Ron Eckerman spent two years as the tour manager for one of the biggest bands in rock and roll history, Lynyrd Skynyrd. He was there when the band began its ascent to the top of the music world, and he was in the airplane with the band when it crashed, ending the band as we knew it. Eckerman released a book, 'Turn It Up!: Love, Life and Death, Southern Style', recalling his accounts of those two years, as well as the tragic day in October 1977. Recently, Ron took the time to talk with me about the book, the band and a special offer to U.S. servicemen and women.

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The story of Lynyrd Skynyrd is an incredible one, and to get it from the perspective of someone with such intimate knowledge of the band is a great treat. In this first segment, Ron Eckerman talks about the ongoing physical effects of surviving a plane crash. He explains the difficulty involved with writing about such an emotional event as surviving a crash that killed people who were close to him. He told me, "I wanted to tell the story right. It wasn't necessarily writing the good stuff about them...it's an important part of a lot of people's lives and I wanted to make sure it was very accurate". He also talked about the importance of prolonging lead singer Ronnie Van Zant's legacy:

Interview Part 1

 

In the second portion of my intervew with Ron Eckerman, he discussed his relationship with Ronnie Van Zant's widow, Judy, and current surviving Lynyrd Skynyrd band members, including guitarist Gary Rossington, telling me, "when I met him about a year ago, it was open arms. 'Hey Brother. Great to see you', and then I went and saw him...in September...and I got a total different reception". Eckerman talked about his road to recovery from the plane crash, and his decision to become road manager for Foreigner and Waylon Jennings. And Eckerman answered to my questioning the possibility of 'Turn It Up!' being turned into a movie:

Interview Part 2

 

In the third segment, Eckerman talks about his appreciation for United States servicemen and women, and how they can get a free copy of 'Turn It Up!: Love, Life, and Death, Southern Style'. "I just want to do something for them, I mean, they put their lives on the line for their country every day, so it's time they get a little something". He also shares what people are saying to him after reading the book, and why there is a lack of photographs in the book, saying, "A lot of people tell me they haven't laughed as hard in their lives as they do when they read this book...some people said they haven't cried that hard in their life":

Interview Part 3

To get more information on the free book offer to veterans, get the 'Turn It Up!' audio book or to order a hard copy of the book, visit the website. You'll be glad you got your hands on this book.

Check out Lynyrd Skynyrd performing 'Sweet Home Alabama':