Don Taylor – Music and Recovery; I remember meeting my 6th grade friend Artimus Pyle drummer for the Lynyrd Skynyrd and his band mates on a Saturday (Leon Wilkeson, Ronnie Van Zant, Billy Powell, Allen Collins, Gary Rossington and Stevie Gaines), and after having talked some about me working with the band, if and when they added a horn section, we all headed together in a limo for Hawthorne Raceway (used normally for thoroughbred racing) for their show with Peter Frampton and Gary Wright, the “Dream Weaver”.
We all know what happened next, the tragic Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash in October 1977. After the crash, and because he was relatively unhurt compared to the others who survived (four died, including band members Ronnie Van Zant and Stevie Gaines), Artimus moved back home with his wife and young son in northwest South Carolina, at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and formed the first Artimus Pyle Band (APB).
May 1978 was when I made my move. I began touring and performing with APB, and did so for the next eight years, mostly in the Carolinas. Luckily, I was always able to find decent day-jobs to support my family. We worked with The Marshall Tucker Band (also from South Carolina), both in the studio and on stage, and recorded two albums for MCA Records, “All-Points Bulletin” and “Nightstalker.”
1987 I had no way of knowing this, but right then plans were being made to do the Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Tour…it was to be a “one-time, nationwide tribute tour” to honor the deceased band members and crew. They asked me to join, I didn’t have to think much about that, I went from a manager-type to a musician in less than a second. And even though I had to wait 10 years (1977 to 1987) to play with the band, it was well worth the wait…a dream fulfilled: Me and Ronnie Eades, the original “Sax Attack” horn section for the band known as Lynyrd Skynyrd.
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