Perfect Ten

Here is some rock and roll gold dust. In November 1974 a music magazine called Let it Rock wished to write a feature about Skynyrd’s first European tour so dispatched a young journalist called Michael Gray to report on the first two dates – Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Michael asked each band member to write down their top ten songs. He wanted to know what music they enjoyed listening too, influenced them and informed their musical style. The lists were hand written by Ronnie, Allen, Gary, Billy, Ed, Leon and Bob. This is Ronnie’s list, written in pencil on 15 November 1974, prior to the show at the Edinburgh Odeon.

The caption at the top of the page reads – Lynyrd Skynyrd All Time Top Ten – Ronnie Van Zant. It has the iconic Lynyrd Skynyrd skull and crossbones logo and reference to the band managers Rus Emerick and Paragon Agency.

There is a side bar where Ronnie has written:

Please note: These songs are not in any order of preference. They represent the ten most influential songs in my music career. RVZ.

The 10 songs:

Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding

Satisfaction – Rolling Stones

Yesterday – The Beatles

What’d I Say – Ray Charles

If We Make It Through December – Merle Haggard

Can’t Explain – The Who

Big Boss Man – Jimmy Reed

Respect – Aretha Franklin

Will the Circle Be Unbroken – Traditional

Light My Fire – Doors

All in all, a unique document detailing the songs that shaped Ronnie’s musical tastes. I acquired all the lists from Michael in the early 90s. This one is no longer part of my collection.


Feature pic copyright Iain Dickson