I'll never forget October 20, 1977.
We were just going on stage in St. Louis when we found that Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane had crashed and there had been fatalities, but the names would not be released until notification of next of kin.
It was a strange feeling walking on stage, knowing we had lost friends but not knowing which ones. It would be the early morning hours of the next day before I found out that Ronnie Van Zant had been among the fatalities.
I walked into a hotel room in Phoenix and wrote these verses in tribute to my friend.
A brief candle, both ends burning
An endless mile, a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all a part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird, you're free at last
We still miss you, Ronnie. Love never dies.
The History of Lynyrd Skynyrd