By 1977, Lynyrd Skynyrd had reached worldwide fame. What once started as a band of young kids in Jacksonville, Florida had grown into one of the most recognizable names in rock.
Skynyrd's fame gave them the oppertunity to travel all over the world. They performed in Europe, where they famously rocked the 1976 Knebworth Festivial in England. Believe it or not, Skynyrd even went on a brief tour in Japan.
The Japan tour took place in January 1977, with Skynyrd playing a series of five shows between the Nakano Sun Plaza and Osaka Koseinenkinkaikan Hall. Looking back on Skynyrd's history, the tour is particularly notable because it was the only time the original band performed in Japan.
While on their Japanese tour, some of Skynyrd's members found the time to sit down for an interview with their opening act, Japanese Southern rock band Idlewild South. The interview was for Japan's leading rock magazine at the time, called Music Life.
Images from the article containing the interview resurfaced in recent years, shedding new light on Skynyrd's tour in Japan.
Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Allen Collins answered most of the questions, as the members of Idlewild South asked Skynyrd about their tours, their gear, and more. They opened up by asking Skynyrd what they thought of Japan so far.
"I heard Japanese people are very polite and it's a good place to play," Ronnie said. "Been looking forward to coming here."
Compared to Idlewild South, Skynyrd was the veteran group in the business at the time. Because of that, they had some words of wisdom and encouragement to pass along. When one of the Idlewild South guys remarked that they didn't even have any roadies to set up their stuff for them, Ronnie helped reassure them:
"We all did that in the beginning," he said. "That's how we started."
You can read Skynyrd's full interview with Idlewild South by clicking here. It should be included in the first post that appears in the thread.
Once you finish reading that interview, tune in below to hear audio of Skynyrd performing "Free Bird" during one of their concerts in Japan. That's a history-making moment right there!
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