Someone tell Cameron Crowe that Florida has no hills …

… and that Lynyrd Skynyrd had a drummer [two of them].

While it was refreshing to see Lynyrd Skynyrd get its own episode of the recent Showtime series Roadies, the show’s creator Cameron Crowe made a couple of boo-boos. Cameron should know better. He toured with Skynyrd in Japan in 1977 and hooked up with the band’s accountant, Marybeth Medley. [Let’s just say that Nancy Wilson was a definite improvement.]

Skynyrd's Hell House? Hell, no! What the hell is that mountain range doing in a Florida swamp?

Skynyrd’s Hell House? Hell, no! What the hell is that mountain range doing in a Florida swamp?

Check out two screenshots. The band’s practice shack, the Hell House, is shown above with a mountain range in the background. In fact, the Hell House was located near an alligator-infested swamp in Green Cove Springs, Florida, the flattest state in the USA. In Cameron’s world, Skynyrd must have been a West Coast act.

Step right up! Buy a lot on the site of Lynyrd Skynyrd's old practice shack, the Hell House. Alligators and creepy-crawlies not depicted.

Step right up! Buy a lot on the site of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s old practice shack, the Hell House. Alligators and creepy-crawlies not depicted.

Incidentally, the site of the long-gone Hell House is currently being turned into a residential development. It includes a Free Bird Way and a Tuesday’s Cove.

Where's Artimus? Front row (l-r): Allen Collins, Ronnie Van Zant, Gary Rossington (mostly obscured), Leon Wilkeson, Billy Powell, the Honkettes. Top (l-r): Steve Gaines, fictional character, Dean Kilpatrick

Where’s Artimus? Front row (l-r): Allen Collins, Ronnie Van Zant, Gary Rossington (mostly obscured), Leon Wilkeson, Billy Powell, the Honkettes.
Top (l-r): Steve Gaines, fictional character, Dean Kilpatrick

More importantly, Cameron chose not to hire an actor to play the band’s drummer. Skynyrd had two drummers, band co-founder Bob Burns and his successor Artimus Pyle. Both were just as important as Ronnie Van Zant & Co. The rest of the band is portrayed by actors—with varying success. Cameron even cast actors to play tour manager Ron Eckerman, longtime roadie Dean Kilpatrick, and the three backing singers. But no drummer. Very strange. And quite offensive to Artimus and Bob, and to drummers in general.

Furthermore, a fictional roadie relates how he wishes he could have rescued the guys after their plane crashed on October 20, 1977. Well, somebody did. That was Artimus Pyle. His omission from Roadies is a great injustice to the man, and to the historical record. Stay tuned for more info on Artimus’ plans to reveal the true story of Lynyrd Skynyrd, America’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band.