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Lynyrd Skynyrd: An Oral History Paperback – June 19, 2002


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Lynyrd Skynyrd: An Oral History + Lynyrd Skynyrd: Remembering the Free Birds of Southern Rock + Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ronnie Van Zant, and Me ... Gene Odom
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Xt377 Pub (June 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972044639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972044639
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...Ballinger has crafted the first book to truly capture and illuminate the restless spirit of Lynyrd Skynyrd..." -- Cameron Crowe, director of Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous who traveled extensively with Skynyrd in the 70s and was a close friend of Ronnie Van Zant.

"...this saga unfolds like an old gothic novel..." -- AL KOOPER, producer of the first three Lynyrd Skynyrd albums.

"A wonderful book, provides unique insights into the legacy of Lynyrd Skynyrd and their classic music…a MUST-READ." -- JOHN HAURY of the John Lee Walker Band which opened several shows for Lynyrd Skynyrd in the 1970s.

"Full of legends, truths, lies and exaggerations, this saga unfolds like an old gothic novel..." -- Al Kooper, producer of the first three Lynyrd Skynyrd albums.

"I read the book (we all did) while making our record...it's very good." -- PATTERSON HOOD, Drive-By Truckers

"Lee has crafted the first book to truly capture the restless spirit of Lynyrd Skynyrd...a beautiful piece of writing." -- CAMERON CROWE, writer/director of Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous who traveled often with Skynyrd in the 70s and was a close friend of Ronnie Van Zant.

About the Author

Lee Ballinger is a downsized Ohio steelworker, combat veteran of Vietnam, and former consultant to the National Football League Players Association. He now lives in Los Angeles, where he is West Coast Editor of Rock & Rap Confidential and coproducer of the Rock A Mole music festivals. Ballinger has traveled the South extensively, looking for the perfect barbeque and seeking inspiration for his writing, which has appeared in publications ranging from Inside Sports to the New York Times. His favorite Skynyrd song is "Was I Right or Wrong."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
What an outstanding book. If you have even a passing interest in the band, or if you're like me and are obsessed with them, buy this book now. The story of the band is told by band members, friends, and others who were there to experience it themselves. This is the definitive look at the world's greatest (and most underrated) rock and roll band. So buy this book, crank up the Lynyrd Skynyrd Box Set on the stereo, and enjoy.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Bill Clements on October 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is very good coverage of Lynyrd Skynyrd from a time before the band formed until the aftermath of the plane crash. Interviews (both past and present) with over 40 people who were closely associated with the band and the band members themselves is used thoughtout to give a very comprehensive picture of the band. The background they came from, what made them the way they were, the struggles they had thoughout their career, and future plans Ronnie had revealed to very few people just before the plane crash are all covered. I felt like I actually knew Ronnie Van Zant after reading the book and realize he was a much deeper & philisophical person than the media hype portrayed him to be. Anyone who is even mildly interest in Skynyrd would really enjoy this book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
An excellent compilation of stories about the premiere Southern Rock Band. Skynyrd made their own style of music when they came together, this book provides insight into the band from beginning to end, the re-birth and their current work. If you love Skynyrd, you've got to have this book! Very factual. FYI, did you know that Skynyrd is MCA's highest producing artist? Over 30MM records sold!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Haury on May 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book, told by those of us who were there; band members, employees, relatives and contemporaries. Lee has done a fine job portraying one of America's best rock and roll bands, doing so with the words of people who knew the band and were part of the dream. This book provides some unique insights into the legacy of Lynyrd Skynyrd and their classic music, a must-read for anyone interested in this band. Great job, Lee!
John Haury
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By N. Boyd on December 25, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read Brant's book and this one. In addition, I visited all the relavent web sites I can find including [...] and Ed King's web site. Ballinger's book is very good. It's readable and is built on many resources. Brant's book is almost painful to read but compliments this one very well. After all the reading I have done I have come to the conclusion that we will never know all the facts surrounding this great band. There are just too many contradictions amongst all the accounts. However, Ballinger does a good job of presenting what is probably the most factual information available. This is a must read for all LS fanatics and recommended for anyone else who is interested in the history of Rock and Roll.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JBB1 on September 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought the book was only OK. It was far from being exciting or insightful.

I liked how the author put together the book by interviewing band members, producers, writers, spouses, and other people associated with the band. The interviews were an excellent way to gain different perspectives about the same question or topic.

The drawback to the oral history interview process was it appeared to make the book overly tame as far as what happened on the road with these guys. Since each interviewee knew that they would be identified for what they said in the book, it made their responses contrived and controlled with basically no controversy with the band, whatsoever.

Even the bands rocky relationship with Al Kooper seemed to be toned down in the book since each person interviewed knew that he or she would be quoted for what they said.

I am glad I read the book. Would I read it again? No, I doubt it. I found little in the book that I did not already know or even wanted to know.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Perbes on January 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
The book if full of quote of both LS members and people who were around them in their heyday for one reason or another. It also features some nice photos. When you get to Ronnie's reaction to the announced crash landing, you're left to decide whether version to believe - Gene Odom's or Artimus'. I tend to believe the former's.
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Format: Paperback
Lynyrd Skynyrd: An Oral History by Lee Ballinger (West Coast Editor of "Rock & Rap Confidential") is a unique and informative history of the Lynyrd Skynyrd rock-n-roll band as seen through the eyes and told in quotes of the people who were around them before, during, and after their sometimes legendary performances -- as well as the 1977 plan crash that killed almost half of the original band. Consisting entirely of quotes and brief vignettes by different people concerning various topics and performances concerning the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd is highly readable, fascinating to flip through, distinctive in its presentation, and highly recommended reading for rock 'n roll enthusiasts in general, and the legions of Lynyrd Skynyrd fans in particular.
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