'Moment of Silence' to Tribute Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie Van Zant Set for 10/20; TURN IT UP Book Just Released
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Media throughout the world are observing a "Moment of Silence" on Oct. 20 at 6:45pm CST in remembrance of Ronnie Van Zant, founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, who died 35 years ago in an airplane crash that shocked the nation.
"Sweet Home Alabama," written 40 years ago by Ronnie Van Zant, Ed King, and Gary Rossington, is beloved of hundreds of millions of people throughout the world, yet few know who wrote it. Ronnie Van Zant, lyricist, wrote dozens of hits including "Free Bird," "Gimme Three Steps," "Simple Man," and countless others in a career that spanned only four short years.
"It is time this overlooked lyricist, one of the greatest in rock history, is recognized for his body of work and claims his rightful place in music history," says Ron Eckerman, former tour manager and friend. "We ask for all stations and all people to observe this date by going silent for 20 seconds, and follow that with the airing of 'Freebird,' the most requested song in history."
Ron Eckerman was with them two of the four years Lynyrd Skynyrd was on the map, and both witnessed and assisted in their climb to the top of the music industry. Now, after 35 years of silence, Eckerman recounts his experiences with the band and the horror of the plane crash in his book, Turn It Up! (Restless Artists).
"This book was a labor of love. There was an important piece of music history missing, a tremendous amount of misleading and false information out there... it had to be cleared up," Eckerman continues. "So I created a factual manuscript that reveals the personalities and relationships of one of the most iconic bands in music history - Lynyrd Skynyrd."
Ron Eckerman, born in Houston, Tx, was a pioneer in the rock concert industry. In 1973 he began staging concerts and created one of the early concert lighting/touring production companies. Soon afterwards he became tour manager for Lynyrd Skynyrd and began a two year stint with the group, witnessing and participating in their meteoric rise to fame and world-wide acclaim. After the tragic plane crash that ended the original band, Mr. Eckerman has produced in film, television, and stage, and has taught theater and artist management at Santa Monica College.
For more, visit the website www.turnitupbook.com.
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