Billy Powell passed away yesterday. Even though I grew up in the 70's, I wasn't a huge Lynyrd Skynyrd fan. I spent most of my teen years first being into Prog, then getting into Punk. There is no denying however, that Skynyrd's tragic history and music, are both archetypal. They created and defined a whole genre of music.
As I grew older, I started listening to and playing a lot more Rockabilly, Blues and
Roots Music. From this, I gained a new found respect for Billy Powell. There is something mythical about Billy's story too, both in how he stepped up from roadie to musician, and his being the only survivor of
the Plane Crash. If the story wasn't true, it would be hard to believe. You'd almost expect Josef Campbell to be telling you his tale.
It was sad to hear of his passing. I know that I will be reminded of him when I go see the California Guitar Trio next month, if they play the Freebird encore.