CSX Classic Cuts

FORT WORTH, TEXAS - APRIL 09: Lynyrd Skynyrd performs prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

WCSX Classic Cuts

Lynyrd Skynyrd: “Gimme Three Steps”

The Hook: True story about how Ronnie Van Zant once avoided getting his ass kicked…or worse.

(Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd)

Year: 1973

Writers: Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins

Stats: The first single from Skynyrd’s first album didn’t even chart on the Billboard Hot 100, but became a rock radio classic.

Background: In his account on the band’s website, Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington — who was with Ronnie Van Zant the night the events that led him to write “Gimme Three Steps” took place — claims the guy actually pulled a gun on Ronnie. He didn’t tell us that part, but either way, you can see what inspired Ronnie to write about it on the way home.

Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington on “Gimme Three Steps.” OC:…three steps. :25

“That was a true story. That was written at W.T. West Tavern, down in Jacksonville, Florida. It was a little bitty bar and Ronnie went in there one night and was dancing with somebody that he didn’t know and this guy came up and said he was going to beat him up ‘cause he was dancing with his girl. And he said, ‘Give me a few steps or a second and I’ll get out of here and I won’t come back no more.’ And the guy let him. And he wrote a story about it and it ended up being ‘…Three Steps.’”

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