Skynyrd: By Royal Appointment
Scots-born photographer Ian Dickson has been snapping rock stars since the early 1970s. His work has appeared in music magazines such as New Musical Express, Sounds, Mojo and Rolling Stone.
In January, 1977 Ian shot pictures of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the band was in London to play two sold-out nights at the Rainbow Theatre.
Here are two unpublished photos taken outside Buckingham Palace, home of the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Skynyrd seem to be in a playful mood: Artimus jumping in the air, Allen hiding, Billy looking cool in his shades, Leslie sticking her tongue out. Ronnie is wearing his Showco t-shirt and Kimono (he picked it up earlier that month when the band played in Japan).
As Ian recalls, the band was not excited by the prospect of having their photo taken on a chilly English January morning:
I was SOUNDS chief photographer when I did these. The band themselves were kind of fidgety – probably due to the cold – and I had a particularly frustrating time getting them all to look at the camera at the same time. Indeed, in one of the images one member is hiding behind another, so I just gave up!
Skynyrd, famed for their rowdy demeanour, met their match whilst staying in the city’s plush Royal Lancaster Hotel. An argument broke out between band members and the Metropolitan Police Boxing team, which was holding its annual dinner in the hotel. The resulting brawl left Gary and Artimus knocked unconscious.
Photos © Ian Dickson. Visit Ian’s Facebook page here to view his photographs.