Frampton recalls Lynyrd disaster

Peter Frampton says he found out via TV that the stage crew he shared with Lynyrd Skynyrd were involved in the band’s devastating plane crash in 1977.

The disaster claimed the lives of Skynyrd’s lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gains, backing vocalist Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick and the plane’s pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray. Other band members suffered serious injuries, including the band’s stage crew.

Frampton tells Access Atlanta: “We are virtually joined at the hip in many ways. We used to play stadiums together. But I think what many people don’t know is that we shared road crews.

“I was in LA when I turned on the TV and saw that the plane had gone down and that half of my crew were on it. Luckily, they survived but when you go through that, it’s like you’re blood brothers.”

He’ll join Lynyrd Skynyrd and guests including Charlie Daniels, Cheap Trick, John Hiatt, Jason Isbell, Robert Randolph, Donnie Van Zant, Blackberry Smoke, Trace Adkins, Warren Haynes, Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Al Kooper and Aaron Lewis, for a one-off tribute show titled One More For The Fans which will be held at the Fox Theatre, Atlanta on November 12.

Also performing will be Gregg Allman, who won the Living Legend award at the Classic Rock Roll Of Honour gala event in LA on Tuesday evening.

And founding member Gary Rossington says the show will be a way to honour the band members who are no longer here.

He says: “I couldn’t believe all of these guys want to come and play a song of ours. I think Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines and the guys who aren’t here anymore really deserve this.

“We had a dream back in the day to be in a big band and make it, then it was taken away from them real quick. It’s 37 years since the plane crash, and they didn’t get a chance to see how Skynyrd developed, how Freebird became an anthem. So I get to tell their story.”

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.