Lynyrd Skynyrd didn’t let tragedy stop them from becoming who they are today, so here are 7 interesting facts about the band you might not know about.


1) All of the band members went to school together in Jacksonville, Florida.



2) The name Lynyrd Skynyrd was inspired by the band’s gym teacher Leonard Skinner. He had demanded that they get their hair cut before coming back to school. Skinner was the reason why they never went back to school and formed a band instead.



3) Before the 1977 plane crash that took his life, Ronnie Van Zant wouldn’t wear shoes while performing live.

ATLANTA – JULY 10: Singer Ronnie Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd is interviewed in his hotel room at Stouffer’s Hotel on July 10, 1976 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Tom Hill/Getty Images)


4) Ronnie Van Zant’s grave stone was stolen from his grave site in 1982. It was found in a dried up river bed 2 weeks later by police. He also had someone dig up his grave because they wanted to confirm the rumor that he was wearing a Neil Young T-shirt.



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You may be cool… #RonnieVanZant #sweethomealabama

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5) They opened for The Who on their very first national tour and got encores.



6) While touring in Germany with Queen in 1971, the two bands did not get along.

(Photo by Gems/Redferns)


7) When Ronnie’s brother Johnny Van Zant stepped up to be Lynyrd Skynyrd’s new lead singer, he couldn’t sing Free Bird at first. It as too emotional for him. Instead, when the band would play the song the crowd would sing the lyrics.



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