In 1975, Lynyrd Skynyrd released what would go on to become one of their biggest hits, called "Saturday Night Special." The song was released as the opening track off of the band's Platinum-certified album, Nuthin' Fancy, and peaked at the 27th spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
Written by Ed King and Ronnie Van Zant, the song addresses the issues surrounding gun control. The term "Saturday Night Special" is in reference to inexpensive, poor quality handguns, such as a mouse gun or pocket pistol.
The lyrics mention several scenarios involving random acts of violence, such as when a man shoots his friend during a poker game when he thinks he's been cheating. Through these different scenarios, the lyrics reveal the meaning behind the song, that a Saturday Night Special simply, "Ain't no good for nothin'/But put a man six feet in a hole."
In 1976, the band took the song to the stage at the Knebworth Festivial in England, which was filled with excited Skynyrd fans. In fact, there were so many people there to see Skynyrd perform that when the camera panned to show the crowd, it looked like it stretched for miles. The crowd kept cheering throughout the whole song, particularly when Ronnie finished the first verse, and especially at the end of the performance.
Ronnie himself was at the absolute top of his game, as he belted and growled out the lyrics to the song with an intense level of passion. It's clear that Ronnie and the rest of the band members fed off of the wild energy of the crowd, because they really seemed to be rocking out and giving it their all on stage.
You can watch Skynyrd's electrifying performance of "Saturday Night Special" below. Once you watch it, you'll wish you had been in the crowd to see them perform live that day!
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