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Lynyrd Skynyrd: An Oral History Paperback – October 5, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Spike (October 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038080154X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380801541
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,754,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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Good book. Basically all direct quotes from band members, past & present, and people related to the band. Minimum context/writing from Ballinger throughout, but enough to get a good timeline of the band's history.
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Interesting take on a story that has been written about by many. This book takes quotes from persons who were part of the band/crew or were associated with the band in some way. I have read two other authors on the subject. This book was the most enjoyable read of the three...
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