Q - I found an interview you did several years ago with classicbands.com and saw the following comment...
"I don't remember Syracuse. I remember a bunch of other nonsense that happened up there. I mean, I can't remember every time the cops were called. (laughs) Unless somebody lost their life or the tour bus ran over a sports car in the parking lot...which happened. Things like that I remember."
I would love to hear about that one.[/i] [/color]
Our first tour bus was very primitive...not AT ALL like the Prevosts you see today. Everybody hated that bus. It was hot, it ran like crap and just wasn't comfortable. One night at the Holiday Inn in Waterbury, CT someone in the band or crew broke into the bus, off'd the hand brake and got it into neutral. It rolled down the hill, picked up speed then ran over a new Datsun Z-car and two gas pumps before plowing through the side of a bank. I suspect a band member did it, but I can't prove it!
Q - I remember in 93 when you, Gary, and Johnny toured around doing acoustic sets. What are some of your fun memories or stories about the ACOUSTIC period?
That week long acoustic tour was a real hoot. I got high off of all the second-hand smoke. I remember by the time we got to Dallas, we were buzzed pretty good. RedBeard, the DJ there, asked me a question that had the word "spawned" in it. That word just really struck me funny...I just laughed like crazy. Never did answer his question.
That next week I had to take a drug test for some insurance policy...and FAILED IT! It was ALL SECOND-HAND SMOKE, I tell you. Every bit of it.
I had two custom-made guitars by John Suhr, powered by EMG pickups. I plugged them straight into a Peavy Mace Amp with 4-12" speakers. No effects. Those guitars never failed me. I sold one (the guitar I used on "Free bird" every night) to Judy (Van Zant) for display at her cafe on Jax Beach - the other I'll keep til my dying day.
I know that the band did "Simple Man" during the "Live at the Fox" recordings (and released it later), but during my time in the band, we only played that tune ONE TIME. And that was in some basement night club outside of San Francisco. Ronnie just couldn't hit that high note in the chorus (when we recorded it, we'd tuned DOWN a half-step so he could come close!). I recall, that same night, we also did "Curtis Lowe" - the ONLY time we ever did it during a show.
In '75 we tried doing some of the tunes off of Nuthin' Fancy - "Made In The Shade" & "Railroad Song" just didn't cut it on stage (we really missed Jimmy Hall's harp on "Railroad").
Other than that, why would ANY of our tunes be difficult to play?! Ronnie only liked to play ONE HOUR sets, so we mainly chose the tunes that worked the easiest.
Q - I was wondering if you could recall how long in advance the band was told they'd be opening for THE WHO and how much time you guys had to rehearse before the tour which I'm sure practice time was relentless?
We had less than 48 hours notice. NO kidding. I think we'd heard the week before that Skynyrd being on the Quadrophenia Tour was a longshot...Townshend didn't want an opening act. Then he (or someone well connected) had a change of heart. Of course, we didn't have to rehearse especially for that tour. We were always prepared to play. DON'T BE SILLY!
Q - I remember reading somewhere that Skynyrd played a five song set at the opening night of The Who tour at the Cow Place. What five songs did you play? Did the set list vary at all on that tour? Tell us about touring with The Who.
The night before The Who began a tour of North America, we were told to pack our bags...we were the opening act. That first night at the Cow Palace in San Francisco we discovered that we only had EIGHT INPUTS into the master sound board - and only 30 minutes to play. We made the best of it.
Our set list I can't exactly recall. But it may have been I AINT THE ONE, WORKIN FOR MCA, GIMME 3 STEPS, THE BREEZE & FREEBIRD. Well received wherever we went.
When The Who came out, Keith Moon passed out cold about 15 minutes into their set. They carried Moon off stage and announced that they’d resume shortly. When they came back 20 minutes later, Moon promptly passed out again. This time Pete Townsend went to the microphone and asked “Is there a drummer in the house?” A young kid jumped up on the stage and he was escorted to Moon’s drum kit. He put on a set of headphones and the band kicked into “Baba O’Reilly”. The kid knew the song note-for-note. It was amazing.
We had a few other memorable experiences from that tour...notably, the time when our plane had to return to the gate because Keith Moon had mentioned something to the stewardess about going to Cuba! Also, this marks the first time any of us had actually seen a female blow-up doll. Moon deposited one on the luggage merry-go-round. Those dolls are common-place now, but back then?
Q - Most bands today use earplugs when they perform they didn't seem as visible during the 60s & 70s. I wondered if you used them on stage during those times or suffered any hearing loss because of it? Especially with The Who shows, which I think is in the Guinness Book for loudest tour (Quadrophenia).
Townshend will tell you that his hearing loss is due to his mis-use of HEADPHONES, NOT concert volume. The main victims of concert volume are those in FRONT of the stacks of speakers.
Nowadays you can get earplugs that attenuate the stage volume to any degree you can stand. I've never used those. In the past, I'd use earplugs on stage as I felt the monitors were increasing in volume as the show progressed. FREE BIRD is the main culprit when it comes to "buzzing in the ears" after the show.
I never had any hearing loss. My hearing is so good these days that I can pick up the tiniest annoying frequency. Once in a restaurant a few yers ago, this ice machine gave off an almost inaudible (except to me) high pitched noise. No one else could hear it. I couldn't eat there!!
Q - Did you and Ronnie Play poker and who won the most?
Never played cards with Ronnie. I did play a game with Rossington & 5 others one night in San Antonio. I warned him not to raise me...I'd filled my inside straight...I won $504 on that hand. But Rossington's a pretty cagey card player.
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ronnie and my guitar tech, John Butler, were arrested for fighting with hotel guests and hitting a cop down at the hotel bar. We had to travel to the next gig without them and they finally showed up 10 minutes before show time. Those were rather tense days!
Q - I was wondering how you were able to take care of personal things while on the road, both at home and while traveling, such as:
- Bills piling up at home. - How did your laundry get done? - What if you needed new shoes or BVDs? - Did you have to eat out everywhere? - What if you got hungry or thirsty? Were there snacks? - How did you get around once you got somewhere, rental cars etc?
Let's see if I can answer this...
1) Had someone take care of it. 2) Had someone else take care of that. 3) Had somebody go out to get it & bring it back. 4) Had someone get some food 'to go'. 5) What? EAT BETWEEN MEALS?? 6) See item #1.
Q - OK..so this begs the question, who would do all these things? Was it one person or several? Is there a title like 'official gopher'? Did you have to send money or could you run a tab?
In the old days (!), it was Dean Kilpatrick's job. And he did it with style and with a smile. Dean was a prince...a true one-of-a-kind permanent fixture. One of the band, actually.
Q - Were you with the band when Skynyrd went to Graceland?
I was there. Elvis wasn't. I believe it was Vernon who showed us around the place. Quite memorable.
I stopped by there a few years ago...told them that Ed King, writer of "Sweet Home Alabama", wanted to take a walk-through. They told me to get my butt in line like everyone else. Harumph.
One time in '74, we stayed at the same hotel as Elvis' band. I stuck a note under James Burton's door. He never responded. Now I've got a signed photo from him that says "To Ed, my friend and pal." I wish people wouldn't write that...I hardly KNOW THE GUY.
Q - During the 70s era, if one of you happened to blow the lead to a song, was it not uncommon to have RVZ throw a punch over it?
Nobody got slammed for making a mistake...but lose your place in a song and there may be some repercussions after the show. Ronnie wasn't always certain where to come in and start singing, so this is the only kind of mental lapse that would've made him look bad. Unforgivable!
Q - How did you guys stay in tune back in the old days?
We hired a guy to re-string and tune our guitars...and he used one of those CONN STROBO TUNERS. They're about the size of a PIGNOSE amp. Very reliable.
Believe it or not, I can't recall too many tuning problems in those days, though I was always struggling with my Stratocaster and that stupid vibrato system. But I was able to work it out by using two Strats.
Did Johnny's constant chatter on stage every night ever get to you?
My favorite review was from a paper in Tampa. The critic said "Johnny doesn't have his older brother's gift of banter. Most of what he says goes over everyone's heads and the rest of it doesn't matter anyway." I couldn't WAIT to read him that. SPOT-ON. I mean, just shut up and sing. If you can.
After that Tampa show, we had a HUGE discussion on the bus that lasted for DAYS. Finally, Johnny agreed that, for ONE night, he'd keep quiet. It was at the Universal Amphitheatre in Hollywood, Calif. The ONLY words he could utter (we all agreed) were "Bring all my mules out..." and "What song is it you wanna hear". That's ALL! Nothing more.
It was magical. The 'mystical' power of the music and that 'silent aura' returned. Everybody had to admit, this was FAR better. It didn't last but that one show.
Ronnie never did anything to interfere or distract. He was very aware of the power of the band and didn't feel that 'something was missing' when he wasn't singing.
There's no way I can sit through one more set listening to Johnny walk through those songs like he's reading a menu. I can deal with just about anything else. Thankfully, I won't have to!
relic: Quirkiness - a fine word. Efficient and precise in a somewhat obscure way.
May 7, 2016 22:08:52 GMT -5
Myke: Happy Memorial Day 2016-Thank You Veterans !
May 29, 2016 12:45:16 GMT -5
michaeljames: Thanks for the add........... !
Sept 28, 2016 15:57:05 GMT -5
Captainkirk: He Ed , Kikk here just felt like saying Hi
Nov 5, 2016 13:09:42 GMT -5
findthesun: I love the old RCB photos, brings back a lot of great memories!
Nov 21, 2016 14:42:43 GMT -5
tonytrout: Howdy, fellow Ed King fans!!! How are we on this bitterly cold Sunday morning??
Jan 8, 2017 11:26:04 GMT -5
macfangus: New member here. I'm a huge fan of Ed King era LS.
Feb 7, 2017 19:54:58 GMT -5
shaw: I wonder if Zap is around.I found a guitar someone was throwing out and it has Zapp on the headstock. Turns out its one of those Law Suit era Les Pauls. I'm putting it back together it was only the body & neck, with no hardware but I got all the parts now.
Apr 8, 2018 12:09:40 GMT -5
Zap: No relation to me, LOL, but you can gift it to me when you are done restoring it if you like! LOL!
Apr 17, 2018 6:34:05 GMT -5
rebel1222: Whats the point of having a forum if noone can reply to, or create threads?
Nov 28, 2018 8:49:07 GMT -5
gman620: @ rebel1222: Anyone is free to start a new topic or reply to any thread, anytime he or she desires. You've been a member for over three years now, with zero posts, so what's stopping you?
Nov 29, 2018 21:48:09 GMT -5
rocker2462: Looking for info on Ed's red Strat with the tele neck? point me in the right direction please.
Feb 19, 2019 0:47:14 GMT -5
stevecamp: I believe it was was a Warmoth body, aftermarket pickups, an old tele neck.
Mar 5, 2019 16:59:18 GMT -5
stevecamp: Pick ups may have been "lindy Fralins"
Mar 5, 2019 17:00:08 GMT -5