ARS got some good publicity in a UK mag called CLASSIC ROCK http://www.classicrockmagazine.com
They published an article called 40 GREATEST SOUTHERN ROCK SONGS EVER
& #9 is by ARS.
Here's what the Brits have to say:
ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION 1978
Actually from Doraville in Georgia (which is near Atlanta). ARS were another fine southern band who rarely troubled the UK. LARGE TIME, the opening track from seventh album CHAMPAGNE JAM, shied away from their radio friendly sheen to pack a serious Confederate punch, referencing their southern credentials in its lyrics'We played Macon, Georgia with Lynyrd Skynyrd, it was a rock 'n roll hoedown/ Van Zant let that Free Bird fly, don't you know he wasn't foolin' around'.
Called Buie & told him about it. He love it.
The cover story is called THE CURSE OF LYNYRD SKYNYRD ~ A Southern Ghost Story.
A couple of citizens of ZERO, NORTHWEST FLORIDA are quoted by the author Jaan Uhelszki.
Excerpts from the article:
The oft-told, star-crossed saga of Lynyrd Skynyrd has been portrayed as the convergence of opportunity, preparedness, talent and luck. What were the chances of Dylan associate, Blues Project founder and producer extraordinaire Al Kooper walking into an Atlanta dive in the summer of 1972 and spotting the band?
Kooper had just persuaded MCA Records to bankroll his Sounds Of The South label in an effort to compete with Phil Walden's Capricorn Records (home of the Allman Brothers). He was bowled over by Skynyrd's professionalism, arrangements, guitar work and mostly by short and stocky lead singer Van Zant, who showed up in a black T-shirt and droopy jeans.
"At first he annoyed me, because he was a mic stand twirler," says Kooper from his home in Boston. "The drum major of Lynyrd Skynyrd, but instead of a baton he had a microphone stand that was, by the way, lightweight aluminum-it only looked like it was heavy. That just got me. Plus I was amused because he left his shoes on the side of the stage. But looks didn't really matter to me. The music was incredible.
How can you not respond to the first time you hear I AIN'T THE ONE or FREE BIRD?"Later on in the article they describe Skynyrd's showcase at Richard's on Sunday, July 29, 1973:
Introduced by Al Kooper as "the American Rolling Stones", Skynyrd proceeded to sing about how the former Blues Project founder had discovered them. Van Zant stood in one spot barely moving, his bare feet squarely planted on the stage as he spat out the words to the band's creation myth. 'SEVEN YEARS OF HARD LUCK COMIN' DOWN ON ME/ FROM A MOTORBOAT, YES, UP IN NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE/ I WORKED IN EVERY JOINT YOU CAN NAME, YES, EVERY HONKY TONK/ THEY ALL COME TO SEE YANKEE SLICKER SAYING, BABY, YOU'RE WHAT I WANT.'Not only is Citizen Al in this article but also ZERO, NORTHWEST FLORIDA resident, Jeff Carlisi:
"Ronnie's meaness, they all have it," remembers Jeff Carlisi, a neighbour of the Van Zants, and bandmate of Ronnie's younger brother, Donnie Van Zant, in .38 Special. "He grew up in Shantytown [the rough and tumble West Side of Jacksonville]. Violence was just part of the culture there. If you didn't fight for it, somebody would take it from you."another Carlisi quote from the same article:
"I remember once Ronnie stuck a wooden coat hanger down his pants at a bar to fight to defend the honour of one of the girl singers. He turned to me and said, 'Are you with me?' I didn't have a choice but to come along," said Jeff Carlisi.Craig Reed best described the crash on the night of October 20, 1977:
"They were human vultures," recalls road manager Craig Reed. "All the money that was in my pockets was taken. We had been playing poker right before the crash, and I was winning big. I had a couple of grand that was taken. All my T-shirts were taken, all my jewellery, a skull and crossbones coke spoon. Silver bullets from GIMME BACK MY BULLETS. All gone. They went through our suitcases. They took anything that said 'LYNYRD SKYNYRD'. They even went out and took the side of the plane that was painted 'LYNYRD SKYNYRD'."HERE'S THE KOOPER INSERT
which includes a shot of Kooper in sunglasses with the caption AL KOOPER: the man who found SKYNYRDSWEET HOME...
A chance meeting with Al Kooper in Georgia gave LYNYRD SKYNYRD their big breakWORDS: AL KOOPER
I first came upon the band for the first time at a tough bar in downtown Atlanta.
They were performing for a week and I was in town producing an album for somebody. Every night, we would frequent this club, as they treated us quite nicely there. The first night they played I was instantly taken in by the quality of their material. By the third night I asked if I could sit in on a song. As they had no keyboard player in their genesis, I sat in on guitar. As I slipped on one of their excess guitars, I asked "What song? What key?" "MEAN WOMAN BLUES, " Ronnie Van Zant instructed, " In C#". Boy, that made me laugh out loud. It was their defence in case a sitting-in guitarist was not very good and only knew a few chords. After starting playing guitar as age 12, I had no problem in C#.
It took me three months of hounding their manager to sign them. Toward the end of the three months, Ronnie called me at home late one night. "Al, I'm sorry to call so late, but we are in deep trouble here. Someone broke into our van tonight and stole all our instruments and amps. Without those, we cannot put food on our families tables or pay our rents or get any gigs. I was hoping you could lend us $5000..." I quickly replied, "All I need is the address you want me to send it to, Ronnie and you'll have it in two days..."
After a moment of silence he said, "Al, you just bought yourself a band for $5000. Thanks from all of us!" By the next week, their contracts were signed and they were back on the road.
In between recording the first album and its release, they were back playing at that bar I discovered them in. It was a very tough place. I saw someone shot dead outside there one night, there were numerous bar fights as common events there. There were two floors; on the first floor the bands played surrounded by numerous bars; on the second floor, there more bar locations and many pool tables. During a break, I was sitting at a table talking to some people upstairs, and Allen and Gary pulled me out of my seat and dragged me to the bar. The two of them then lifted me up and deposited me behind the bar and told me to sit down out of sight. Within 30 seconds, there was a huge bar fight involving our favourite band.
They were just looking out for their producer, who grew up in Northeast USA, where such fighting was replaced by drag-racing and quizzes about the B-sides of records. I was obviously not the hand-to-hand combat model, as usually raised in the South. I will always recall that gesture as a sign of true friendship early on from them.
My hair didn't even get mussed!
Mitch Goodson & The Capers Making Their Magic!
WILBUR WALTON JR. & STRANGE GANGER LARRY COE
Wilbur With Strange Gangers Frank Tanton, David Adkins, Larry Coe & Jimmy Dean
(notice Jim Lancaster of Playground Recording Studio on the left taking a picture)
WILBUR WALTON JR. & THE STRANGE GANG
left to right~ Richard Burke, Frank Tanton, David Adkins, Lamar Miller, Wilbur, Larry Coe, Jimmy Dean
WILBUR WALTON JR. & THE STRANGE GANG TAKING THE STAGE FORTHE GREAT DHS SENIORS OF '68 WHO F*CKIN' RATE!!!!
left to right~ Richard Burke, Lamar Miller, Frank Tanton, David Adkins, Larry Coe, Wilbur, Jimmy DeanHere's the end of the first half hour of Wilbur's interview with Tiger Jack on WTBC back in July:
Tiger Jack: A little refresher on Buddy Buie. Buddy is a legendary songwriter in his own right. He wrote GEORGIA PINES with John Rainey Adkins, one of the better guitar players I ever heard. John Rainey was a good one. I understand he passed several years ago but he could play, man. Anyway, Buddy wrote Georgia Pines and he wrote SPOOKY for the Classics IV and produced them and later was the binding force behind the ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION.
Wilbur: & Traces, don't forget TRACES.
Tiger Jack: That's a good song. Did you write that Buddy?
Buie: Yep- myself and J.R. Cobb and Emory Gordy.
Tiger Jack: That's a good song!
Wilbur: I like that next to GEORGIA PINES.
Tiger Jack: Next to GEORGIA PINES...
Buie: & nothing I'd like better to do, since Wilbur has started his new career; coming back- I'd like to try to set down and write a song. He's writing so good for himself he probably wouldn't even look at my songs now.
Tiger Jack: I bet he would.
Wilbur: YOU BET I WOULD!
Buddy: I'd like to write Lips a song, "Lips", that's my nickname for him. We'll take him down...
Wouldn't that be fun. Go back down to old Findley's studio. Play at Playground.
Wilbur: I want to talk about Playground after a while.
Tiger Jack: Well, go ahead. Let's talk about it now.
Buddy Buie: Tell 'em about it. Tell 'em about Playground.
Wilbur Walton Jr.: It's just a wonderful place.
Tiger: Is that in Dothan?
Wilbur: No, it's in Valparaiso which is away from the beach.
Buddy: In Florida.
Wilbur: But it's real close- about ten miles frm the beach around Ft. Walton and there was a man named Finley Duncan that Buddy knows. I met him a couple of times. He had that studio there back in the Sixties and Seventies and I think what Finley did, if I'm not mistaken, he also had a jukebox...
Buie: Jukebox company.
Wilbur: He did a lot of recording to put in his own jukeboxes and about a year ago Jim Lancaster bought that studio. He and his wife, Jill. They have really fixed it up
& the atmosphere in that town is just wonderful!
It's open skies.
You know if you to a big city studio, it's pretty frantic.
This is laid back.
I wanted to get a plug in for Jim & his studio.
Buie: That'd be good. Go down there and cut a record with as many of the old guys that's left.
Wilbur: Well, Buddy, you've still got songs you've written that have never been recorded that are real good and I know one of 'em but I don't think I'm a troubadore anymore but it's a real good country song. Aren't you doing a song with J.R. called ADDICTION for Rascal Flatts?
Buie: Uh huh, we're working on it. Matter of fact, we're very close to getting them recorded.
Wilbur Walton Jr. : You don't need to quit singing or writing songs.
Buddy Buie: Yeah, I agree with that...
Wilbur: You don't reach a certain age where you can't do it anymore... I hope.
Buddy Buie: You know, you have a...
I DIDN'T QUIT!
You're the one who quit for 30 years!
Wilbur: I didn't quit.
Nobody knew I didn't quit.
Tiger Jack: Everybody thought you did.
Big Dave: It's kinda like my radio career...
Wilbur: If anybody thought about it all they probably said, "He quit." I doubt anybody thought about it but I never thought about quitting.
Tiger Jack: See that all gets back to the unavailability of places where you can play nowadays.
Wilbur: Oh yeah! That's got a lot to do with it. It's like I told you a minute ago, I like these songs I did on this CD which is the reason I'm up here but one of the reasons I did 'em was not just 'cause I liked the songs,
but I wanted to sing.
Where you gonna sing?
I can't go to the beach, go to the OLD DUTCH and get a band together and play for college kids.
Buie: SURE YOU COULD!
SURE YOU COULD!
Tiger Jack: He could get some old college folks like us.
Wilbur: Four hours a night?
I'd rather paint the building.
Buie: YOU'D RATHER WHAT?!!!!
Wilbur: I'd rather paint the building than play in a place for four hours a night. Like you used to have to do in them clubs, four or five hours a night.
Buie: We could start back and just like the old days. I'll get on the telephone and call Tuscaloosa.
Call all the colleges and book you in colleges.
You play colleges again.
Wilbur: Do they have one hour parties up here now?
Tiger Jack: You think that's all you could last!
Hey Buddy, we got to take a break and we're gonna let you go. We appreciate you calling in this morning and were gonna have Johnny Wyker on here with Wilbur in a minute.
You remember Johnny.
Buie: Great, oh great, I was gonna ask where he was.
Tiger Jack: Well, I guess he's still in the Shoals. We'll find out here in a minute but he's gonna visit us. Good luck with your rehab and hope everything goes well.
Buddy Buie: Thank you, pal. Y'all have a good time.
EVERYONE IN THE STUDIO: See ya, Buddy. Thanks a lot.
Tiger Jack: We'll be right back with Wilbur Walton in five minutes I guess after the news.
Big Dave: We'll take a break for ARN. You guys relax. We've got more on the Morning Show on TalkRadio 12.30 WTBC and your also listening to WVUA Television.
Music: YOU GOT THE RIGHT STRING BABY BUT THE WRONG YO-YO