection of songs and the aftermath that followed its release.
The band’s fifth studio album was issued on October 17, 1977. Three days later, on October 20, Skynyrd’s chartered airplane crashed en route to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, killing the pilot, co-pilot, the group's assistant road-manager and three band members – frontman Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and backup singer Cassie Gaines. Beyond the tragedy, the incident severely injuring most who survived the crash.
The album is the last Skynyrd project recorded by original members Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins, and is the sole Skynyrd studio recording with Steve Gaines.
The original “Street Survivors” cover featured a photograph of the band standing in flames; it was changed to an alternate photo with an all-black background, out of respect for the deceased. Thirty years later, the original "flames" cover was restored, while the alternative cover serves as the back of the reissue’s case.
Now, In The Studio marks the upcoming 35th anniversary of “Street Survivors” as Skynyrd co-founder Gary Rossington sits down with host Redbeard to discuss its impact, its legacy, and how he’s able to cope with the loss of his friends and bandmates some 35 years later.
“I used to cry. I would have been cryin’ by now, but like I say, years go by and it kinda heals the pain,” explained the guitarist. “I’m sure I could talk enough til I start cryin’ but you know it’s alright...The Lord makes you forget all the bad stuff and remember the good.”
Ronnie’s brother and Skynyrd frontman Johnny Van Zant also talks about the band as they continue in their fourth decade with the release of a new album, “Last of a Dyin’ Breed.”
Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Street Survivors” on In The Studio is available now to stream here.
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