Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Lynyrd Skynyrd documentary recounts deadly 1977 plane crash

A new Lynyrd Skynyrd documentary recounts the band’s deadly 1977 plane crash in the days following the release of their fifth album, “Street Survivors.”

Due December 13 on DVD and based on the book by security guard Gene Odom, “I'll Never Forget You: The Last 72 Hours Of Lynyrd Skynyrd” delivers firsthand accounts of the crash and its aftermath by Odom and fellow survivors, lead backup singer Leslie Hawkins and guitar tech Craig Reed.

Following a performance in Greenville, SC, the Florida band were on their way to Baton Rouge, LA when their chartered plane ran out of fuel and crashed outside of Gillsburg, MS when the pilots attempted an emergency landing.

The October 20, 1977 incident claimed the lives of Lynyrd Skynyrd founder and lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray.

The documentary features original behind-the-scenes film footage of life with the band before the crash, dramatic reenactments illustrating key dramatic scenes, and high-end CG animations - including a simulation of the plane crash that matches the NTSB report; rare interviews with four first responders were also captured, filmed on location at the Mississippi crash site.

Based on Odom’s book, “I'll Never Forget You”, the documentary offers the fond remembrance of one man's journey with Lynyrd Skynyrd while granting unique access to the behind-the-scenes story that changed the group forever.

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 served as the back of the reissue’s case.

Lynyrd Skynyrd are currently playing dates of The Last Of The Street Survivors Farewell Tour.

See also:

Original Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist Larry Junstrom dead at 70
Lynyrd Skynyrd farewell tour concert film coming to theaters
Lynyrd Skynyrd update guitarist’s status following heart surgery
Lynyrd Skynyrd postpone farewell tour as guitarist undergoes heart surgery
Search Lynyrd Skynyrd at hennemusic