Former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle, the “Wild Man of Southern Rock,” is publishing his memoir in October 2017 through Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard. Street Survivor: Keeping the Beat in Lynyrd Skynyrd will be available in all good book stores, and at Amazon.
This will be the first—and last—Skynyrd autobiography, and therefore your only opportunity to read the truth about the rise and fall of one of America’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands. I was honored to help Artimus put it all together, trailing him across the South with my pencil and writing pad for several years. But every word, every semicolon in the book is his. It’s a breathless, 100,000-word-plus ride through almost seventy years of joy, mayhem and tragedy. You could say that Artimus is also the Hunter S. Thompson of Southern Rock. Some cool, previously unpublished photos are included, courtesy of Nuthin’ Fancy engineer Dave Evans and the band’s British minder Sally Arnold.
The book’s image is a reproduction of a photo that can be found inside the Street Survivors album.
I love the photo, but my protests about the distressed font fell on deaf ears as did my recommendation that the star be replaced with Artimus’ marine sergeant stripes. They did, at least, include a pair of horizontal drum sticks, which is pretty cool. The photo was taken by Dave Alexander, who also shot the cover for the Eagles’ Hotel California.
By the way, Artimus and I had fun working on his family tree. Eventually we ended up with 549 names going back to the Kogers of southern Germany in the 16th Century. Artimus’ southern American roots begin in about 1800 with Coonrod Pile (depicted below in a tiny portion of the tree). Yes, the Crocketts are connected to Dave Crockett, and Nancy Brooks was the grandmother of Sgt. Alvin York, one of America’s greatest heroes in the Great War. Artimus is intensely proud to be a cousin of Alvin’s.