Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s second studio album Second Helping is one of the group’s highest-certified albums to this date, with a double platinum certification from the RIAA. Released on April 15, 1974, the album contains some of Skynyrd’s most iconic songs, including “Don’t Ask Me No Questions,” “Call Me the Breeze,” and their Top 10 smash hit, “Sweet Home Alabama.”
Although Skynyrd’s first album helped them find their initial claim to fame, Second Helping secured their place in the music industry. Perhaps more than any of Skynyrd’s other albums, Second Helping is truly the one that established their unbreakable legacy that is still going strong today.
In 2014, founding member and guitarist Gary Rossington and former guitarist Ed King sat down with popular disc jockey Redbeard for an interview on his weekly rock music radio interview program called In The Studio. The main topic of discussion was Second Helping and the songs on it, since they were celebrating its 40th anniversary at the time.
Ed spoke specifically about the song “Workin’ For MCA,” which tells the story of when the band signed with their record label. He said that after they signed the contract, they were given nine thousand dollars, which is nothing compared to what they could get today, but back then it made them feel like millionaires:
“I remember one day I went to rehearsal…and I walked in there and Ronnie had nine thousand dollars in hundred dollar bills just laying all over the cabin…They’d never seen that much money in their entire lives. That was really like a landmark day for everybody.”
Although Skynyrd went on to become one of the greatest groups in the history of rock, its members never forgot their humble beginnings. Gary believes the reason so many people have been drawn to Skynyrd’s music over the years is because they’ve always stayed true to who they are.
“In those days it was the Alice Coopers and Kisses and all the makeup,” Gary said. “That’s who was making it. We were kinda real. We wore blue jeans and T-shirts. Our music was our gimmick.”
You can listen to the rest of Ed and Gary’s interview about Second Helping here.
While you’re at it, enjoy watching Skynyrd’s 1974 live performance of one of the album’s greatest songs, “Workin’ For MCA,” in the video below.
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