Johnny Van Zant on ‘Red White & Blue’ and the Lynyrd Legacy

July can be a wicked little bitch. It goes by faster than Rickey Henderson stole third back in the day. Yep, it seems like just yesterday the fireworks went off on the 4th and the summer officially began. Clearly, thanks to this warp-speed month, the sparks are in the rear view. That said, I’m going to try to capture some of the magic of Independence Day, and by no means do I mean that turd of a sequel that opened and closed with a giant “ho-hum.” The music of Lynyrd Skynyrd is timeless. The songs still get heavy play on classic rock stations, and there’s always some idiot no matter what concert you go to that shouts “play ‘Freebird’ mid-set.” The band oozes America, and so does frontman Johnny Van Zant. Case in point: he just released a live album entitled Red White & Blue (Live, which is a recently found live show by Van Zandt along with his brother Donnie of 38 Special. The performance, which was recorded from a January 28, 2006 show at Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, GA, is the only concert recording in existence from the only tour by the famed brothers. Album aside, Van Zant is on tour with Lynyrd Skynrd this summer along with Peter Frampton.

During an interview days before we celebrated our independence, A-Sides chatted with Van Zant, and discussed the recording, the past and present of Lynrd Skynrd, and the extremely weird presidential race that’s going on. Watch the interview, which was filmed by, below.

A-Sides’ “Delve Into Twelve” Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its top 12 tracks of the week AKA the “Delve Into Twelve” based on the following contributing factors: songs I’m playing out that particular week (no matter when they were released — think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and dug a bunch, song posts and trends I’ve noticed on my friends’ Facebook walls and, most importantly: what my toddler is currently enjoying thoroughly with an assist from my infant.

About A-Sides with Jon Chattman – :
Jon Chattman’s music/entertainment series typically features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists featured on the series include Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Yoko Ono, Elle King, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, fun, Bleachers, Charli XCX, Marina and the Diamonds, and Bastille.