Second Helping

The original three-page press release issued by MCA Records to media announcing the formation of Lynyrd Skynyrd offshoot, the Rossington Collins Band. It also includes news about the band’s debut LP, ‘Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere’. I’ve transcribed the release here:

As members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, Billy Powell and Leon Wilkeson blazed a single-minded trail across the world of rock and roll. Their objective – make it to the top. They did, with eight gold and seven platinum albums to their credit.

As Rossington Collins Band, their objective remains the same – go all the way!

The latest music from these old friends is strong, vibrant and powerful containing many of the elements from before with a fresh, new, sophisticated nitty-gritty approach.

“We’ve always been very determined people”, Gary Rossington says. “The word ‘defeat’ is not in our dictionary. We never learned how to quit. Music is what we do and we give it all our time. It is the most important thing in our lives.

“We’ve got some great musicians, people who care as much as we do, and we’re excited and proud of what we’ve put together. Believe me, we’re ready to hit the road!”

The band line-up includes Barry Harwood, a shy, soft-spoken musician and writer, who, like Rossington and Collins, hails from Jacksonville, Florida. Barry grew up with music all around him. His parents were musicians and everyone on both sides of his family sang, played or danced. Barry started playing drums at the age of six and moved to guitar at 12, playing in a series of local bands. Almost eight years ago he turned professional and became a sought-after session player working with artists as diverse as Joe South, Melanie and Lobo. His work has also been on three Lynyrd Skynyrd albums.

Derek Hess – tall, handsome and exuberant Derek is another Jacksonville boy, and he plays drums with a precision and feel that delights the rest of the band. Derek began with piano at age six, and inspired by the Beatles and his own natural attraction to percussion, switched to drums at 13. Derek played with Barry Harwood in two Jacksonville bands, Running Easy and Family Portrait.

Dale Krantz – Dale was born in Indiana and, in time-honored tradition of great singers, learned her art in the church where her father was a choir director. She attended Indiana University and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and then headed for Los Angeles where she worked with Leon Russell. In 1977, Dale joined .38 Special as a backing singer. This led to her move to Jacksonville where .38 is based.

At the end of 1979, Rossington Collins asked her to be their singer. “I thought they meant background vocals,” says Dale. Almost always calm and composed in contrast to her fiery and energetic performance on stage, she gets a bit flustered even now when she remembers how shocked, and thrilled, she was when they explained, “No, no, we want you to be up front. Just get out there and do what you were meant to do, sing your ass off, lady!”

The senior members of the band consist of Allen and Gary who have been playing together since they were in junior high school and threw over baseball for guitars. Jacksonville, FL is where they were born and raised and where they performed with Ronnie Van Zant in such sterling bands as The Wild Cats, The Nobel 5, The 1 Percent, The Pretty Ones(“Actually,” Rossington laughs, “it was always the same band, we just kept changing the name.”) and, of course, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Two other Jacksonville boys – pianist extraordinaire Billy Powell and bassist Leon Wilkeson – both officially joined Lynyrd Skynyrd a few months before the group recorded their first MCA album in 1973.

“We’ve learned a lot since then,” Gary explains, “and we had a great need and desire to produce our first Rossington Collins album “Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere” ourselves. “We’re so lucky to have the people we’ve gathered together in the band. The  new members inspired us, gave us strength and pulled us out of a slump. We pulled them out of a slump, too. The last few months have been spent playing, writing, rehearsing and recording together as a team, a family. Suddenly, we had a real band and we could all see daylight again.

Allen says it this way: “Dale, Barry and Derek came along at a time when we needed them, and the music just poured out so swiftly, so naturally. Everyone in this band has a lot of emotion and the songs on ‘Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere’ represent so may deep, true feelings. Billy and Leon have never played better, and Billy’s turning into a great writer. All of us are working at the writing as we never did before, full speed ahead!”

“Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere” was produced by Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, and Barry Harwood, and the title comes from an old Southern saying, “We’ll take you on, anytime, anyplace, anywhere.”

Gary sums it up this way: “We’ve got a good team going, and I’m here to tell you there’s a storm brewing.”

“It’s gonna turn into a tidal wave, a hurricane,” Allen adds, “We have a goal to be the best band in the world and we will not be defeated.”

The red pin badge, featured on the front of this blog post, was an MCA Records promo to coincide with the release of the first LP.  It was given to music papers and radio stations.