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» From "A Message From Gary" // September 24, 2012 8:30:28 PM UTC
I was a fan on the ground in Duval County of LS from the late 60s on---The Forest Inn Days, Comic Book Club, that scene. First time I saw Allen Collins I thought HE was a yankee---crushed velvet sky-blue suit, MATCHING satin tennis shoes, below-shoulder-length hair, bolero hat, ruffled shirt---and a Gibson slung to his waist. Looking sharp, but i thought 'oh boy, bet the rednecks gonna be**** with this guy'. I didn't realize he was a fellow Duval countian. So, I was a northside boy in the late 60s, and my high school class(Ribault) PASSED on paying them $200 in 1970 for a dance, 'cause they were too radical in Duval teen circles. Think about that. In other words, unless you were hip enough to dig the Allmans & good blues-based rock in general, you just didn't appreciate Lynyrd Skynryd. You preferred seeing a Top-40 cover band such as Mouse & The Boys.
I only say the above to make a little claim of having some uh, 'over-view' in all this. Unfortunately(& come on, my fellow white southerners, less be honest), the image of the Confederate Battle Flag has been used by the worst of us to carry out a stone-racist agenda. TOO BAD that happened, but it did---hey, I can remember coming home from relatives at night in the 50s/early 60s, & seeing Klan rallies goin' on. So, we can't deny how the flag has been pimped for
I applaud Gary(LORD, he was the first great rhythm guitarist I ever saw close up, and let me tell you---as a teenager, he was hittin' the note!) for his remarks. I know it came from the heart, and not from the pocket book. I'm sure he realized how some would react, but from where I stand, those here complaining the most are the same types I thought would go off on a long haired rock-n roller in jacksonivlle FLA in 1968.
I think all of us do well to let our conscience be our guide, and Mr. Rossington has given an example. Hey, back then, we ALL knew there was a connection between white & black southerners through our music....heritage, not hate.
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